This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!
This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a easy one-pot recipe ready in under 30 minutes and is better than any take out!!! Creamy comfort in a bowl, perfect for winter nights.
Broccoli cheddar soup is a thick and creamy soup made with all the goodness of broccoli and cheesy cheddar cheese. Love how well the flavors come together in a bowl. Flavorful and easy to make is one of my family’s favorite soup.
I believe that the quality of ingredients matters when it comes to food. I like to use fresh and least processed ingredients whenever possible, it just makes so much difference. The food tastes great and is healthy too. The two key ingredients, or I must say star of this recipe are broccoli and cheddar cheese. I am using fresh broccoli in this recipe. I love broccoli and like to use plenty in this soup. I am using broccoli florets, but you could totally use the combination of florets and stems as well, works just fine. Roughly chop the florets into bite-size pieces. If using stems, chop stems finely. Note: Stems require more time to cook than florets.
Good quality cheddar cheese is important. I am using extra sharp cheddar cheese. I have tried making this soup with the pre-shredded cheese verses the cheese I shredded at home, and I must say, there is a huge difference in the taste. The pre-shredded cheese does not blend well. Again, this is just a personal choice. I know when it comes to convenience we always want things that are ready to use. But please if you can take this extra step of grating your own cheese, trust me you will thank me for this 😊
How to flavor Broccoli Cheddar Soup?
There are few ways you could add more flavor to this soup. Some of the spices that go well with this soup are red chili powder or cayenne pepper, mustard powder, smoked paprika. I am not using any of these to flavor my soup. Yes, but one spice I absolutely love having in this soup is nutmeg. Nutmeg is great flavor enhancing spice, however, be advised it is also a overpowering spice. Just a pinch of nutmeg goes a long way. I like to use fresh nutmeg, over the powdered one. I use cheese grater, and grate the nutmeg straight into the pot, just a few grates is all you need to add flavor buster. Experiment with your food and you will be amazed how small things can actually add so much flavor.
How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup?
I like to make this soup in Instant Pot, but you can also make this yummy soup on a stove top. (Please checkout the recipe for stove top instructions) All in just one pot, from start to finish. I start with sauteing garlic and flour, in some butter. This is a very important step. Saute flour for couple of mins to get the raw smell out of the flour. After couple of mins, whisk in broth, making sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Rest is basically a dump and go recipe. I add broccoli, carrots, garlic powder. Set Instant Pot to Manual / Pressure cook mode (high) for 0 mins, vent sealed, followed by natural pressure release around 5-10 mins. Add cream and cheddar cheese, crushed black pepper, adjust the seasoning and you have piping hot, yummy broccoli cheddar soup ready to be served!!
How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup gluten-free?
The all-purpose flour helps give soup a nice thick gravy/sauce like consistency. However, there are other ways to thickening the soup and achieve desired consistency without using all-purpose flour, thus making the soup gluten-free. Here are some gluten-free substitutes:
- ArrowRoot flour, Sorghum flour, Chickpea flour, Corn flour (white or yellow) are all starch-based flours and can be used as a thickening agents. Thus, making it gluten-free.
- Other way you could make this a gluten-free is by using a potato. Yes, a potato gives this soup a nice thick texture without actually using any flour. Thus, keeping it gluten-free. Take a medium size potato, peel and chop, add it to the soup. The starch from the potato acts as thickening agent and also adds some creaminess to the soup. This is thus by far the easiest and the simplest way of making a gluten-free soup. Does adding a potato make this soup taste like potato soup and not broccoli cheddar soup??- Not at all. Since we are adding a very small quantity of potato, it does not overpower the soup at all. All it does is give a nice thick texture to the soup without any flour.
- Add 1-2 tbsp of rice (brown or white), the starch from the rice acts as a thickening agent, thus adding thickness and creaminess to the soup, keeping it gluten-free. Note: Short-grain rice is more starchy as compared to long-grain rice.
Tips and Tricks
- Fresh broccoli tastes best in this soup, but you can substitute with frozen broccoli too. If using frozen broccoli reduce the quantity of liquid(broth) in the recipe.
- Using sharp cheddar cheese adds so much flavor to this soup. I prefer extra sharp cheddar cheese for strong flavor, but you could use cheese of your choice. Gruyere also tastes great in this soup. Choose to grate your own cheese verses store bought pre-grated cheese, for best results.
- Add cheese once the soup is completely off the heat, the heat from the liquid is sufficient to melt the cheese. If cheese is boiled, it might start to separate, leaving a undesirable texture and looks.
- Use carrots to add an extra flavor to this soup, you can chop the carrots or shred it. I love veggies, and try to incorporate as much as I can into our daily diet. And what could be a better way to sneak in the veggies without your little ones even knowing about it.
- Some also like to add onions, celery in this soup.
- Use a low-sodium vegetable broth, instead of chicken stock. You could use either one, but since cheddar cheese has quite a bit of salt, I prefer low-sodium vegetable stock to balance the sodium level in the soup and also keeping it vegetarian.
- You can use heavy cream, half and half or just milk, works absolutely great.
- Garlic adds lots of flavors to this soup, I like combination of fresh garlic and garlic powder in this soup. Try not to skip on fresh garlic, it does give this soup a nice flavor.
How to serve Broccoli Cheddar Soup?
How to store Broccoli Cheddar Soup?
- The soup stays good for 3-4 days in refrigerator. Reheat well in a microwave or on a low heat on a stove top.
- If planning on freezing this soup, do not add any cream or cheese to it. Note: Dairy products (cream, cheese) do not tend to freeze well, at times it turns grainy or losses its texture. Once the soup is at room temperature, divide it into freezer safe containers and store into freezer for upto a month. Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator, once thawed completely, bring it to boil, turn off heat. Add cream and cheese, let the cheese blend in well. Serve hot!!
Here are some more recipes from blog. Enjoy!!
Cream of Mushroom Soup – cream, comforting, earthy flavors in a bowl of soup
How to Steam Broccoli / Instant Pot – easiest and a healthier way to make broccoli
Dal Makhani – creamy, flavorful, aromatic dal made with black gram lentils, kidney beans
Aloo Gobi – simple, easy, delicious Potato Cauliflower curry
Strawberry Jam – 3-ingredients, super easy, finger-licking homemade Strawberry Jam
Broccoli Cheddar Soup - Instant Pot, Stove Top
- 4 cups broccoli coarsely chopped (around 24 oz)
- 3/4 cup carrot medium shredded
- 8 oz block extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 cups broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 TBSP oil
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 TBSP garlic finely minced
- 1/4 cup flour (For gluten-free see the recipe notes)
- 1/2 TSP garlic powder
- 1/2 TSP freshly crushed black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt to taste
Instructions for Instant Pot Cooking:
- Turn on Instant Pot on saute mode (high). When it displays "HOT" add oil, butter. When butter melts, add garlic, saute for 30 secs. Add flour, saute for 2-3 mins.Note: For gluten-free, see the recipe notes.
- Whisk in broth, making sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Add broccoli, carrots, garlic powder, nutmeg. Mix well. Cover the Instant pot and lock the lid. Make sure valve is in "sealing". Note: Using a cheese grater, fine grate nutmeg couple of time.
- Set Instant Pot on Manual/Pressure Cook mode (high) for 0 mins. Let pressure release naturally, around 5 mins.
- After 5 mins, move the valve to "venting", carefully open the lid. Set Instant Pot to saute mode (high), let the soup come to a gentle boil. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Add cream, cheddar cheese, crushed black pepper, mix well. Let the cheese melt completely, around 5 mins. Adjust the seasoning - salt & pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowl and garnish with some extra cheese and serve!
- How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup gluten-free? - checkout the discusion earlier in the post.
- Tips and Tricks - checkout the discussion earlier in the post.
- Reheat the soup on a low heat. Dairy(cream, cheese) if heated on high heat, might start to separate, leaving with an undesirable texture.
- How to store and freeze the soup?-checkout the discussion earlier in the post.
- Instructions for Stove Top Cooking: Follow the same recipe, except instead of pressure cooking, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat cover and cook for 3-5 mins or until veggies are soft. Rest is same as Instant pot.