Broccoli Cheese Soup
Deliciously creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup packed with veggies and wonderful cheesy flavor! This comforting soup recipe is easy to make and tastes so much better than the restaurant version. Finish it off with a dollop of sour cream and crispy bacon crumbles for a meal the whole family will love!
Blended the soup after cooking veggies in broth and before adding cheese and cream. My kids loved this soup.— Roz
On a chilly, gloomy day, there is nothing that can warm me up like a piping hot bowl of soup. I’ve been obsessed with this taco soup for years and last year, I couldn’t seem to get enough of this chicken tortilla soup. This year, though, it’s all about broccoli and cheese soup! When you have the rich creaminess mixed with tender chunks of vegetables and plenty of cheesy goodness, all cooked into a comforting bowl of soup… it’s simply irresistible.
I’ve been working on perfecting this recipe for a few weeks now, and I know you’ll agree, I have it juuuuust right. It is better than any broccoli cheese soup you can buy at the store or order at a restaurant (yes, even better than Panera’s broccoli cheese soup!). Believe me, homemade is the way to go.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Creamy and delicious. Made with heavy cream and plenty of cheese, this is so comforting and tasty. It’s going to be hard to not go back for seconds!
- Easy to make. It is very easy to make this broccoli soup recipe. You’ll just need about 10 minutes of prepping and then, it’s ready in 30 minutes.
- Family-friendly. This is the BEST broccoli cheese soup recipe out there! And it’s a great way to get your kids to eat broccoli. This recipe will please even the pickiest of eaters!
Nothing fancy or complicated in this soup! It’s made with simple, everyday ingredients, but when they come together in one pot, magic happens! Here is what you need:
- Veggies & produce. For the veggie base to this comforting soup, you’ll need onion, garlic, broccoli, and carrots, which are optional.
- Butter & oil. To cook down all of the veggies.
- Flour. Use a bit of flour to perfectly thicken the soup.
- Salt & pepper. To bring out all of the delicious flavors!
- Broth. Feel free to use vegetable broth or chicken broth (if not vegetarian) for the soup base.
- Cheddar cheese. Use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese for the BEST flavor. Plain cheddar cheese could leave the soup tasting flat.
- Heavy cream. For the ultimate thick and creamy soup, make sure to use heavy whipping cream, not a milk substitute or lower-fat milk. You can sub with half & half or whole milk, which will be slightly less creamy than heavy cream.
Quick tip: Wondering how to thicken broccoli cheese soup? My soup gets plenty thick from the addition of flour, but if your soup is not thickening up, whisk about 3 tablespoons cornstarch into about 3 tablespoons (or just enough to get the cornstarch to mix) cold water or broth until the cornstarch is dissolved, and stir that into the soup.
How to make this recipe
Making a rich, creamy broccoli cheese soup from scratch is easier than you might think! Here’s a quick rundown of how to make broccoli cheese soup, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Quick tip: If you plan to top your soup with crispy bacon, avoid dirtying another pot, dice up and then cook the bacon in the pot before beginning the soup.
- Sauté onion and garlic. Heat a large pot to a medium-high heat with the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until softened. Then, add garlic and cook just until fragrant.
- Add the butter, broccoli and carrot. Stir the veggies while cooking over a medium heat for a few minutes to give them a chance to soften.
- Add flour. Reduce heat and stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Stir in quickly. The flour won’t absorb completely, but get it as mixed into the veggies as you can.
- Stir in the broth. Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes; stirring occasionally. Soup should thicken slightly. If you’d like the soup super smooth, use an immersion blender to blend the veggies.
- Add the grated cheese and the heavy cream. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve immediately with all of your favorite toppings – but next day leftovers are even better!
Tips for recipe success
This creamy broccoli cheese soup recipe really is so simple, but here are some tips to make sure your soup is absolutely perfect every time you make it!
- Finley dice the onion – no one wants crunchy onion in this soup.
- For best results, chop broccoli as finely as possibly – little bits of sprouts are fine. It’s much more enjoyable to eat this soup with tiny pieces of broccoli instead of large florets. I would discard broccoli stems and only use fresh broccoli for this recipe.
- I recommend freshly grated cheese because it will taste and melt much better. Pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating that results in a greasier/clumpier soup that can turn grainy. I use my food processor for this, which makes it super quick and easy.
- You can use shredded, diced or matchstick carrots. I like grating mine in the food processor.
- Feel free to add additional vegetables. Celery, zucchini, or corn are all great choices, if you want to amp up the vegetables.
Frequently asked questions
I prefer using heavy whipping cream for the ultimate creamy texture, but there are other options that will work. My other suggestions are half & half, whole or 2% milk. If you must use almond milk or skim milk, I would recommend making a roux with cornstarch to thicken the soup.
The calories and nutrition in a serving of broccoli and cheese soup could vary greatly and will depend on the specific ingredients used. For this recipe, there are just over 460 calories per large serving. Due to the heavy cream and amount of cheese used, this soup is not a low calorie meal.
Broccoli is considered a superfood because it is a great source of antioxidants and may enhance your health by reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar control, boosting immunity, and promoting heart health. It’s packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.
Trying to decide what goes good with broccoli cheese soup? I personally think the soup itself, topped with some crispy bacon crumbles and maybe a little sour cream is plenty satisfying, but if you want a little something extra, I won’t judge. 🙂 Here are some tasty ideas:
- Salad. Keep things on the lighter side and pair this flavorful soup with a fresh green salad.
- Grilled cheese. In my opinion, you can never have too much cheese! We love dipping grilled cheese sandwiches into this soup. So good!
- Bread. Crusty bread, biscuits or cornbread – always a welcome pairing with soup! It would be great served in a bread bowl too!
- Crackers. I love the added crunch of buttery crackers, oyster crackers or saltine crackers crushed up in any soup recipe.
Make ahead & storage recommendations
- Make ahead. You can save time by cooking the bacon (if using), chopping the veggies and grating the cheese up to 1 day in advance. Store cooked bacon, veggies and grated cheese in the fridge until you’re ready to make the soup.
- Leftovers. Store leftover broccoli cheese soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
- Reheat. Warm up leftover soup on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add additional broth as needed to thin the soup. You can also rewarm this soup in the microwave.
- Freeze. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this soup because of the dairy content.
More delicious soup recipes:
If you love this homemade broccoli cheese soup recipe, you’re sure to enjoy our other family favs!
- Copycat Panera Bread Chicken Noodle Soup
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Chicken Taco Soup
- Split Pea Soup
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 large onion, finely diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
- 2 medium to large carrots, grated or finely diced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 8 ounces 2 cups sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium to high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Then, add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds or just until fragrant.
- Add the butter, broccoli and carrots. Stir while cooking over medium heat for a few minutes to give the veggies a chance to soften.
- Reduce heat. Add the flour, salt and pepper. Stir in quickly. The flour won’t absorb completely, but mix it into the veggies as much as possible.
- Add the broth. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Soup should thicken slightly.
- Stir in the grated cheese and the heavy cream. Serve immediately – but next day leftovers are even better! We love ours served with crusty bread and topped with a dollop of soup cream and some crispy bacon crumbles for a loaded broccoli cheese soup. Enjoy!