Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Breadsticks
For this recipe, we took inspiration from the uber-comforting broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl you had as a kid — and that you can still find at eateries around town. It’s the soup loaded with healthy broccoli and carrots, so you feel virtuous about eating it, and rich in chicken stock and cheddar, so your tastebuds rejoice.
We amped up the flavor by mixing in garlic, Tabasco and Dijon, and we replicated the bread-bowl feel (without all the work) by using L&B Herb Focaccia Bread to make crispy, golden-brown breadsticks. The focaccia is garlicky and full of herbs and, when dipped in the cheesy soup, it’s a whirlwind of flavor. But don’t panic that the tradeoff for all that flavor is a bunch of time spent in the kitchen. From start to finish, this nostalgic soup is on the table in 40 minutes.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
For the broccoli cheddar soup:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, diced medium
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half & half
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup matchstick carrots
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
¼ teaspoon L&B Ground Nutmeg
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco, to taste (optional)
Chopped parsley, for garnish
For the breadsticks:
1 loaf L&B Herb Focaccia Bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- To make the soup: Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic and whisk to form a paste. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the half & half and chicken stock, while whisking, to incorporate the flour mixture.
- Whisk in the Dijon mustard.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, stir in the broccoli and carrots, and return to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until the soup is thick and the vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, to make the breadsticks: Cut the focaccia in half and then slice each half into ½-inch thick batons and place on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space in between the breadsticks.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the breadsticks and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the breadsticks.
- Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly brown. Cool on the baking sheet.
- To finish the soup, sprinkle in the cheese, about ½ cup at a time, whisking and melting the cheese between each addition. Repeat until all the cheese is added.
- Stir in the nutmeg and season the soup with salt, pepper and Tabasco, to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with more cheddar and parsley and serve with breadsticks.
Recipe adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything