Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly evening! This creamy vegetarian soup involves fresh broccoli and has great flavor. Makes 6 servings.

Love a comforting soup in the wintertime? You absolutely must make Instant Pot Gumbo, Spicy Tomato Soup and Vegan Potato Leek Soup!

White bowls on pottery plates hold broccoli soup, garnished with extra cheese, on top of gray striped towels and next to a purple Dutch oven

This post was originally published on December 4, 2013. It was updated and republished in January 2021.

I originally made this soup years ago as we were preparing for a winter storm here in Dallas.

As a native Memphian, I have a deep skepticism for weather reports because oftentimes, we’d be told there was an ice storm coming across Arkansas. People would run out to the store to get milk and bread. Because those are essentials for a snowstorm.

And inevitably, the predicted horrible ice storm would pass north or south of the city or simply disappear, leaving us with crushed hopes and an abundance of milk and bread.

I made this recipe just in case the weather got bad. And what do you know? It did, and this creamy broccoli soup was wonderfully comforting as we bundled up together indoors.

Why I love this recipe:

This creamy broccoli soup with cheddar is pretty traditional, in terms of soup, but it’s more heavy on the broccoli than the dairy. And I really like it that way.

This is not a knockoff of Panera’s classic soup because it’s more broccoli-centric. It’s also a bit thicker and looks a lot diffferent.

I, obviously, am OK with this, and my kids also adored this broccoli soup with cheese.

This recipe is also excellent as leftovers, and it freezes well, in case you make a giant batch for yourself (and your people.)

Other soup recipes we love: Mushroom Soup| Potato and Leek SoupChicken Tortellini Soup |  Fresh Cream of Tomato SoupInstant Pot French Onion SoupTurkey Taco Soup

Need dinner inspiration? Check out my Dinner Recipe Index for some ideas!

Ingredients for broccoli cheddar soup on a marble countertop in bowls

What you need to make this Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

In addition to these tools, you’ll need a few ingredients to make this creamy broccoli soup, too.

  • Extra virgin olive oil—or another lightly flavored oil, like avocado oil
  • Yellow onions—or white onions work, too
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme—but you can use dried thyme in a pinch!
  • All-purpose flour—I always have unbleached AP flour on hand, but you can use whatever is in your pantry
  • Vegetable stock
  • Broccoli—I used fresh for this recipe, but if you’ve got frozen, that works, as well.
  • Whole milk—to give us a nice creaminess at the end!
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese—I used white cheddar because that’s what we keep in the house, but you can certainly use the orange cheddar, too. The color of cheddar you use will change the color of the soup, so prepare yourself for that. 🙂
A collage of eight images showing how vegetables are sauted and spices are added before the vegetable stock

How do you to make cream of broccoli soup from scratch?

First and foremost, prep your vegetables and get your ingredients in order. Do all the chopping before you get started on the cooking, and have everything out so you don’t have to leave the stovetop.

Once all your veggies are ready, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, add the onions, and season ’em with salt and pepper. Cook them until soft, about 5-7 minutes. As they cook, be sure to stir constantly so they don’t begin to brown.

Next, add the garlic and the thyme. We’ll cook these until they’re fragrant. It doesn’t take much time so don’t walk away from the stovetop. This will take 1-2 minutes tops.

Measure in the flour and stir it into the onion/garlic mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes so that the flour can get a little color to it. (We do this because the flour will taste raw if we don’t cook it for a few minutes. It’ll also thicken up and blend better with the veggies if we let it cook for a few, too.)

Next, you’ll slowly pour in the vegetable stock. As you do this, stir constantly to avoid lumps. You can take some breaks while pouring to scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven to pull up any browned bits left behind from the onion.

Bring to the soup to boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

A collage of eight images showing how the Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is blended together and made creamy

Add the chopped broccoli and cover the pot. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, while opening the lid to stir occasionally.

When the broccoli is tender, remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with a hand-held immersion blender or a blender.

When it’s smooth, add the milk and cheese. Stir until incorporated and melted. This might take a few minutes, depending on how hot your mixture still is. We add these ingredients when the pot is off the heat so they don’t curdle.

Serve warm, and enjoy!

A metal ladle holds a scoop of Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you thicken cream of broccoli soup?

We use flour in this creamy broccoli soup to thicken it. I’m sure you could use the same amount of cornstarch to thicken it if you’re gluten free, though I have not tried this.

What goes with broccoli cheddar soup?

I love bread when paired with soup, and this creamy broccoli soup is no different. Here are a few recipes we’ve made in the past to pair with this bowl of soup:

Cheddar and Herb Beer Bread
Sourdough Ciabatta
Hatch Chile Mini Cornbread Muffins
Homemade French Bread
Quick Rosemary Drop Biscuits

Is there meat in broccoli cheddar soup?

No. A lot of Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipes involve chicken broth, though. This Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe is actually vegetarian because it uses vegetable broth instead.

Close up of a white bowl holding a serving of Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup garnished with additional cheese

Quick tips and tricks to making the best Creamy Broccoli Soup

  • Substitution alert! Fresh or frozen broccoli is gold here. You can use yellow or white onions. You can use dried thyme instead of fresh, though you’ll use about half the original amount. If you don’t have whole milk on hand, you can use another milk, but be prepared for the color to be different if the milk is lower fat. You can also use a yellow/orange cheddar instead of white cheddar. It can be mild, sharp or extra sharp, too.
  • Store this soup in a food-safe storage container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave. Be prepared to add a splash of veggie broth to it because it will thicken.
  • This soup freezes well, too! If you have extra (or make a double batch), simply freeze the soup in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave.
Close up of a white bowl holding a serving of Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup garnished with additional cheese
Yield: 6 servings

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly evening! This creamy broccoli soup involves fresh broccoli and has great flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped (2 cups, chopped)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 heads broccoli, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups extra sharp white cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. First and foremost, prep your vegetables and get your ingredients in order. Do all the chopping before you get started on the cooking, and have everything out so you don't have to leave the stovetop.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onions to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir constantly so the onions don't begin to brown.
  4. Add the garlic and thyme, then cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the flour, stirring until the mixture is well blended. Cook for 2-3 minutes so that the flour can get a little color to it, as well.
  6. Slowly pour in the vegetable stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven as you do this to pull up any browned bits left behind from the onion.
  7. Bring to the soup to boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped broccoli and cover the pot. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, while opening the lid to stir occasionally.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender or a blender, then return to the pot.
  10. Add the milk and cheese. Stir until incorporated and melted. This might take a few minutes, depending on how hot your mixture still is.
  11. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Notes

Adapted from Emeril's Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe in 2013. Adapted even more throughout the years.

Quick tips and tricks to making the best Creamy Broccoli Soup

  • Substitution alert! Fresh or frozen broccoli is gold here. You can use yellow or white onions. You can use dried thyme instead of fresh, though you'll use about half the original amount. If you don't have whole milk on hand, you can use another milk, but be prepared for the color to be different if the milk is lower fat. You can also use a yellow/orange cheddar instead of white cheddar. It can be mild, sharp or extra sharp, too.
  • Store this soup in a food-safe storage container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave. Be prepared to add a splash of veggie broth to it because it will thicken.
  • This soup freezes well, too! If you have extra (or make a double batch), simply freeze the soup in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 1045mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

Follow me on Instagram for more content, and share a photo of your creation with the hashtag #speckledpalate!

Similar Posts

16 Comments

  1. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I love broccoli cheese soup. I think I love it more than vegetable beef.

    1. Glad that this recipe came at a good time for you! And I agree — broccoli cheddar is WAY better to me than vegetable beef. Never thought I’d say that, but alas…

  2. Well that just looks DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing- pining this for the colder days for sure! I love a good Broccoli Cheddar soup 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jenn! I’m glad it looks delicious to you… and like you, I love a good cup of Broccoli Cheddar when the weather gets all chilly.

    1. Ha. I feel ya on the some winter comment… even though the ice storm I spoke about actually DID happen in Dallas… and shut down the city for a few days, including our internet, which took a snow day of its own all weekend. 😉 Ha. Here’s to hoping we see a bit more of winter this year without it being too cold or terrible or shutting down the city again…

    1. Like you, I love it, too, and it doesn’t matter what the temperature is. Whenever I crave a soup, it’s Broccoli Cheddar, for whatever reason.

  3. I’ve never had broccoli and cheddar soup. We grew up on brothy soups, which is mostly how Asian soups are. But I’ve developed an immense love for creamy soups that NOONE makes. My blender isn’t heat proof and I don’t own an immersion blender. Do you think it’d be really gross to pre-blend the brocolli before adding into the broth? I’m afraid it wouldn’t turn into an emulsion. Ack!

    1. Whoa, whoa, whoa. YOU’VE NEVER HAD BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP? While I love those brothy soups that you grew up on (assuming I’ve had some of the same ones as you), there’s nothing to me as comforting as one of these more cream-based soups… even if this one is more heavy on the broccoli and lighter on the cream and cheese.

      To answer your question, no, I don’t think it would be gross to pre-blend the broccoli before adding it to the broth. It might look weird for a while, but it should blend right in. OR you could add the broccoli (steamed and cooled?) in the blender with a bit of the broth to smooth it out, then add the rest to the soup? Maybe that would work? Hopefully?

  4. I love soup all year round, but there is nothing better than soup on a cold wet day. I’m definitely making this recipe some time this winter!

    1. I completely agree with you, Alli, and there have been some majorly miserable cold, wet days around these parts recently. I know it’s been the same for y’all up in NYC, and I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as I do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.