Creamy broccoli cheddar soup made with fresh vegetables, cheddar cheese, and heavy cream. This version is gluten-free using potato as a thickener.
Broccoli cheddar soup has become a cold-weather must-have in my house thanks to Panera Bread. My daughter absolutely loves it. Once they started selling their soup in stores I would buy a pint just for her to have over a couple of days. After a while, I decided to look into making the soup myself. This recipe is based on one that I found in The Complete Book of 400 Soups. Of all the recipes that I can across, this one used potato as a thickener.
Naturally Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
There are many ways to thicken soup. I like that my version uses a vegetable along with heavy cream to that effect. The one thing that I noticed while looking at so many broccoli cheddar soup recipes, was that not many deviate from using a flour roux. Even the gluten-free versions use a GF flour in some way. This recipe achieves that signature creaminess but by using a potato.
Alternative Soup Thickeners
Now, to be clear, I am not a gluten-free eater. It just happens to be that this version of the soup is. What I intend to share are methods for thickening creamy soups, some happen to be GF.
Mashed potato- For this recipe, I pre-steamed a small gold potato and mashed it during the soup preparation. Don’t worry, the potato is just an additive. It doesn’t take away from the broccoli at all.
Purée the soup- An emersion or standing blender can be used to purée part of the soup. Once the purée is added back to the pot it will create a thicker broth.
Slurry- Arrowroot, cornstarch, or flour can be made into a slurry by mixing it with water. In most cases, you can use the broth from the soup to make the slurry.
Bread- Bread or corn tortilla will give body to the soup by soaking up some of the broth. You basically take stale bread or tortilla and process it with a portion of the soup before pouring it back into the pot.
How to Make Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This soup could not be easier. To start you will need to heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion, garlic, and carrot until softened. Next, add the potato, spices, and bouillon cube and mash together using a masher.
Add the chopped broccoli and water giving it a good stir, then the butter. Cover to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, give or take.
The broccoli should be softened but not mushy. Drop the heat to low then mix in the heavy cream and cheddar cheese. Once the cheese is melted, removed from the heat. Serve the soup in a Bread Bowl with Italian Parmesan Saltine Crackers!
- 12 oz fresh broccoli florets
- 1 small gold potato peeled and steamed
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 1/2 c carrot shredded
- 2 c mild cheddar
- 2 c heavy cream
- 2 c water or vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube eliminate if using stock
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. To the oil, add the onion, garlic, and carrot. Sauté for until softened; adjusting the heat so that the veggies don’t burn. Add the potato, spices, and bouillon cube. Stir well then mash the potato with a masher. Let it cook another 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Next, add the broccoli and water giving it a good stir. Follow with the butter then cover to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, give or take. The broccoli should be softened but not mushy. Drop the heat to low then mix in the heavy cream and cheddar cheese. Let it continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes while whisking until the cheese is melted. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 6-8 minutes before serving. The soup will thicken slightly as it cools.