Here is a cozy, creamy dinner full of veggies and which uses canned milk! My broccoli cheddar soup is satisfying, thick, cheesy, and flexible enough to use different cheeses, other milks, or frozen broccoli over the fresh.
Here I am back today with a new pantry/freezer style, flexible dinner recipe.
While I’m still going to be sharing some of the more aspirational seasonal all the fresh food type recipes (like my chicken souvlaki bowls of my last post), I do think we are in for a long haul of needing to be able to use what we have in the house and make a tasty dinner from the pantry, last week’s shopping, and the freezer.
What ingredients do you need?
- Broccoli – Fresh broccoli with the stem is the best since the stems are perfect for pureeing into the stock. However, crowns or frozen florets both work great!
- Other Veggies – Shredded carrot added at the end is great touch and you definitely want some sort of onion/garlic to saute at the beginning.
- Evaporated Milk – One can will do you. Or you can switch to canned coconut milk or to heavy cream.
- Cheese – A mix of cheddar and parmesan has the most flavor, but you can use any sort of firm melting cheeses you have in the house.
- Stock – I like a low sodium vegetable stock here.
- Miscellaneous – Spices, flour (or other thickener), salt, and pepper.
How do you make the recipe?
To make broccoli cheddar soup, first saute your vegetables, then add stock and broccoli stems. When tender, puree until smooth. Add chopped florets and shredded carrots followed by evaporated milk and shredded cheese. Serve once cheese is melted and everything is cooked through.
It’s pretty simple!
- Saute the onion, garlic, and carrots in butter.
- Add flour (rice flour if GF!) and cook one minute.
- Add stock and broccoli stems. Simmer.
- Add florets and carrots along with evaporated milk.
- Stir in cheese and melt.
Why did my soup separate?
Once you’ve added the dairy, keep the temperature low! Simmering is fine. A full boil is not. And then when you are adding the cheese, take the soup off the heat while you stir, only putting it back on the heat if the cheese isn’t melting quickly.
Tip: Don’t add any lemon juice or other acidic ingredients to the recipe while you are cooking. Those will also cause curdling!
How do I keep the cheese from clumping?
Cheese is like Goldilocks. Not too hot. Not too cold. You want the soup just off a simmer while you add the cheese. For added insurance, stir a spoonful of flour into the cheese before you mix it in. The starch acts as a protective layer.
If you try my recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Soup, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Stay Safe, Annemarie
Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, or rice flour
- 4 cups vegetable stock, or chicken stock
- 1 lb broccoli, stalks and florets chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
- 1 medium shredded carrot
- 6-8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion, diced carrot, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Saute until the onion and carrot are soft, about 6-7 minutes. (Don't let them brown too much.)
- Whisk flour into the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.
- Pour in stock and whisk to combine. Add half of the broccoli. Bring everything to a boil while whisking then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Puree until smooth using either a blender (for a very smooth soup) or an immersion blender (for a more chunky soup).
- Add the evaporated milk along with the remaining broccoli and shredded carrot. Bring back to a simmer. (Don't let it come to a full boil! Just a gentle bubbles here.)
- Let it simmer for a minute, then take it off the heat to add the cheese.
- While stirring, add the shredded cheeses by the handful and mix until the cheese is smooth and melted.
- Mix in the spices. Then taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Broccoli: This is a great recipe for broccoli with the stalks attached. Use the stalks and some of the florets to be pureed into the body of the soup and the rest of the florets left whole.
- Frozen Broccoli: You can use frozen here. You won't have stalks to use, so just divide the broccoli and use half to start and half at the end.
- Milk: Standard heavy cream or canned coconut milk can be added in place of the evaporated milk.
- Carrots: You need TWO carrots! One chopped at the beginning and one shredded towards the end.
- Shredded Cheddar: If you are worried about clumping add a small spoonful of flour to the cheese before mixing it into the soup.
- Serving: Extra shredded cheese, croutons, and fresh herbs are all great garnishes.