Sooo in love with this broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons! It’s super easy to make, extra creamy, and insanely delicious. Made a little more cozy (and dreamy!) with buttery, toasted sourdough croutons and crispy prosciutto pieces, swoon. Dare we say this one is the only broccoli cheddar soup recipe you need!

broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons and crispy prosciutto in speckled bowl with gold spoon

Hello, it’s me, adding another broccoli cheddar soup recipe to the internets. And idc idc, fight me! Ha. Real talk, this soup is one of my most favorite kinds of soup, ever. As we inch closer and closer to Spring, I’d be remiss not to share this recipe with you. However, soup is enjoyable damn near any time of the year, yes?! Y’all, our face is lit up with pure glee over this cozy, famous soup. Made a bit more bougie with some extra elements, I know you’ll love it!

The Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe!!!

Yup, I’m just going to put it out there like that because I’m humble yet confident, #gemini. This soup has received fame from the American chain of bakery-café restaurant, Panera Bread. I order this soup almost every time that I’m there. In my humbleness, of course, I believe my recipe tastes identical to the iconic version sold at PB. It’s creamy, flavorful, and crazy-delicious!

While the broccoli cheddar soup is fantastic on its own, I’ve always felt like there could be more to it. Insert my version, made more filling with toasty sourdough croutons and salty prosciutto pieces. I like to think of this recipe as the elevated and uppity cousin. The additional side items truly make this whole soup experience sing; while also making it cozily rich, hearty, and extra-filling.

More BBR faves: collard greens, these creamy black eyed peas, other soup stunners, this butternut squash soup, and this turkey soup with sweet potato dumplings, my beef chili, and the dreamiest short rib ragu…yummo!

broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons and crispy prosciutto in speckled bowls on speckled plate with striped linen on the side

Ingredients Needed For The Soup

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Butter: For sautéing the onion and for the croutons.
  • Chopped onion: I use a white onion but feel free to use a yellow onion, too!
  • Garlic: Big, bold garlicky flava- garlic paste or minced garlic.
  • Fresh thyme: Love some fresh herbs in soup recipes, yum. While I use thyme, some fresh dill or tarragon will also work nicely here.
  • Seasonings: Salt/ pepper, smoked paprika and ground nutmeg >> this adds a lovely, warm note to soup recipes and enhances/brings out the overall flavors. No, the soup will not taste like nutmeg or off at all.
  • Flour: Like a roux, helps to thicken/cream the soup.
  • Chicken stock/broth: We’re making soup, folks! Low sodium, too.
  • Broccoli florets: I typically grab a bag of pre-chopped, fresh broccoli florets that’s sold in the produce section in stores. I also like to still give them a rough chop as some pieces will be larger than others. You can use a whole head of broccoli and chop yourself if you’d like as well.
  • Shredded carrots: Another item I grab in stores (the matchstick/julienned bags). Feel free to julienne a large carrot yourself.
  • Half and half: This is a mixture of half cream, half milk. I find that it provides a great balance to add some creaminess in texture to the soup. You can use all milk if you choose but the soup will lack a bit of oomph, to me.
  • Cheddar cheese: I use extra sharp cheddar cheese for that big, bold cheddar taste that makes this soup what it is. Tbh, this cheese is one of my favorites to use. *FYI, always grab a block and grate it yourself for the best taste and texture as opposed to pre-shredded bags that are coated with additives/fillers.
  • Heavy whipping cream: I wrote this as an optional ingredient (but really, use it if you can and do not have an aversion to it). You will still have decent soup without it. Although, using some heavy cream ups the creaminess factor and adds a level of richness here that is honestly unmatched, imo.
  • Prosciutto: About 3-4 slices of prosciutto for the garnish.
  • Parmesan/Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese: an option for serving.
ingredients for broccoli cheddar soup laid out on marbled surface

Sourdough Croutons, Yummm! 😍

Okay, to know me is to know how much I love me some sourdough, y’all. I try and keep this bread stocked in my home as much as I can, it’s a fave! These sourdough croutons are buttery, crispy, and a perfectly-filling companion to this broccoli cheddar soup. It reminds me of a bread-bowl situation but not as much. I love to place them on top of my soup while it’s nice and hot, the croutons soften some and get sopped up with the creamy soup…oh my lawddd!

Here’s what you’ll need for your sourdough croutons:

  • Sourdough: Obvi. You can use a loaf of sourdough or a sourdough baguette. Cut it into bite-sized, cute little chunks. >> Pat yourself on the back if you make your own sourdough 👏🏾! Also, teach me your ways, sourdough life intimidates me! Until then, to my local bakery I go, ha!
  • Butter & olive oil: We want these croutons to be nice and crispy, a combo of salted butter and olive oil will ensure just that!
  • Fresh thyme: Croutons are so lovely with some herbs, ya know.
  • Garlic powder: Seasoned croutons, big flavor, YES!
sourdough croutons on gold baking sheet with gold serving spoon on the side

How To Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

>> Making this broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons is so easy!

  1. Preheat the oven (for the croutons/prosciutto). In a large pot, melt the butter and sauté the onion until tender. Add in the garlic and continue cooking. Then add in the thyme along with the spices and stir.
  2. Toss in the flour and stir well to absorb the fat in the pot and allow the flour to cook off. Pour in the stock/broth along with the broccoli and carrots. Stir well and bring to a simmer until the veggies become tender.
  3. Then stir in the half and half, cheese, and heavy cream, if using. Mix well to combine, reduce the heat, and allow the soup to continue simmering.
  4. While the soup is simmering, make the sourdough croutons and crisp up the prosciutto. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons, crispy prosciutto pieces, and grated parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

See, told you that this broccoli cheddar soup is a breeze to whip up. It’s so straightforward and simple and damn near foolproof, you’ll enjoy it! Additionally, even though this soup is wildly easy, it’s flavor-filled to the max.

silver ladle holding broccoli cheddar soup in large white pot

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup?

While I believe this recipe shines best via the stovetop, you can certainly make this broccoli cheddar soup in a slow cooker/crock pot. First, place the onion, garlic, thyme, seasonings, broccoli, carrots, and stock into the slow cooker.

Stir the mixture together and cook on low for 4 hours, then turn the cooker to high. You’ll still need to make the roux…// ⇢ In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Then stir in the flour and whisk together for 1-2 minutes. Back to the slow cooker, remove about 1 cup of liquid and *slowly* add it into the saucepan, whisking the mixture constantly until smooth.

Then slowly add in the half and half followed by the heavy cream, if using. Lastly, sprinkle the cheese in and stir well to fully combine the cheese sauce. Remove from heat and add the mixture into the slow cooker, stir well to combine.

Can I Make This Recipe Vegan/Plant-Based?

Sure! With a few adjustments, this can def be a vegan broccoli cheese soup recipe! Use your fave plant-based butter (I love Earth Balance/Miyoko’s), vegetable broth, and cheddar cheese shreds (Miyoko’s/Follow Your Heart). Replace the half and half/heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk/coconut cream. The use of these may alter the taste some but not to where it would be off-putting entirely. Keep the croutons and forego the prosciutto, yay.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Absolutely! Although, I will say that I do prefer fresh broccoli to be honest. Because frozen broccoli is typically pre-blanched, it will cook faster than fresh broccoli when simmering to get tender. If using, just toss in the frozen broccoli (no need to thaw!) as directed in step #4 in the recipe card, below.

broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons and crispy prosciutto in speckled bowl with gold spoons on the side

Gluten-Free Needs?

Swap out the all-purpose flour and replace with any gluten-free baking flour as a 1:1 ratio. Other alternatives I recommend would be arrowroot and tapioca flours.

Want Smooth Broccoli Cheddar Soup?

Personally, I love the chunky bites of broccoli and such in this soup, it’s the textures for me. However, not everyone does, and I get it. At the end of step #4 in the recipe card, below, use an immersion blender in the pot to get a smoother consistency, if desired. You can carefully add the soup to a high-speed blender as well. Then place right back into the pot and proceed with the recipe.

How To Store This Soup

You mean to tell me that there are leftovers?! LIES! Okay, okay…

>> Refrigeration: Store any leftovers inside of airtight containers and keep in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat the soup as needed in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through.

>> Freezer: Be sure to let the soup cool down completely, first. Then store the soup in airtight containers (with a bit of room for expansion) or flat baggies; this soup will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow the soup to thaw out before reheating. Then reheat on the stovetop over low heat.

Leftover sourdough croutons? I recommend keeping any leftover croutons stored inside of an airtight container or plastic bag. Keep them stored away in the freezer (for best taste/texture) for up to 1 month. Defrost the croutons before reheating, in the oven at 300°F until lightly warm and nicely crisp, again.

black hand holding the side of speckled bowl filled with broccoli cheddar soup and sourdough croutons with crispy prosciutto pieces

Make this Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Sourdough Croutons, y’all! It’s delicious and I know you will love it as well ♡… Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons and crispy prosciutto in speckled bowl with gold spoon

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Sourdough Croutons

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 35m
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sooo in love with this broccoli cheddar soup with sourdough croutons! It’s super easy to make, extra creamy, and insanely delicious. Made a little more cozy (and dreamy!) with buttery, toasted sourdough croutons and crispy prosciutto pieces, swoon. Dare we say this one is the only broccoli cheddar soup recipe you need!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or minced garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 12 ounces (4 heaping cups) fresh broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, optional
  • 34 pieces thinly-sliced prosciutto, optional
  • grated parmesan or parmigiano reggiano cheese, optional

For the sourdough croutons:

  • 1 lb sourdough (loaf or baguette), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat, add in the butter. Once the butter is sizzling, toss in the onion and sauté until tender and lightly caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking, stirring often, for another 1 minute.
  3. Add in the fresh thyme, salt/pepper, to taste, along with the smoked paprika, and ground nutmeg. Stir everything together to combine. Then add in the flour and stir together, the flour should sop up all remaining fat in the pot. Continue stirring to cook off the flour until the mixture takes on a golden color, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock/broth along with the broccoli and carrots. Stir the mixture well to combine, incorporating the floured mixture with the liquid. Allow the pot to come up to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium- the mixture will thicken some from the flour. Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots become tender.
  5. Then pour in the half and half along with the grated cheese, and heavy cream (if using). Stir the soup well to thoroughly combine and all the cheese melts beautifully. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer for another 10 minutes or a bit longer (with the burner on the lowest setting). Be sure to taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your personal preference, if needed.
  6. Meanwhile, while the soup is simmering, make the sourdough croutons. In a large bowl, combine the sourdough pieces with the melted butter, olive oil, and fresh thyme. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to toss everything together. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the garlic powder over the top, toss together once more. Bake the croutons for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp. Then set aside.
  7. Next, to make the crispy prosciutto: place the slices of prosciutto onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly crisp. Once cooled, tear the prosciutto into bite-sized pieces. Note: you can also cook the prosciutto simultaneously with the sourdough croutons, above, to save time a bit of time.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the sourdough croutons, crispy prosciutto pieces, and grated parmesan/parmigiano reggiano cheese, if desired. Serve soup immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: broccoli cheddar soup, broccoli soup, sourdough croutons, sourdough soup, the best soup, cheese soup, crispy prosciutto, broccoli cheese soup