Thursday, February 28, 2013

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup for Lunch

I fell in love with Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup when I was pregnant with my now 6 year old daughter. There was a Panera Bread across the parking lot from my work. I would get the Broccoli Cheddar Soup almost every other day. My mom had come across a copycat recipe and we together tried it out. The first time we over pureed it so be careful. I used a hand mixer right in the pot and just chopped up the large chunks of broccoli. I also bought the carrots already julienned and the sharp cheddar in the bag shredded. Also, the first time we had made it we used white cheese but the orange cheddar is needed. You can taste the difference! Here is the recipe.....

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.
I hope this comes out as good as the second attempt. It taste spot on with the orange cheddar.

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