Rich & Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

I was never a big fan of broccoli cheese soup before stumbling upon this rich, creamy, and easy Emeril Lagasse recipe.  I love broccoli.  I love cheese.  And I love soups.  But none of the versions I tried over the years held much appeal for me.  Most were just too runny and bland.  Emeril — no surprise here — starts his decadent soup from a rich onion and garlic infused roux, finishes it with heavy cream and loads of cheddar, and tops it off with toasty croutons.

I first gave this recipe a whirl last Christmas, as a first course dish for the big day-after-Christmas dinner my then-boyfriend (now-husband) and I cooked for his parents and kids.  Everyone went nuts over it, even the kids.  There were no leftovers.

But somehow I forgot about this fabulous soup.  Until a couple weeks ago.

When the kids heard my husband and I discussing the holiday menu we had planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving — our second Thanksgiving dinner, this one with my husbands’ parents — our 11-year-old son Hunter’s face lit up as he asked us if Granddad and Grandma Linda were visiting us for dinner.  When we replied with a “yes”, Hunter exclaimed, “That means we get to have that soup again!”  My husband I just kind of looked at each other, not sure exactly what “THAT soup” was.  And then it hit me.  The last time the kids’ grandparents came down for a big festive holiday family dinner — last Christmas — I had made this soup.  And I hadn’t made it since then.  So, naturally, Hunter associated homemade broccoli cheddar soup with his grandparents visiting.

We immediately added it to the Thanksgiving menu, and once again, the soup was a big hit.  Once again, no leftovers.

When one of my girlfriends and I decided to spend a day off the next week scrapbooking and having lunch, I made the soup again, and she too was crazy about it.

So, this recipe is definitely a keeper.  And I need to make it more often!

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Saute onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in butter until soft.

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Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant.

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Add flour to start the roux.

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Cook roux mixture until blended and fragrant.

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Add chicken stock slowly and whisk to a boil.

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When thickened, add the broccoli and cook until tender.

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Puree with a hand-held immersion blender.

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Your soup should look like this after pureed.

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Add the cream and simmer.

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Note the white and green marble effect after cream simmers.

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Add the cheese and cook on low heat until melted.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

The finished soup should be creamy and cheesy.

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Pairs great with ham and cheese sliders!

Rich & Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dish, First Course, Main Course
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar
  • Croutons, for garnish (we use store-bought ones)
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)
  3. Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
  4. Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.
  5. Top with seasoned croutons.

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