My rendition of the classic broccoli cheddar soup is based on this recipe, which is a copycat version of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup (which I used to love, when I ate such things).
Since going grain-free, I’m on a personal mission to recreate a lot of the meals I’ve always loved to eat. I want to show my family, my friends, and anyone who will listen that drastic diet changes are possible and you can still eat versions of what you ate before – you just need to learn how to make it!
In the case of this broccoli cheddar soup, it was easy to adjust. Take out the flour and put in arrowroot starch (which is a great grain-free thickening agent to use in sauces, soups, etc). But I also jazzed it up with some more cheese and some Italian sausage. Once you taste it with the sausage, you’ll wonder why it’s not always made that way. Yum.
Here’s how to make it.
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- ½ onion, chopped
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- A little less than ¼ cup arrowroot starch
- 2 cups half & half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½-1 lb. fresh broccoli, depending on how broccoli-y you want it
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 2-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, depending on how cheesy you want it
- Saute the onion in a small pan with 1 Tbsp butter until tender.
- Take them off the heat and put aside.
- In another pan, whisk the melted butter and the arrowroot starch over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Slowly add the half & half, while whisking.
- Then add the chicken stock, while whisking.
- Whisk continuously and simmer for 12-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and is fully mixed. If, during this time, the mixture seems to form a weird sludge - don't worry about it. Just continue whisking and it'll all mix and go away.
- Add the broccoli, carrots, onions, salt, and pepper to the mixture and cook covered over low heat until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
- While the veggies are getting tender, cook the Italian sausage in a pan over medium heat until browned. Drain off the fat and set aside.
- Pour the soup in batches into a blender and mix to desired texture (or use an immersion blender).
- Return the soup to the pot and, over low heat, add in the cheese and stir until it's blended.
- Stir in the nutmeg and the Italian sausage.
- Pour into bowls and eat!