Go Back
+ servings
Better Than Panera Broccoli Soup | lifemadesimplebakes.com
Print Recipe
4.9 from 19 votes

Better Than Panera Broccoli Soup

Thick, cheesy and loaded with broccoli! This Better Than Panera Broccoli soup is a delicious homemade version of a restaurant favorite.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Author: Natalie


  • 5 tbsp butter divided
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 leek white and light green part only, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 c. or 1 32 oz. box, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 carrots peeled, julienned, and cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. half & half or heavy cream
  • 3 medium heads broccoli cut into small florets
  • 2 c. grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and leek, saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a minute longer.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and sprinkle in salt, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, and carrots. Bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking vigorously as you add the milk little by little. Whisk until smooth. Constantly whisk as the mixture comes to a gentle boil. When it begins to thicken add the half & half (or cream) and simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat and pour into the soup, whisk to combine.
  • Add the broccoli and cook for 6-8 minutes, then remove from heat. Gradually add the cheddar, stir until the soup is nice and smooth. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional grated cheese, if desired.