My daughter LOVES Panera. She absolutely loves their broccoli cheddar soup. I had to make this soup. The only thing I would change next time is to omit the cayenne. I liked it but it was a little too hot for her.
While your making this soup listen to this blues song by Martin Harley. He was featured on the Blue Plate Special, WDVX, in Knoxville, TN. I loved it.
Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Use a good cheddar for maximum flavor.
⅓ cup butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
3 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ cup white wine
8 cups chopped broccoli
4 medium carrots, grated
3 cups cheddar cheese (I used Cabot's Sharp)
¼ tsp. cayenne powder (it will be a little spicy- next time I would reduce it by half or omit)
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Saute the onions in the butter until lightly golden. Add the flour and cook until the flour is golden. This is what gives the soup more flavor so don't be hasty. Add in garlic, salt and pepper as it browns. After it is golden, add the broth, white wine. broccoli, carrots, nutmeg and cayenne powder. Once it is tender add in milk and cream. Make sure it is heated through then add in cheese, heat until melted. Serve.