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Cheesy Broccoli Soup in a Bread Bowl

This creamy, cheesy broccoli soup tastes just like the one served at Panera Bread! My family requests it all the time. You can even make your own homemade bread bowls with the recipe on my blog, Yammie's Noshery. —Rachel Preus, Marshall, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water or additional chicken stock
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 small round bread loaves (about 8 ounces each), optional
  • Optional toppings: Crumbled cooked bacon, additional shredded cheddar cheese, ground nutmeg and pepper

Directions

  • In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat butter over medium heat; saute onion and garlic until tender, 6-8 minutes. Stir in broccoli, carrot, stock, cream and seasonings; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 10-12 minutes.
  • Mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cheese until melted.
  • If using bread bowls, cut a slice off the top of each bread loaf; hollow out bottoms, leaving 1/4-in.-thick shells (save removed bread for another use). Fill with soup just before serving.
  • If desired, serve soup with toppings.

Test Kitchen tips
  • These make for a hearty meal on their own but are also delicious as appetizers. Smaller, sturdy breads such as hard rolls are a good choice.
  • Be a smooth operator. Avoid gritty cheese sauces by allowing soup to cool slightly before you add cheese. Stir in a little at a time until it melts in.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup (calculated without bread bowl): 422 calories, 32g fat (19g saturated fat), 107mg cholesterol, 904mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 17g protein.

    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • justducky76
      May 12, 2020

      My family loved it! Even my mother-in-law requested another container. I followed the recipe exactly and we all agreed it was very similar to Panera Bread however we did not use bread bowls (hubby was sad about that part). I will need to double or triple this recipe the next time I make it. Definitely a keeper.

    • mamoonis
      May 6, 2020

      Awesome! Used extra sharp cheddar. Best broccoli cheddar soup I've ever made. Will definitely make over and over. Next time double batch. :)

    • L
      May 5, 2020

      Needed a bit more flavor/spice- but overall it is a good basic recipe that you can modify to your liking. ??

    • topper4
      Apr 21, 2020

      This recipe is very good. So glad that I decided to try it. My husband has a new found fondness for broccoli

    • Suzanne
      Apr 20, 2020

      This is so good and comforting. To make into dinner, I add shredded cooked chicken and, because I live in the Southwest, chopped green chili - not that canned stuff. I use frozen Hatch chili or fresh when it's available. Also kinda heavy on the cayenne.

    • Joseph
      Apr 17, 2020

      WHERE IS THE RECIPE FOR THE PROMISED....BREAD BOWLS.....???? This creamy, cheesy broccoli soup tastes just like the one served at Panera Bread! My family requests it all the time. You can even make your own homemade bread bowls with the recipe on my blog, Yammie's Noshery. —Rachel Preus, Marshall, Michigan

    • Ken
      Apr 17, 2020

      Awesome ????

    • ms11145
      Apr 17, 2020

      This is basically the recipe that I have been using for years, except for the bay leaf. I tried it the last time and ended up liking lthe added taste of it. Family loves this recipe.

    • Sunshinebakerpa
      Jan 19, 2020

      It’s very good, but only if you use sharp cheddar. It’s best to cut the onion and broccoli on the smaller side. To make it a bit less rich I use half milk and 15% cooking cream.

    • Patrina
      Jan 14, 2020

      We tried this recipe and love it. We added a few other spices and it was excellent!