It seems I’ve come a long way since I started blogging.  It used to be that I was very nervous to deviate from a recipe at all.  Omitting a half teaspoon of an ingredient?  I don’t know, it seems risky.  Haha!  Now after making a meal like this, I look back and see how far I have come.  I have always loved broccoli cheddar soup and was eager to try making it at home.  I happened to see a great photo of it on another blog, so I bought all the ingredients listed.  Only after I had started prepping dinner did I realize that everything about the methods of that recipe seemed off to me.  After reading through it multiple times, I decided to just throw out the recipe and come up with my own based on the ingredients I had around.

I am pleased to report it was a definite success, and apparently all this cooking and blogging I have done has taught me a thing or two.  This soup is just what I was hoping for – a nice thick, creamy soup with equal parts broccoli and cheddar flavor.  I added a dash of cayenne to the pot at the last minute, and Ben and I both really enjoyed the hint of spiciness it provided.  The only thing I’ll change next time will be to use shredded or matchstick carrots.  I just diced them up this time around because the food processor was dirty.  You can leave the soup chunky or puree it with an immersion blender for a smoother texture.  I went for a slightly pureed version, so it was mostly smooth but still had some chunks of vegetables.  A bowl of this soup with a honey yeast roll makes for a fabulous cold weather meal!


  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped or shredded
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. onion salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 01

    In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the carrots to the pan and cook a couple minutes more.  Stir in the broccoli, chicken broth, onion salt and garlic powder.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

  • 02

    In a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking constantly.  Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles, about 5 minutes.  Once the mixture has thickened, whisk in the cheese until completely melted.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese sauce to the soup pot.  Allow to simmer until warmed through and broccoli is tender.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  If desired, puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smooth texture.
  • Bravo for a delicious-looking original soup recipe! Broccoli and cheddar are great flavor companions, and I can’t seem to get enough soup this time of the year. Starred!

  • Kate

    I have been wanting to make broccoli-cheese soup for the last couple of chilly weeks, but hadn’t found a good recipe yet. Can’t wait to try this after my next grocery store trip!!!

  • This looks like such a great soup for a cold day! I made the honey yeast rolls a week ago and they are fantastic!!! I’m so excited to have a roll recipe that tastes like my aunt’s (she lives 5 hours away) :)

  • Oh this is my favorite soup of all time! I cant wait to try this out. Funny how your cooking evolves and you dont even realize!

  • I made a broccoli and cheese soup this week too!!!! Yours looks fantastic!

  • nutmegnanny

    This is a perfect Fall soup. I have never made broccoli cheddar soup at home but not really sure why not. Now I have a great recipe to try :)

  • Kat

    Hi Annie,
    What would you recommend replacing the chicken broth with to make this veggie-friendly?

  • Annie

    Veggie broth would be fine.
    :) Annie


    Unfortunately, here in TX, it is not cold yet. Although we had a cold snap last week that had me craving soup. But now, not so much. Darn that Mother Nature!

    As soon as it get a little cooler, I will definitely try this. I bought an immersion blender last year just so I could make creamy soups! For an interesting soup, take a look at Rachel Ray’s: Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup. Sounds odd, but tastes yummy to me. Thanks for your posts, I am keeping a list of things to try and the list just keeps getting longer!

  • hmmm this sounds so nice. i know what you mean about deviating from recipes! the only recipes i really stick to now are baking ones when you need to. i’m always adding more herbs than recipes state hehe

  • Oh my goodness! I just made broccoli cheddar soup not too long ago! It too was inspired from a picture I saw online.

    At first I was nervous that I had posted my recipe and it was the one you saw that had an odd method. Then I was excited that maybe you read my blog. Then I remembered that I hadn’t posted the recipe yet. Ah, the emotions of the day!

    I definitely deviate a lot now from recipes; I love just working with what I have. It always gives me a weird sense of accomplishment!

  • Broccoli cheddar soup is my favorite and your version looks great!

  • Annie

    Haha, Amy, I was wondering if people would think it was their blog! Don’t worry though, I don’t even remember which blog it was now but it wasn’t yours.
    :) Annie

  • I agree, I’m a lot better at cooking improv now. I still sometimes follow a recipe that I’m not confident in, and tend to regret it when I taste the results. I’ve been craving all kinds of soup lately as it turns cold, and this sounds great!

  • JSmith

    I’m a broccoli addict and made this last weekend. I wanted something other than a broccoli stir fry, broccoli rice casserole or steamed broccoli. When I made the soup, I just threw my broccoli florets in the food processor while my soup base was simmering. The broccoli pieces were so small I added them last. I served my soup topped with a dollop of sour cream and cooked bacon crumbles. I ate half the batch in one sitting.

  • Poul

    Wanted to point out that you remind me of Julie Powell (Amy Adams) in the movie Julia & Julie. Keep up the the wonder full cooking ^_^

    Hugs from Sweden

  • Mmm…I love cheese soups and yours looks great. Maybe I could trick my picky dtr into eating some broccoli this way!

  • I love a great broccoli cheddar soup and yours looks just like I like mine, pureed a bit, but still with some chunks of brocolli. I’m bookmarking your recipe now…will be making it soon.

  • Lauren

    I just made this, and it was SO GOOD!!! I also added cayenne pepper. What a great touch! Thanks, Annie :D

  • I have always wanted a broccoli cheese soup recipe for home (I don’t always have the motivation to go to Panera) and this was so much better!! I made this tonight and loved it! You can see my blog for a picture. I did blend it and use shredded carrots, too.

  • Debra

    Yummy! Can’t wait to try

  • Oh. My. Gosh! So yummy! Broccoli cheddar soup is my absolute favorite and I have never been able to make it cheesey and creamy enough to satisfy me. Panera’s version of this soup was my favorite–now this version, homemade fresh in my own kitchen is my new favorite!!! Even my 6 year old and 2 year old asked for seconds tonight! Thanks for a great recipe and a great blog!

  • Tracey

    Looks yummy, was searching for a recipe for this soup and found your site. This only made me want to try other recipes after I looked around here! To be self taught for cooking and photography you’ve done a wonderful job! Can’t wait to make the soup and other goodies !

  • Amber

    Hi Annie, I have made this soup a couple of times and it is yummy. The last time I made it though I ran into a problem. After I added the cheese sauce to the soup pot it curdled and got very spongy. Do you have any ideas as to why this happened? I’ve been trying to figure out what I did differently because it hadn’t happened before.

  • Annie

    I don’t know, I’ve made it lots of times and never had that happen!

  • Amanda

    Just made this tonight- it is so tasty! I’m a spice wimp so I didn’t dare try the cayenne addition, black pepper was a nice touch. I added skim milk to the roux and it never got thick- do you usually use non-skim? Either way, it came out delicious!

  • Annie

    I never use skim milk, usually whole and sometimes 1%.

  • I just made this soup last night and while it was delicious (thank you for the recipe!), I had the same problem as Amber – when I added the cheese mixture to the broth and veggies, it curdled and remained separate. It still tasted awesome but it definitely looked less appetizing than your wonderful photo. If anyone has any fixes to propose – I’d love to hear them! I was wondering if maybe my broth was at too high a heat when I added?

  • I’m making this tonight and am excited!!

    For those who have problems with curdling– it’s because the broth was hotter than the cream mixture. The act of heating up any dairy-based products before adding to hot liquids for soups or sauces is called tempering. If you’re unsure of how to “know” when the temperature is right, just look up some basic tips on tempering online and you should be good to go. :)

  • Kim

    Hi Annie – looks great. About how many people do you think this serves?

  • Annie

    Kim, I typically don’t list servings for things like this because people’s definitions of a serving varies so widely. I think the best way to figure it out yourself is to look at the amounts of ingredients and estimate in your head the servings from there.

  • I’ve just started my own blog, and when I read other people’s blogs I’m amazed at how often I see that they’ve deviated from the original recipe. I find it hard to do that, I guess because I’m just starting out and still lacking a little confidence in my cooking. It was so nice to read that you went through the same thing though, and very reassuring to read about how far you’ve come and that now you’re not only adapting recipes but making them up yourself. :) I hope one day I’ll be able to do that too. Thanks for keeping me inspired :)

  • Gail

    I made this last night and it was delicious! Now that my husband and I moved to Chicago I’ll be making yummy soups more often than I ever did before! For us, the recipe made 4 adult dinner portions.

  • sarah

    It’s pushing 100 degrees here in MN but I had the worst craving for this soup tonight. Whipped it up for dinner and it was Sooooo good. Thank you for sharing!!! :)

  • Monica

    This looks so good! Because of gestational diabetes, I am trying to eliminate dairy bc of the carbs. Do you think half and half would work? Or light/heavy cream? Thanks for all your delicious recipes!

  • Annie

    I don’t think I understand your question. Milk is healthier than half-and-half or heavy cream, and both of those things are still dairy. Why would one of those be a better option?

  • Monica

    Milk has a lot of carbs which turn to sugar. Half and half doesn’t. Sorry I didn’t clarify. Being on this diabetic diet is definitely an adjustment. I typically agree that milk is healthier but not for me having to watching carbs.

  • Annie

    I think half-and-half would be okay but I guess I might use a bit less and make up for the remainder of the volume with additional broth. Enjoy!

  • I searched your blog today for a good broccoli-based recipe because I had a head of broccoli needing to be used. Thank goodness I decided on this soup. It was fantastic! = I bought yeast rolls to save time on making your honey yeast rolls. Unfortunately for me, I have made your version of the rolls previously and loved them so I knew exactly why I’d rather cook/bake myself then buy from the story. Annie, you’ve done it again! Thank you for the amazing creation.

  • Annie

    So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Christy

    Yum! Thanks for another great recipe. Added 1/4 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg for added dimension.

  • Daisy

    wow I just now made this, it taste great !!
    I used 2% milk, frozen broc.
    will make again.

  • Jenni A Shoe

    just whipped this up tonight–it’s currently a “balmy” 27 degrees! Here’s hoping for a snow day tomorrow…and now I have something delicious to keep me warm!!! Thanks Annie!

  • Brooke

    I made this for a soup swap that I am going to this weekend. It tastes perfect! Thank you for this recipe. My husband tried it and is sad that I won’t be coming home with it. I will definitely make this again.

  • Kat

    Despite the steaming weather outside here in Houston, my family requested broccoli cheese soup tonight. Of course, I came straight to your site, and you didn’t disappoint! A huge hit, even with my meat-eater husband!

  • Ki

    made this soup last night, it all got gobbled right up! i used 2% milk, fresh broccoli from my garden, home made chicken stock and some VT cheddar. YUMM

  • Aldin

    Could white cheddar work? I don’t like the yellow kind :)

  • annieseats


  • Denise

    Even though it’s technically still Summer, I’m ready for Fall and comfort food. I made this last night and it was perfect! I served it alongsde chicken and red pepper pesto paninis and it turned out delish. I didn’t puree the soup at the end because I prefer big broccoli chunks, but otherwise followed every step. Thanks Annie, great recipe!

  • This was a big hit with our family! It was a very filling soup! Thanks for another great one!

  • Lindy

    It’s so cold here today and so I made this for lunch. Yum! Warmed us all up and we each had seconds :) best broccoli soup I’ve ever made.

  • Has anyone tried this soup and substituted cauliflower for the broccoli?

  • I made this the other day and took it to work for a great Lenten Friday meal. I have never made Broccoli soup before and this was easy…and, everyone loved it! In my opinion, it reheated quite nicely in the microwave. Thanks for the super recipe, Annie!