This broccoli cheddar soup is delicious, rich, creamy, and comforting! This family favorite uses everyday ingredients and is easy to make.
This recipe was originally published on December 12, 2018. I've tweaked the recipe and updated the post text and photos.
How to make broccoli cheddar soup (summary):
In a soup pot, melt the butter and then sauté the onion. Stir in the garlic, followed by the flour. Make a quick roux and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly whisk in the chicken (or vegetable) broth until all the flour clumps have dissolved. Add in the cream, broccoli, and carrots, and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the broccoli and carrots are tender and the broth has thickened up (about 15-20 minutes). Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in the cheddar (this prevents it from going grainy). Let it cook for a few more minutes, then season to taste and enjoy! (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
This broccoli cheese soup has a nice and creamy, coat-the-back-of-a-spoon body to it. It also thickens up even more the longer you leave it, so if at any point it becomes too thick for you (like when reheating leftovers), simply add a splash more broth (or water) to it.
Recipe notes & tips:
- The cheese you buy really impacts the flavor of this soup! Buy a good quality sharp/old cheddar. I suggest grating your own cheese vs. buying the bagged pre-grated kind. It can have some issues melting and just isn't as good. I use this cheese grater (it's so much faster than my old box grater!).
- I used those pre-cut matchstick carrots, but you could always thinly slice a small carrot up and that'll work just fine. Don't add too many carrots or else the soup will taste more like carrots than it probably should.
- Sub the cream at your own discretion. I've only tested the recipe as written.
- I cut the broccoli into fairly small bite-size florets. They cook faster and are easier to eat this way. I recommend buying about a pound of broccoli (especially if it has a large stem) because by the time you cut it into florets, you'll end up with the 3 cups (about 1/2 pound) of florets. Don't worry about being too exact here.
- Yes, you may use frozen broccoli.
- I add the Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper to prevent this soup from tasting bland. The soup won't end up spicy or tasting like mustard, but it will have a more robust flavor.
- You can use vegetable broth if you need this to be vegetarian, but I do find chicken broth (or stock) has more flavor.
- You can blend a portion of the soup to help mix up the texture a bit. I simply placed my stick blender in the pot and pulsed it a few times. This is totally optional; it's fine if you leave it chunky.
- Leftovers will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. This soup isn't ideal freezing (it can separate), but if you do try, be sure to re-warm it slowly over a low heat.
What to serve with broccoli cheddar soup?
Try crusty bread, garlic bread/knots, croutons, or a side salad.
More cozy soup recipes you may like:
I hope you'll give this classic cheddar broccoli soup recipe a try! Questions? Ask me in the comments below.
Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 cups chicken broth or use veg broth
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 3 cups broccoli florets cut small
- 1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese + extra for serving
- Pinch cayenne pepper optional but recommended
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often (important! This helps get rid of that uncooked flour flavor).
- Whisk the chicken broth in (pour it in slowly) until the flour has dissolved.
- Whisk in the Dijon mustard.
- Add in the cream, broccoli, and carrots. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat so it's bubbling but not furiously boiling (medium-low heat is what works with my cast iron pot and gas stove). Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar.
- Let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are tender and the soup has thickened up to your liking. I like to stir it a couple of times to ensure nothing is sticking and that the stove's temperature is still correct.
- Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in the cheese and cook for an additional few minutes.
- Add in the cayenne pepper and season with salt & pepper as needed. Optional: blend some of the soup (I just pulse my immersion blender a few times right in the pot). The soup will thicken up more as it cools. Add more broth if needed to thin it out.
- Serve immediately with a little extra cheddar on top of each bowl.
- Serves 4-6.
- I suggest grating your own cheddar cheese (buy a good quality sharp cheddar) vs. using the pre-grated bagged stuff or it won't melt as well or taste as good.
- If you don't have matchstick carrots, thinly slice one small carrot.
- If you're looking for the original version of this recipe that was published in 2018, I have a PDF of it here (the old version was very similar in flavor but I tweaked it to make it thicker).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.