No need to go out to a restaurant when you’re in the mood for awesome Broccoli Cheese Soup because you’ve now got the best recipe right here. And the best part is it’s made by you, not in a corporate factory setting and it’s made from fresh ingredients with no preservatives or additives.
This is my own version of my mother’s Broccoli Cheese soup recipe that I’ve pared down to make 4 or 5 servings. The original yielded much more and with just the two of us now, we sure don’t need an entire Dutch oven full of soup. Feel free to double the recipe to yield 8-10 servings.
I have lots of these recipe cards in my precious mother’s handwriting. She moved to Heaven several years ago and I miss her every day. Since I was 22, I lived at least 40 miles from her (if not on another continent) and she sent me dozens of recipe cards over the years. Of course, I noted my changes on the card as I made improvements that suited my taste.
Let’s make broccoli cheese soup!
I prefer fresh broccoli, but you could certainly use frozen chopped broccoli in this recipe.
Chop your broccoli into small florets. Be sure to use the stalks as well! The large main stalk is very tasty, just trim off the tough outer layer with your knife and chop the inner tender stem. You paid good money for those stalks, use them up. Place the chopped broccoli in your soup pot with some water. Steam until just tender, drain and remove.
The necessary low cooking temperature of this soup isn’t enough to properly cook the broccoli. A few minutes of steaming works wonders – and makes the broccoli bright green.
Make an Onion-y Roux
Cook onion in butter until the onion is translucent. Add flour and cook a minute or two until nice and pasty.
Pour in the chicken stock in stages, whisking well in between. Add milk and Worcestershire sauce, cook on medium-low heat until thickened.
Don’t Boil! Just cook gently
DO NOT BOIL. If you allow this soup to come to a boil, it will curdle and never go back to playing nice. Just be gentle and let a little bubble appear every now and then. Don’t permit a crust to form on the bottom of the pot.
Tossing the cheese with some flour aids your Broccoli Cheese Soup in two ways. It separates the shreds so they don’t clump together and it also provides some additional thickening.
I greatly prefer to shred my own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents and additives so it can remain clump-free in the supermarket. It’s okay in a pinch, but shredding your own will yield a better flavor. Stir in the cheese and allow to melt then gently stir in the broccoli and seasonings.
Cook on low heat and adjust your seasoning. A sprinkling of hot sauce gives it a terrific taste boost without making it spicy. My in-laws, who hated spicy food, loved this soup and never knew it was in there.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 2 6″ heads Broccoli (or 2 (10oz. pkgs chopped frozen broccoli, thawed)
- 1 cup chopped onion (1/4″ dice)
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz), tossed with a little flour
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (or 1/2 t black pepper and pinch cayenne)
- Hot sauce, to taste, optional
- Chop broccoli into very small florets. Chop stems in 1/4″ dice. Peel large stems and chop those, too.
- Place chopped broccoli (or thawed frozen broccoli) into a soup pot. Add a 1/2″ of water to the pot. Bring the water in the bottom to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and steam approximately 5 minutes, until broccoli is just tender. Pour into a colander and reserve the broccoli. Meanwhile, chop the onion and shred the cheese. Toss the cheese with a little bit of flour to coat it.
- In the same pot, on medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook 5-8 minutes until onion is soft and translucent. Sprinkle in flour and whisk well to make a roux (butter/flour paste.)
- Pour in about a third of the chicken broth while whisking. As the roux loosens up, pour in another third, whisk until smooth. Do the same with the last of the broth, whisking until smooth again. (No floury lumps, as smooth as can be with the chopped onions in it.) Whisk in the milk and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cook on medium/low heat until lightly thickened, 10-15 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. Do not allow a crust to form on the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in cheese until melted. Add broccoli back to the soup pot and gently stir. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce, if desired. Heat through on low 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to suit your tastes.
- This recipe easily doubles to serve more people.
- You must not skip the second step of cooking the broccoli. If you add it to the soup raw, it won’t cook properly and you run the risk of the soup curdling.
- When the soup is gently simmering, that’s a good time to make a salad or sandwich to serve with your meal.
- If you’d like smoother broccoli soup, puree it in a blender or use an immersion blender as desired.