Classic Broccoli Cheddar Soup in Bread Bowls is a cozy dish to celebrate the best of fall and winter.
I drove around the lake by my house this morning on my way to get a latte. It was in the low 40s and for the first time, felt really chilly. I nursed that warm cup of milky goodness all the way back around the lake.
The leaves are already half off the trees. The remaining leaves still clinging to the trees are brilliantly hued in all my favorite colors. My favorite classical music station was playing Mozart on the car radio. My phone conveniently tucked away with messages I would deal with back home. It was a perfect morning. Peaceful, quiet, and beautiful.
And all I could think about was Broccoli Cheddar Soup to warm up my toes and fingers. A highly anticipated dinner — on such a gorgeous fall day. Only a comfort food classic like this would do for such a day as this.
Classic Broccoli Cheddar Soup in Bread Bowls is a dish to celebrate the best of fall and winter.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large pinch kosher salt and pepper
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2–3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
- 4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and carrot and cook until tender and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the broth, broccoli, bay leaves, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
While the soup cooks, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, hollow the bread out of the middle with a fork, leaving a thick shell.
Remove the soup from the stove and discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender.
Return the soup to the stove and set over low heat. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add the fresh thyme and cook another 2-3 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add 3/4 cup of water. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with addition shredded cheddar.