Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

Oh, man this stuff is soooo good. I got yelled for not making more! It's a little bit of prep work chopping the veggies and shredding the cheeses, but if you can do it ahead of time, that will help. This recipe was enough for us to have one big bowl each, so if you want more, or leftovers for lunch the next day, double it. I promise it will not go uneaten! Serve it in a bread bowl or with some crusty bread...Amazing!!

Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • one bunch of fresh broccoli (a few cups)
  • 2 cups (480 mL) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) of sharp cheddar cheese, plus plenty extra for topping
  • 1 heaping cup (125 g) of regular Gouda cheese
  • 1 cup (50 g) of shredded carrots
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (240 mL) half and half or heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons (24 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, will vary based on salt content of your stock/broth
  • a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Prepare the veggies (broccoli, carrots, onion and garlic)....chopping, shredding, and mincing.

In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Add veggies and the bay leaf. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.

In a larger saucepan, melt the butter. Slowly add the flour and cook for a minute or two, whisking constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly stir in the stock from the other saucepan. If a few vegetables sneak in, it's no biggie. After stirring to incorporate, go ahead and add the veggies and half-n-half (or heavy cream).

Return the saucepan to low heat. Discard the bay leaf and season with all the spices of above (I added an extra pinch of nutmeg). Taste and tweak spices as needed. Add cheeses and stir until they are melted and the soup is smooth. Remove from heat.

Top with additional cheese if desired.

From peasandcrayons.com

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