The weather has started to turn colder, and it’s now the perfect time for soup. The first soup recipe I go to every year is my easy broccoli cheese soup recipe. Why? The answer is in the name—it’s super easy. It also happens to be delicious, low-carb, and budget-friendly.
There are tons of broccoli and cheese soup recipes to choose from. Many of them have a long list of ingredients or are time-consuming to make. There is a time and place for those recipes, but it’s usually not in my house and not on a weeknight.
My quick version of easy broccoli cheddar soup calls for just six ingredients and is ready in a half-hour. It’s an ideal soup if your family is eating gluten-free or low-carb, but it’s also ideal if you just like things that are fast and taste great. This soup is a winner all around.
How to Make Broccoli and Cheese Soup
This broccoli and cheddar soup recipe is one of our go-to meals on a weeknight in the fall and winter. The warmth and creaminess of a hearty bowl just makes everything better. My husband claims it’s even better than Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup, which used to be his favorite. I like to serve it with a green salad or no-knead English muffin bread for dipping. Confession: I also sometimes top it with crumbled bacon
Making this soup is straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to ingredients and preparation.
Use good cheese for broccoli cheese soup
There’s no processed Velveeta here. Instead, use sharp or extra sharp cheddar for the best flavor. You can grate your own cheese (probably the best choice) or use pre-shredded cheese in a pinch. Just make sure you’re not using low-fat because that won’t melt well or give you the proper consistency.
Fresh broccoli is best
Fresh broccoli gives the best texture in this recipe. You can use frozen broccoli, if that’s your only option, but it’s not ideal.
Blending is up to you
Blend as little of as much of the broccoli as you want. Blending more will give a creamier texture while less will leave more broccoli chunks. (I blend about half for this simple broccoli cheese soup.) You can use a regular blender or a hand-held immersion blender, which you can use right in the pot.
You can make it vegetarian
Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and omit the bacon, and you have a great vegetarian dinner option.
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 head broccoli, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, (1 8 oz. block)
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional
- In a large pot, bring chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Add broccoli and reduce heat to simmer about 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is just tender.
- Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, combine cream, shredded cheese, cream cheese, and butter over medium heat. Stir often until combined and melted, ensuring the mixture does not burn.
- When broccoli is tender, remove half (or as much as you wish) and blend or puree in blender.
- Return blended broccoli to the pot. Add the melted cheese and cream mixture. Stir well to combine.
- Top with crumbled bacon for serving, if you wish.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369 Total Fat: 35g Saturated Fat: 20g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 104mg Sodium: 701mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 2g Protein: 12g