This is so similar to the Panera soup that we used to get in the bread bowl. But this version is even better, TRUST ME. It is beyond creamy and comforting. The chicken is the main player though, in my opinion, it steals the show. It’s not the broccoli or the cheese. Or maybe it’s just a culmination of all these ingredients coming together to give us one heck of a hearty and delicious bowl of soup.
So I started off making this as a ONE pot dinner, however, realized it will probably change the coloring and thus the appearance of the soup if I grilled the chicken in the pot first, removed it, and then proceeded with the soup recipe in the same pot. So I decided to cook the chicken in a separate mechanism first. And then the soup in a secondary pot to maintain that creamy off white – yellow color. I do believe, however, that if you aren’t concerned with aesthetic, you could easily make this one pot, in order to avoid messy clean ups.
These simple soup ingredients are probably sitting in your kitchen as you read this paragraph.
- Chicken breasts and your seasonings of choice. Mine are always some onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Cook in a little bit of olive oil until the internal temperature of the thickest piece reads 165 F. You’re gonna transfer them to a cutting board, always let the cooked meat rest at least 5 minutes, and then slice into bite sized pieces.
- Onion sautéed in butter. Then the flour and butter to create a rue; this is what gives the soup its velvety smoothness.
- Chicken broth and heavy cream: introduced to the soup slowly and a little at a time, whilst whisking continuously, in order to maintain the creaminess.
- Rough chop your Broccoli and chop the Carrots into small pieces.
- The seasonings are so important, especially the cayenne if you want that heat.
- The cheddar cheese better be SHARP.
Once your soup is complete (it literally cooks in 20 minutes) you can now blend it with an emersion hand held blender or wait for it to cool a bit and pour it into your blender. I like to leave some chunks and not completely puree it, but that’s up to you. I also like to save a few broccoli florets and mini carrot pieces to garnish the bowls with. Once its pureed you can now SLOWLY add the cheddar cheese, half a cup at a time, to melt. Once that’s done, toss in the chicken pieces and enjoy one of the best soups you will every make. Serve with some crusty bread.
Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 4 chicken breasts
- salt, garlic powder + onion powder
- 1 tbs olive oil
Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
- 5 tbs salted butter (divided)
- 1 white onion, fine chop
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups broccoli florets, rough chop
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Pat your chicken breasts dry. Season both sides GENEROUSLY with salt, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Heat your oil in a large skillet on medium high. Cook your chicken on medium low heat for 5 minutes per side (or until internal temperature reaches 165° F. Transfer to a cutting board and let them rest for 5-10 minutes and then cube.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
- Melt 1 tbs butter in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
- Add remaining 4 tbs butter to the pot and once its melted, sprinkle in the flour. Whisk continuously until completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the broth, 1 cup at a time, to the pot, whisking the whole time, until smooth. Repeat this step with all the remaining broth and heavy cream; a little at a time until smooth. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, eliminating any flour clumps.
- Next, stir in the broccoli, carrots and all of the seasonings. Simmer the soup for 10-12 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are fork tender.
- Blend soup using an immersion blender or by transferring the soup to your blender or food processor. Puree to your desired consistency.
- Lastly, stir in your cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup at a time, making sure the cheese melts before adding more. Taste soup and adjust seasonings if necessary.