Making soup at home is simple – and TOTALLY worthwhile. This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is incredibly creamy and delicious (and tastes just like one of our restaurant faves!). Pair it with a hunk of homemade crusty bread – you don’t need to be a pro to make this! It’s bread-idiot-proof.
We’re currently snowed/cold-weathered in here in Madison, Wisconsin but I don’t even mind because a) I work from home b) we have a warm loaf of chocolate chip banana bread to snack on and c) we have a pot of Broccoli Cheddar Soup simmering away and the house smells like fresh baked bread. I’m ready for my Little House on the Prairie medal now.
But seriously – soup and homemade bread are much easier to make than I think that you think they are. (Did you follow that?) It’s as easy as melting butter, sautéing onions, whisking in flour, simmering with your liquid (broth + half and half) adding your veggies (carrots + broccoli) and whisking in grated cheese. Not the most hands off recipe, but certainly do-able! Especially if you have a little extra time on your hands due to snow/extreme cold days.
For the bread, we’re mixing together 6 ingredients – flour, salt, yeast, water, beer, and vinegar – and letting it sit for 8-18 hours (it’s flexible!). Then, we’ll shape it into a round ball, let it rise 1 1/2 – 2 hours more, and bake for 1 hour! SO simple and very hands off. I can’t think of a better baking project for a cold winter day.
(I’ve included a few step-by-step photos for the bread and soup below the recipe card at the bottom of the page.)
And that bread! We must talk about it. You absolutely cannot enjoy a bowl of homemade soup without a hunk of crusty bread. It would practically be a crime. Ok, I exaggerate – but I take my soup + bread combo SERIOUSLY. If you’re feeling a little fancy, cube a slice or two of the bread and lightly fry in some olive oil – easiest homemade croutons ever! Add a little bacon to the soup, too. It amps up the flavor in the best way!
Is it even winter until you’ve made a bowl of a hearty, delicious soup with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping? No, no it is not.
Happy Cooking – and stay warm!
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Broccoli Cheddar Soup + No Knead Bread
For the Soup:
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half + half or milk
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 and 1/2 cups shredded carrots buy pre-shredded! way easier!
- 2 and 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets, uncooked
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 10 ounce block sharp cheddar cheese SEE NOTE
- 5 strips cooked bacon optional
For the Bread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour can sub AP flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 cup mild lager, room temperature I use Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss
- 3/4 cup water, room temperature
- 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Don't let it brown. Next, add the flour, and whisk to combine it with the other ingredients in the pot. Add a splash or two of half and half to help prevent the flour from burning. Whisk for 3-4 minutes to cook the flour taste out. Next, slowly whisk in the half and half - you'll have a thick, creamy sauce. Whisk in the chicken broth next. Simmer for 5-8 minutes to thicken. Add the shredded carrots, chopped broccoli, and celery and simmer 8 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Grate the cheese while the veggies are simmering, and once the veggies are tender, slowly whisk in the cheese, a handful at a time, to prevent gritty lumps from forming.
- Optional Things: Stir the cooked bacon (chopped) into the soup or use as a garnish on top of the bowls. Cube 1-2 slices of the bread and lightly fry on both sides in olive oil for some quick homemade croutons!
- Serve + Store: Serve immediately! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- For the Almost No Knead Bread: Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Whisk water, beer and vinegar together in a separate bowl or glass measuring cup. Gently fold water mixture into the dry ingredients, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl, until dough starts to form and no dry flour remains. It will look scrappy and shaggy and weird. Don't try to shape it at all - and stop stirring once you have that scrappy bowl of dough (see photo below). Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 8-18 hours. Spray a large piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and set on counter. Next, transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead for 30 seconds to 1 minute - stopping when it's smooth. Form a ball the best you can - doesn't need to be perfect! Lower the loaf into a dutch oven, using the parchment paper to lift it, letting any excess parchment hang over. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours - or until loaf has doubled in size, and dough springs back minimally when poked gently.Next, use a knife to score the bread, making two slashes to form a cross. Cover the dutch oven and place in cold oven. Turn oven on to 425 degrees and bake for 30 minutes while the oven heats. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is golden brown and registers 200-205 degrees F, about 23-27 minutes. Lift the parchment paper out of the pot to transfer bread to counter, and enjoy warm!
- Serve + Store: Enjoy bread warm! Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag at room temp for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat slices in the toaster to get some of that crusty texture back!
The shaggy, scraggly bread dough having just been mixed up. Pardon the terrible kitchen night-time lighting. It looks so weird but it works! Promise.
The bread dough, after resting overnight (the 8-18 hours. I went for about 10 this time).
The bread dough having been kneaded for 1 minute and shaped into a round loaf.
The loaf, pre-rise
The loaf, post-rise.
The flour/butter/onion/garlic mixture
Once the broth and heavy cream and veggies have been added, pre-simmer
The veggies, post-simmer – the broccoli will shrink and fall apart quite a bit so don’t worry about chopping it into super tiny pieces to begin with.
The finished soup, with the cheese added!
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