I love Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup with the rest of them. Costco makes one that pretty much tastes exactly like it – cheesey, thick and delicious. This soup isn’t as thick, but it is huge on flavor and even my husband who hates this kind of soup LIKED it. So it is getting posted! Plus, the one in the restaurants are full of salt, so making this soup at home really reduces the sodium intake.
*To wash leeks, cut them in half the long way. Then, slice them thin and put all the slices in a large bowl of water. This gets all the dirt out.
Calories: 260, fat: 11 grams, saturated fat: 6
Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Light)
1 Tb. unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1″ pieces (I just used frozen broccoli!)
1 lb. leeks, white and light green part only, sliced thin and washed*
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 Tb. dijon mustard (I hate mustard and omitted)
salt and pepper
1. Heat a large pot on medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the broccoli and leeks. Cook that about 10 minutes or until they are soft. This will take longer if you use frozen. I didn’t have much problem with it.
2. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
3. Add broth and water. Simmer. Cover with a lid and continue to keep simmering to cook the broccoli more – about 8 minutes.
4. Pureeing the soup in the blender took about 3 batches. I added a little evaporated milk, cheddar and mustard to each batch until I was out of those ingredients. Personally, I like some chunks of broccoli like in Panera’s version, so I pureed about 80% of my soup.
5. Add the soup back to the pot and heat it up if necessary and add salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Recipe adapted (just a little) from America’s Test Kitchen Comfort Food Makeovers