Totally stolen from Panera Bread by way of Food Network Magazine (see recipe below, or click link to go to Food Network's site). Their monthly column, 'Almost Famous,' had this soup as their Jan/Feb recipe. We absolutely loved it. Not sure if it tastes like the real thing, but it's pretty gosh darn good!
We made it without the bread bowl because there are already over a million calories in this soup! But we did have some Sourdough bread on the side from When Pigs Fly bakery.
As we head into the last winter months, nothing warms the soul like soup. Enjoy!
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.) Hey! I get to use the immersion blender again!
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese.