So…it’s come to my attention that not everyone in the world lives near a Panera. Strange. I know. I guess I take for granted that I live in the suburbs of one of the biggest cities in America. Basically any store, restaurant, or service I want is less than a ten minute drive from my house. Not just that, but usually I have four different choices for whatever I want within those ten minutes from my home.
But, in talking with some of my friends who live in other parts of the country. The closest Panera to them is a two-hour drive. Their closest Starbucks is more than four hours.
Yeah…I’d die. DIE. (without a Starbucks, at least)
I’m a huge soup fan so Panera really fits the bill for me. I can eat soup every day. My husband on the other hand…not so much, so I have to sneak away for a bowl now and then. And the cream of the crop — as far as Panera goes — is their Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Since everyone can’t sneak out for some soup whenever they want like I can, I figured I’d do the next best thing: give you a dynamite recipe for the soup so you don’t have to miss out on anything. The best part? This recipe freezes like a champ so you can make huge batches of it and stow it away for a rainy day.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups cream
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli (I use frozen)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (The KEY to excellent broccoli cheddar soup!)
1) In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour to melted butter. Whisking like mad.
2) Slowly stir in cream and broth. Add in about 1/3 of a cup at a time and whisk until mixed. Then repeat until all the cream/broth is incorporated. Let the mixture cook over the medium heat only until it begins to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Whisk every couple of minutes.
3) After 20 minutes add onion, carrots, and broccoli. Continue cooking on low for 10-12 minutes.
4) Add salt, pepper, and cheese. Stir as cheese melts into soup. Remove from heat and add nutmeg. Stir so it’s well combined.
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