This recipe was promoted on CDKitchen as a Panera Bread knock off. I've only eaten Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup once (we don't have one locally, so I usually only eat there when I'm traveling for work, which isn't all that often anymore). I remember it being good, but don't remember it well enough to judge how close this recipe comes. We like it, though. It's a fairly quick meal and great on a winter evening. This recipe makes four servings, so I double it and then a little.
Broccoli Cheese Soup 1 Tablespoon butter, melted 1/2 medium onion, chopped 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/4 cup flour 2 cups half-and-half 2 cups chicken stock or broth 1/2 pound fresh broccoli 1 cup carrots, julienned salt and pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
Saute onion in 1 Tablespoon of butter. Set aside. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter and flour using a whisk; stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until well mixed. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux, or thickening base for the soup). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thick by now. Pour in batches into the blender and puree. We like to leave some of the broccoli and carrots a little bit chunky. Return pureed mixture to the pot ovre low heat and add the cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.