Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup… minus a lot of the fat

I just looked at the date on my last post here, and it’s been almost an entire year since I posted a recipe.  I’ve been working, traveling, working, teaching, working… oh, and I bought a house.  I’ve actually been cooking quite a bit and have a bunch of new recipes I’d like to document here so that they’re findable.  And, because I think you’ll enjoy some of these too!

In the course of my traveling for work I’ve eaten out a lot more than normal.  I was at Panera on one of the trips and, while it sounded really good, had to deny myself Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup because I know it’s terrible for you.  I got home and went in search of a broccoli cheese soup recipe.  Lo and behold, I found a recipe claiming to be Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup.  The problem?  It called for half and half, 1 1/2 sticks of butter, and a lot of cheese.

We swapped the half and half for skim milk, used 3/4 c. butter and 3/4 c. olive oil, and went with low-fat cheese.  And guess what?!  It’s AWESOME.  Enjoy!


  • 1 T. olive oilbroccoli cheese soup
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 6 c. skim milk
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 4 broccoli crowns, chopped
  • 3 c. shredded carrots
  • 12-18 oz. low-fat shredded cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook onions in olive oil until translucent.  Set aside.

Combine flour, olive oil, and butter and whisk for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add milk and chicken stock.  Bring to simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Add onions, broccoli, and carrots.  Cook over low flame for 30-45 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

Remove from heat.  Add cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


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