Anti-Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

14 Sep

Good (late) evening! I’m going to keep tonight short and sweet because I’m exhausted. The past two nights of classes after working a full day has left me drained. I guess I just need to get back into the swing of things- although I don’t know if one can ever really get used to classes that end at 10:45! Anyway, I have a confession. I love Panera. Their broccoli cheddar soup to be specific. With a side of bread for dipping. Very healthy! I leave with my stomach bloated and my heart beating a little slower, yet I always return because it’s so good! Until I went the other day by myself and ordered a soup to-go. $5.50. For a bowl of soup! Ouch. I felt ashamed to be taken for a fool by my beloved for so long. Never again! You hear that Panera? We’re through!

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup (lightly adapted from food.com)
Yield: about 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

1 bag frozen broccoli (steam-in-the-bag variety is nice and easy)
1 cup carrots, finely grated
1 14oz container vegetable broth
2 tbsp flour
4 chopped shallots (onion would work too)
1 tbsp earth balance
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (not low-fat)
1 cup at free half and half

Prepare broccoli in microwave according to directions on packaging. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a large saucepan, cook shallots in earth balance until translucent. Add flour to pan and whisk. Add broth, carrots, and broccoli and bring to a boil. Add cheese and half and half and stir constantly until cheese is melted and incorporated.

*Do not use low-fat cheese in this soup because it doesn’t melt good. You will end up with a plastic-y, cheese like blob in your saucepan.

Needless to say, my embarrassment increased when I realized how easy this was to make. I would typically use low-fat cheese in a recipe, but I’m not going to stress about it because this is certainly not an everyday kind of soup. But, whenever I get a craving for the “P” word, I now have a go-to recipe that will do the trick and save me money.

Do you like Panera? What is your guilty food pleasure?

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8 Responses to “Anti-Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

  1. Debbie Hoernlein September 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup and I are old friends. Now I won’t feel so guilty and still use whole wheat bread to dip.

  2. Steve September 15, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    This soup is so much better than Panera’s. You can actually taste the ingredients instead of a ton of sodium. 2 thumbs up to homemade soup!

  3. Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    This seriously looks amazing! YUM πŸ™‚

  4. Allison @ PickyEatingRD September 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    For some reason I have never really liked Panera’s food. I do like the bakery part but the soups, salads, sandwiches have never appealed to me. So odd right?!!?!?

    • amy41143 September 16, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      No it’s not weird- their sandwiches gross me out, but I am very particular with cold cuts. I love the soup though!

  5. spinach&spice September 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Love broccoli cheddar soup! Panera’s okay, not my favorite.
    it’s right next to my dorm/sib’s apartment, so I’m there way too often to enjoy it like I used to haha.

  6. Sarah(everydaysapicnic) September 17, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    This soup sounds delicious. I don’t often have cheese in soup – but it sounds good πŸ™‚

  7. Amber September 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Well this is convenient, I was planning on making soup this weekend.

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