I like to make soup each week and this is one of my all-time favorites. It has the perfect amount of creaminess and crunchiness. It’s warming during these cold winter months and best of all, it’s in a big delicious bowl of bread!
Panera Bread actually makes the best broccoli and cheese bread bowl (imho) so this is my attempt and making one as good as theirs.
In order for me to get this on the table in under 30 minutes, I prep everything. What I mean by ‘prepping everything’ is: the very first thing I do is read through the entire recipe I’m going to make and double check I have all the ingredients. Once I lay all the ingredients out, I chop the broccoli, onion and garlic, I shred the cheese and I measure out the flour, broth and milk.
If you have everything laid out ahead of time, you’ll save time while you’re cooking and not worry about running around for an ingredient you may or may not have. Some steps in recipes are very quick too, so you don’t want to risk burning things like garlic while you’re distracted.
The last thing I’ll say on prepping this is prepping helps me cook with two kids. If you have everything at your disposal, I can focus more on my kids rather than the food because the food is basically making itself. I’m just pouring it in the pot!
Broccoli & Cheese Bread Bowl
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 2 cups milk (any kind)
- 8 ounces of small, fresh broccoli florets (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3-4 small round loaves of (sourdough) bread
- Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions, and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes to soften. Then add the flour and stir well so that the flour coats the onion pieces.
- Pour in the broth and milk. Then stir in the broccoli florets, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the largest broccoli florets are tender. If you want a slightly smoother consistency, use an immersion blender or a regular blender to break up some of the broccoli pieces, if desired (I did).
- Finally stir in the shredded cheese. Stir to thicken the soup as the cheese melts. Then turn off the heat and set aside while you prepare the bread bowl.
- To prepare the bread bowl, cut a thin slice off the top of the round bread. Hollow out bottom portion of loaf, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use, such as croutons). Repeat with remaining loaves. Ladle soup into each bread bowl and serve immediately. Enjoy!