Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with Parmesan is so delicious! Made with 2% milk plus half and half for a perfectly creamy soup that's not heavy.
I started making this broccoli-cheddar soup with Parmesan five years ago, when I became jealous that my daughter was frequently ordering a heavier version at Panera.
I mean, what the heck?!! I can make soup too, right?
Yes, and it's one of our favorites.
As soon as I get a whiff of its delicious aroma, I'm transported back to my sophomore year in high school, otherwise known as "That Time I Joined Ski Club Even Though I'm Afraid of Heights."
Dad would always pick me up afterward and make me cream of broccoli soup when we got home.
When you're cold, hungry, and still jittery from risking your life on the bunny hill as wild skiers rudely cut you off, a hot bowl of soup prepared by Dad was the most comforting thing in the world.
Even if it was the kind heated up from the freezer. Skiing is dangerous, folks!
And don't even get me started on the chair lift. Let's just say that having my feet dangling from frightening heights without being buckled in (I could slip right out!) is not my idea of fun.
My friend and I would pray Hail Marys out loud, over and over, until the ride ended. And I barely spent time actually skiing, because as soon as I'd start to pick up speed, I'd fall on purpose, scared out of my wits.
Then, I'd lay there like the Michelin Man, rolling around helplessly in my puffy (but cute) outfit because "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"
My poor friend spent most of her time trying to pull me to my feet.
We were quite the pair, I tell you. The Laverne and Shirley of the slopes.
Without a doubt, I have some great memories of Ski Club. My favorite ones are in the kitchen with Dad though, safe and sound with my broccoli soup.
This broccoli-cheddar soup, made with 2% milk, a bit of half and half, chicken stock, onions and Parmesan, tastes like a comforting bowl of love. I hope it creates wonderful memories around your table.
What Spices to Add to Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
I like to keep it simple, with this great combo:
- Garlic Powder
- Red Pepper Flakes
I also use these seasonings in my cauliflower-cheddar soup, which you also might love.
What to Serve with Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
- If you want broccoli-cheddar soup as the main dish, serve it with Parmesan Focaccia with Rosemary and Garlic and The Best Italian Green Salad with Homemade Dressing.
- If your broccoli-cheddar soup is the starter, serve it with Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary and Garlic and Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Seasonello.
Just don't forget to top your broccoli soup with some freshly grated cheddar! I use my grater/zester (affiliate link) because it's quick, easy and dishwasher safe.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published on October 12, 2015 as "Lightened Up Broccoli and Cheese Soup" and republished now with new photos, updated text and recipe, plus nutrition info.)
Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with Parmesan
- 1 yellow or white onion peeled and finely chopped
- 4 heads broccoli two bunches, stems removed, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 2 cups half and half
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese about 12 ounces, divided use
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chicken stock or vegetarian stock
- Peel and chop your onion. Rinse your broccoli, cut off and discard the stems, and cut up the florets.
- In a large pot, melt your butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for three or four minutes, until they begin to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to mix, cooking for one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and half and half.
- Add in the broccoli and stir in your salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Cover the pot until it starts to simmer. Remove the lid, lower the heat, and let the broccoli simmer for 30 minutes, or until it is tender, stirring occasionally. While the broccoli is cooking, shred your cheddar and grate your Parmesan, if needed.
- When the broccoli is tender, add 2 ¼ cups cheddar to the pot a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese melts. Stir in the Parmesan.
- Use a potato masher to break up the broccoli a bit for a slightly chunky soup. If you want a smoother soup, use an immersion blender or regular blender. (See notes.)
- In your pot, whisk chicken stock into your broccoli-cheddar soup over low heat. The soup is ready when it's heated through.
- Serve the soup topped with your reserved shredded cheddar and additional red pepper flakes at the table. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.