While this Cheddar Broccoli Soup is really simple to make, it’s important to note a few key steps to ensure success. First, don’t skip browning the onions. It adds a depth of flavor that you won’t want to miss. Also, we prefer to cook the broccoli until it’s very tender, then puree part of the soup, and mix it back into the larger soup pot. This way there are small pieces of broccoli and onion to provide texture, yet it’s a thick and hearty soup. Last, be sure to remove the pot from heat before adding the cheese. If the soup is too hot, the proteins in the cheese will separate from the fat, creating a stringy, gloopy mess that no one is going to want to eat. Just to be safe, you may want to turn off the heat, set a 5-minute timer, and then add the cheese. It also help to have the cheese at room temperature before adding it to the soup.
Notice, too, that this soup is included as a side dish since it doesn’t contain enough protein to make a complete meal.
2 tablespoons butter
½ medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups chicken bone broth
1 ½ cup heavy cream
3 cups chopped fresh broccoli (small stems and florets)
2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Sauté the onions and garlic in butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. When the onions just turn brown, stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, paprika, and cayenne. Pour in the broth and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened. Add the broccoli and let simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
When broccoli is tender, remove two cups of soup and put into a blender to puree. Return the puree to the saucepan. Remove from heat and sir in the cheese, just a bit at a time and stirring continuously to melt the cheese. Serve your Cheddar Broccoli Soup immediately.