Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Although I wasn’t born there, I lived in Appleton Wisconsin long enough to feel like it is home (or one of my homes, anyway). Inevitably, this meant watching Packers games, even though I never quite figured football out and still maintain a pretty minimal understanding of how the game is played. I know enough to know that the final score on Sunday means that the Pack is in the Superbowl this year. In honor of the great Packer win (and because Broccoli Soup was already on my weekly menu plan), I made that great upper-midwest green and gold staple, Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Is it just me, or do you all love the part of the Bon Appetit where people write in requesting recipes from their favorite restaurants, and the editors of Bon Appetit track it down? I can’t get enough of that. The recipes there just feel so special somehow, like little treasures. So when I saw this soup recipe was a reader request, I knew I would make it.

NB that everyone ate it, though my broccoli-loving 5 year old could barely choke it down, while my broccoli-hating 2 year old practically buried his face in the bowl. Go figure. Also, it’s not strictly necessary to use cream – milk works so long as you heat it in the microwave first. And finally, skip the broiler for the kids and just stir in cheese while the soup is still hot.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup from

(or: How to turn perfectly healthy veggies into delicios fat-laden calorie bombs)

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 6 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup. Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.


About christianathomas

I'm a working mother of two trying to make eating well fit into our hectic lives. I also used to own a completely chaotic bakery. Follow me for tips and tricks on how to get more whole foods into your diet.
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2 Responses to Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  1. Rena Takahashi says:

    Ahhh, Appleton. Are you a Lawrentian? I was googling around for information on bolting collard greens when I happened across your blog.
    I spent 4.5 yrs at Lawrence U, suffering through what they call ‘the seasons’ and came running back to California.
    –Rena, class of 98

    • Rena – I LOVE Lawrence, but I didn’t go there for school (almost, but I decided to get a little out of the nest instead). We would have overlapped though – I’m class of 97. The school has such good creative energy. I used to love going to campus for student recitals and theater productions, and I have friends from High School who went there (I think Ben Bayer was class of 98, Rachel Strom class of 97). Nope, I just landed in Appleton when my dad took a job there. Agreed that the winters are no fun.

      Collard bolts are tastier than collards IMHO, and totally edible. I treat them like broccoli (same family). You can sub them in freely!

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