This soup is a fall and winter staple at our house. In fact, I posted about it in my first blog post ever. I am reluctant to do this but here is the link: Number One. Please refrain from laughing/judging. I had no idea what I was doing! Umm, I still don't.
Anyway, this soup is pretty stinking close to the real deal. I found it ions ago (aka probably 3 years ago) in the Food Network Magazine. I thought it was worth a try and we have been slurping it up ever since.
Add the onions to the melted butter. Let these cook for about three minutes or until they become translucent.
Then the seasonings. A few bay leaves, black pepper, salt (not pictured because it sunk) and nutmeg--the secret ingredient. Anyone else say that like the guy on Iron Chef? No? Okay, moving on...Let this simmer for about 20 minutes.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cups half and half (fat free is okay but the consistency is a little different--it still tastes good)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small florets
1 cup carrots, cut into bite sized discs
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese + additional for topping
Start by melting the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes to get the floury taste out. Pour in the half and half and chicken broth. Add the bay leaves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let this simmer on low, covered for about 20 minutes.
After twenty minutes, add the broccoli and carrots. Let this simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes or until they have reached your desired doneness.
After the veggies have cooked, remove half of them into a different bowl. Using an immersion blender or regular blender working in batches, blend the veggies until smooth. Return the whole veggies into the pot.
Add the cheese and heat through. If the soup is too thick, add additional chicken broth.
Sprinkle and serve with cheese on the top.
Recipe slightly adapted from: Food Network.com