Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

Okay, there are probably 100 versions of this soup already on the site but this is my own version and to me and everyone I have served it to, it is an exact duplicate. We love this soup! The interesting thing is that it has the full flavor of the original but is really, really reduced in fat and calories.

  • Exported from MasterCook *

                         Broccoli Cheese Soup

Servings: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient – Preparation Method

1 pound broccoli florets – fresh or frozen and thawed
14 ounces low sodium chicken broth – homemade or canned
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shallots – or one small sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot, peeled and minced finely
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, lowfat – shredded
1 cup fat free half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Steam broccoli over one cup of water in a double boiler until just tender, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the water.
In a nonstick skillet, melt butter and saute shallots and carrots until shallots are clear and carrots are beginning to become tender.
When clear, add flour to pan and stir until flour is cooked, about two minutes. Add broth, the reserved broccoli water, and about half of the broccoli spears.
Mash entire mixture with a potato masher or stick blender. Bring to boil and boil for 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the remaining broccoli, the half and half and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Note: Before serving, I add cayenne pepper to taste as well and I also add freshly grated parmesan cheese to the bowls for presentation. You may use full fat cheese and half and half in this recipe.

Per Serving: 188 Calories; 5g Fat (26.2% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 14mg Cholesterol; 500mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat.

NOTES : makes 4 servings of about 1 1/4 cups each.