Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thanks, Panera!

Natalia LOVES the Broccoli Cheddar Soup at Panera Bread in the USA. LOVES. I hadn't realized just how much until our last trip to America... She will take it ANY day over grilled cheese, pizza or McDonald's. Since we don't have anything quite like Panera in Moscow, I decided to learn how to make my own. This recipe was a BIG hit. 

It's so good that even **I** like it! (Psst... Don't tell my kids that I actually don't share their love of broccoli...) It's not, however, lo-cal... I opted to make it creamy the first time I cooked it, guessing that the Panera version isn't exactly lo-cal, either... I figured that if Natalia loved it the first time I made it, I could always lighten up the recipe in future batches. 

Natalia told me to add that it tastes even better when served in a Hannah Montana bowl. Natch.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


1/2 cup butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

11 cups water

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock*

2 heads fresh broccoli, cut into florets

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup light cream**

3 to 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

*I used one tablespoon of "Better than Bouillion" chicken stock paste instead. I am SO thankful to have gotten that jar of BTB from the USA!

**You can also use milk, but the soup won't be as creamy. 


1. In a 5-quart pot, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in flour, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms. Slowly whisk in three cups of water, being sure to avoid lumps. Remove the roux from pot, and set aside.

2. In same pot, combine remaining water, chicken stock, broccoli, salt and pepper. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Slowly stir in the roux (flour mixture) until soup thickens. Simmer 5 minutes. Reduce heat, and stir in cream. Mix in cheese 1 cup at a time, and stir until melted.

Makes 10 servings. 


The Expatresse said...

Ooooh. Yum. And I have all the ingredients in my pantry. Including great farmhouse cheddar. (A whole wheel! Brought it and one of Stilton back from the UK in my suitcase)

Tina in CT said...

What are you using for cheddar as you have such a hard time finding it in Moscow? I was thinking that I'd make it but it sure is far from a low cal soup.

You should try cream of potato soup as I bet the girls would like that too. I used to make that when you were growing up.

Glad that you bought the HM bowl. A bit hit for sure.

Annie said...

I hope your BTB is a BIG jar; I go through that so quickly!

Colette D. said...

Oh yum! I just made it for dinner. It's really cold today and I thought soup would be nice. I halved the recipe and really enjoyed it.

MoscowMom said...

I'm so glad you tried it, Colette! I plan to do more with recipes; there are some I've been promising to post for a while...

And Mom & Expatresse: I can now usually find cheddar at Auchon, not expensive! It's NOTHING like UK cheddar, but it's certainly good enough for soup, tacos, grilled cheeses/quesadillas, etc. The clerk at the cheese counter thought I was crazy when I bought a huge 5 kilogram brick of it the other day (no one would cut it down for me). I shredded it and froze what I didn't need for later...

Tina in CT said...

Yeah! You found Cheddar. Wise to always buy a large block and shred and freeze it.