Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (a Panera Copycat) - Pinterest Recipe Review

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (a Panera Copycat) - Pinterest Recipe Review : The PIN The RECIPE
We got a few more inches of snow, so I thought it was the perfect time to make some homemade soup.

I looked through my Pinterest recipe board, since I am still trying to make all of the recipes I've pinned, but I wanted to use ingredients I already had on hand. (Why go out and buy more food when I have a full pantry?) I had 2lbs of frozen broccoli and a full bag of shredded cheese (both from Sam's Club), so the most logical soup choice would be broccoli cheddar, and since I am a total Panera fangirl, I just had to try this copycat recipe. 
(You can see a bit of my photo set up in the spoon's reflection.)
The recipe required:
  • Chicken Stock
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Half and Half
  • Diced Onion
  • Julienned Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Nutmeg
Just a heads up, this is NOT a healthy recipe. (What cream based soup is?) If you want this soup to be low-fat you're going to have to make some serious substitutions, and that will hinder the texture of your finished soup. I say leave the recipe as-is. (But I'm no calorie-counter.)
Hi! I'm upside down in the spoon with my camera.
Substitution time!

I had everything the recipe called for, except for the half and half. I decided to use whole milk instead and the soup still turned out absolutely delicious, so I don't think that little substitution really changed anything at all.

In the end, the finished soup tastes incredibly similar to Panera's! (And this is coming from someone who worked there for several years!) I wouldn't say the taste is 100% spot on, but it really depends on the quality of cheese you are using. Personally, I think Panera uses a sharper cheddar than the typical grocery store variety, plus I think it's mixed with a few processed cheeses, but I'm not too sure. (The soup isn't made in-house.) Panera's soup has this tangy flavoring that I can't quite pinpoint, but maybe a trip to a gourmet cheese counter can fix that.

Next time I will only puree half of the veggies in the soup, but that's the only change I'll be making. Other than that, this recipe is perfect! (I like my soup to have more actual broccoli and carrot bits. Why julienne all of those carrots if they're just going to get blended into nothingness?)

This recipe is definitely a keeper. I already made a double batch, which is supposed to feed 8 people, but I can't see it lasting the rest of this week. (And there are only two people and a Pomeranian in the house. So that's saying something.)
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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