Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Take That, Panera!!

You all remember the great bread bowl debacle of 2008, right? The one where two different Paneras were out of bread bowls on two different consecutive days? Well, let's just say those experiences have left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). It's very frustrating to plan a meal and set an expectation around a delicious bread bowl only to find there are none. At this point, I'm not quite ready to tackle making homemade sourdough bread bowls from the comfort of my kitchen (I'm not very well versed in working with live active yeast). But I did decide to give our favorite Panera soup--Broccoli Cheddar--a shot from home. I actually made it about 2 weeks ago and It. Was. Awesome. I made it again for hubs and I tonight and thought I'd share this delicious gem with my blog reader(s). It's really a very simple recipe and doesn't require much skill in the kitchen at all! But it comes out so delicious that people will think you picked it up from your local Panera on your way home from work!

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

1¼ hours | 30 min prep

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream (I've used either whole milk or 1% milk instead--just as yummy!)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I just use a dash or two)
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

  1. Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.

  2. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

  3. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

  5. Add salt and pepper. Purée half of soup in a blender. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg. Continue to cook until cheese is nicely melted. Serve hot!


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