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Broccoli & Cheese Soup with Homemade Croutons

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broccoli soup

Topped with crisp homemade croutons, this rich and creamy broccoli soup is a meal unto itself. It’s perfect to ward off the evening chill, and it’s ready in under an hour.

ingredients

For the ingredients, you’ll need the basics, plus white wine and Gruyère, a nutty and earthy-tasting cheese from Switzerland. Since the recipe only calls for a half cup of wine, I use a small bottle from a four-pack — they’re inexpensive and great to keep on hand for cooking. Gruyère is available at most large grocery stores, Whole Foods, or gourmet markets.

chopped-veggies

Begin by chopping your vegetables. No need to chop them too finely since they all get puréed in the end.

chopped-broccoli

Melt the butter in a large soup pot.

melting-butter

Cook the onion, garlic, carrots and celery until soft, about 5 minutes.

sauteed-veggies

Add the white wine and cook until almost completely reduced.

adding-wine

Add the broccoli, chicken broth, salt and pepper.

adding-broth-and-broccoli

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

simmering-soup

Add the cream.

adding-cream

Then purée until smooth.

blending-soup

Gradually add the cheese, stirring until smooth. Add the nutmeg, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

adding-cheese

While the soup is cooking, make the croutons. You’ll need bread cubes (preferably day old), butter, salt and pepper.

crouton-ingredients

Melt the butter in the microwave, then toss it with the bread cubes directly on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

ready-to-bake

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the bread cubes are golden brown and crisp.

baked-croutons

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons. Enjoy!

Broccoli-and-Cheese-Soup-with-Homemade-Croutons-1

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Broccoli & Cheese Soup with Homemade Croutons

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Soup

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small yellow onions, roughly chopped (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pound broccoli, florets and stems, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups (32 oz) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or half & half, for a lighter version)
  • 1 heaping cup grated Gruyère, packed (you'll need about 3 oz.)
  • Pinch nutmeg

For the Croutons

  • 2 cups cubed French Bread, preferably day old
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Soup

  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the white wine and cook until almost completely reduced, a few minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the heavy cream; then, use a hand held immersion blender to purée the soup until completely smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then purée in a blender in batches. Be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape.) Bring the soup to a simmer, then gradually stir in the cheese, stirring until melted. Add the nutmeg, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add about 1/4 teaspoon more salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper). Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with croutons.

For the Croutons

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
  2. Directly on the baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with the melted butter. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bake for 13-15 minutes, tossing once, until the bread cubes are golden brown and crisp.
  3. Note: The soup thickens as it sits; add a bit of water to thin it out if necessary.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 414
  • Fat: 31g
  • Saturated fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Sodium: 700mg
  • Cholesterol: 95mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • This is a fantastic 5 star recipe! My only change was that I used 5% blend cream instead of heavy cream and it was still very creamy without the added calories. I was hoping my immersion blender would be up to the challenge but it just couldn’t blend it up creamy enough, so I blended it in blender. Big difference… I made this soup a day ahead for a dinner party and the flavours seem to get even better! Highly recommend!!

    • — Terrie Williams on November 29, 2018
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  • I made this soup tonight for dinner and loved it. I used my food processor to blend the soup and it had a nice smooth-ish consistency. The cheese was just right and the croutons great. I will be making this again. Thank you!

    • — Allison on November 2, 2018
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  • I prepared this soup for my family last Sunday. I didn’t have Gruyère cheese, so used mozzarella. It was a total success and will be sure to buy the Gruyère and make it again. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — LUISA RIVAS on October 22, 2018
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  • The overall flavor of the soup was good! Better the next day 🙂 It finally thickened up, and that was my biggest issue. I was hoping it would be a little thicker. I put 2/3 of the soup in a blender and then just left the final third chunky (maybe that is why is wasn’t as thick). My next issue was the texture. Didn’t love the way it blended, but again, better the next day. A few things that could have thrown off the consistency: I didn’t use celery (didn’t have any, used a little celery salt), didn’t have wine so I used 1/4 cup of sherry, and then I didn’t blend the whole thing. Again, great flavor, better the next day, didn’t love the texture or thickness (or lack thereof).

    • — Katie on October 16, 2018
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  • Jenn, your recipe came just in time to restore my faith in Broccoli and Cheese soup. Just last week a friend and I went quilt fabric shopping in a nearby town. The owner of the shop recommended a quaint soda fountain restaurant for lunch. Their menu of the day featured B&C Soup. However, when it arrived, it was a clear broth with several vegetables. No “cream of” in sight!

    Neither my friend nor I said anything since the surroundings of the shop were fun to see and the accompanying slice of quiche was great, we just thanked the young owner and didn’t say a word. Perhaps I’ll send your recipe to show her what this soup really should be.
    l
    Also, can’t wait to see my husband’s reaction. He’s not a broccoli fan, but I”m sure he’ll love this dish. Thank you for this and all your delicious recipes.

    • — June V. on October 11, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn

    I am wondering if the soup freezes. I’d like to make a double batch and freeze some for later.
    Thanks
    Lori

    • — Lori on August 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori, Unfortunately, I don’t think this would freeze very well due to all the dairy in it. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • Delicious soup! Quick & easy & so much flavour. Followed recipe exactly. Used immersion blender & soup looked like your pics. Also, I had never knew croutons were so easy to make & wow they tasted so much better than store bought!

    • — TracyV on July 18, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi- I need to use up broccolini- do you think this would be ok to substitute?

    • — Marsha on June 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Marsha, I’ve never made this with broccolini, but I think it should work. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on June 19, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made this soup for the first time and it is now our favorite! The Gruyere adds such a wonderful flavor and will be making this often!

    • — Denise on March 1, 2018
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  • I made this the other week and thought it was very good. I did not make the croutons though.

    • — Cheryl Schwartz on February 1, 2018
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  • This soup is WONDERFUL and I have watched my entire family enjoy it, including my husband, who is not a fan of soups (I have watched him eat it two nights in a row – shocker!!!) and my daughter, who doesn’t like vegetables.

    I do make a few changes. First, I double the amount of everything. I also play around with celery and carrot ratios, depending on what I have on hand. I use leeks instead of onions and give them a head start with the butter, like you would for a potato leek soup. I also add some other spices like paprika and a bit of turmeric. I use Better Than Bouillon, Organic Chicken Base, in lieu of pre-made chicken stock or make my own using the carcasses of rotisserie chickens (I store them in freezer until I have enough for stock). I leave out the cream and when I serve, I add a bit of grated mexican blend cheese and some Frenche’s crispy fried onion. This keeps great in the fridge and when the soup is hot, the cheese melts in and the fried onions give it crunch.

    Absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • — Mirit on November 30, 2017
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  • Again, another delicious recipe! I used half and half and the prescribed amount of cheese and loved that this soup wasn’t overly heavy. Croutons addictive!

    • — Karen on October 29, 2017
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  • A big hit! Chock full of veggies and a great depth of flavor. I lightened it a bit and used half and half instead of heavy cream and it was still delicious. I also threw in some extra carrots and left over mushrooms I had on hand. It was really easy to make even without an immersion blender. Will be making this again soon.

    • — Elizabeth on October 23, 2017
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  • Swiss cheese tasted great, as a substitute 🙂

    • — Hanna on September 16, 2017
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  • This is a great soup to make with Fall right around the corner. I add 1/2 tsp to the crouton butter mix!

  • Made this tonight exactly according to the recipe and it was a winner, enjoyed by all, and my husband who dislikes vegetables. I tasted the soup before adding the cheese and it was already delicious, if anyone wanting a slightly lighter version omitting the cheese, still leads to a tasty soup. Thanks so much Jen, am adding to my recipe collection.

    • — Talia Eldridge on March 28, 2017
    • Reply
  • It was great! Even my one picky eater in my family loved this soup! I’ve made so many of Jenn’s recipes and this recipe will be another add on to our meal menu options. Thanks!

    • — Amy Lyman on March 6, 2017
    • Reply
  • I make this soup twice a month. It is our favourite broccoli soup. We eat half and freeze half for the following week.

    • — Elizabeth on March 2, 2017
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    • This is a great soup & a great way to have broccoli & vegetables. I submitted black pepper for white pepper. Also, I used gluten free bread,because I have Celiac.Thanks for ALL of your recipes!! Mary D

      • — Mary Louise Davis on March 2, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I am a huge fan of your site and I have loved every recipe I have tried. While this recipe was flavourful, your photo looks quite different than my finished product. Your photo looks much more blended and creamy. My soup was not that visually appealing. It resembled a creamy broth with micro bits of vegetables. I used an immersion blender and perhaps I should have used my blender?

    • — Jane McVeigh on February 11, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, sorry to hear you weren’t thrilled with the soup. If you prepare it again, yes, I’d suggest using a regular blender. My immersion blender worked well for it, but I’m sure there’s a lot of variance there.

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2017
      • Reply
  • Is there a trick to adding the cream so it won’t break when it hits the hot liquid?

    • — Kelly on February 3, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, you’ll be blending the soup after you add the cream, so if it does separate at all when you add it, this will help to thoroughly combine it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 5, 2017
      • Reply
      • Thanks. It worked and It is soo good!

        • — Kelly on February 5, 2017
        • Reply
  • This soup is simple and delicious. The white wine adds a nice, light acidity; the homemade croutons add a lovely crunch; and Gruyere is a much nicer cheese than the cheddar I’ve previously used in broccoli soup. Oh, and heavy cream is always yummy. 🙂 I think this is my new go-to broccoli cheese soup recipe!

    • — Marie-Jeanne on January 21, 2017
    • Reply
  • Such a quick, easy and elegant soup. This is a fabulous recipe. It will great to take to the office paired with either half a sandwich or a quick light salad.

    • — Celeste on January 8, 2017
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  • Is there any substitute for white wine in the broccoli/cheese soup (and all other recipes for that matter) or will it just taste a bit different if left out?

    • — Meredyth Brown on January 8, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Meredyth, It really depends on the recipe. Here, the wine adds depth of flavor and a touch of acidity. It’s fine to leave it out. If you find the soup could use a burst of flavor, try adding a squeeze of lemon at the end — but go easy…a little goes a long way. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 9, 2017
      • Reply
  • Would cauliflower work in place of broccoli?

    • — Adriann on November 22, 2016
    • Reply
    • Yes Adriann, I don’t see why not! I’d love to hear how it turns out with cauliflower.

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2016
      • Reply
      • Just as lovely as with broccoli! My 2 year old loves it!

        • — Adriann on January 2, 2017
        • Reply
        • So glad– thanks for the follow-up!

          • — Jenn on January 2, 2017
          • Reply
  • Just made the broccoli and cheese soup. It’s delicious and perfect for a chilly, windy day in Chicago! Will be on our Thanksgiving “weekend” menu! Thanks Jen.

    • — Lynne Marsh on November 19, 2016
    • Reply
  • This is a delicious, hearty soup, great for a fall lunch with a baguette and salad.

    • — Sandra on October 7, 2016
    • Reply
  • Hi! Any suggestions as to a replacement for the wine. Do not drink or use alcohol in cooking (religious reasons).
    Huge fan of all your recipes! Especially buttermilk fried chicken!
    Thanks!

    • — Farah on January 19, 2016
    • Reply
    • Farrah, you could just replace the wine with an equivalent amount of chicken broth or white wine vinegar.

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2016
      • Reply
  • We don’t drink any alcohol. Is it possible to make this soup without the wine?

    • — Afrin on January 15, 2016
    • Reply
    • Yes Afrin, you could just replace the wine with an equivalent amount of chicken broth or white wine vinegar.

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2016
      • Reply
  • I made your classic tomato soup and LOVED IT!!! My husband was surprised that cream/milk was not in the recipe, and yet it was so creamy!! I would like to make this soup, but my husband has lactose intolerance. Would it be possible to substitute FairLife milk 2% instead of the 1/2 and 1/2 or whipping cream. If not, any suggestions?? Thank you

    • — Amy Shotting on January 14, 2016
    • Reply
    • Yes Amy, you could use the FairLife 2% milk– the soup just won’t be as creamy.

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2016
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  • This is one of my favorite soups. If we go out to eat and it’s offered, I always order it, but I never looks as good as this. I really want to make this but I do have one problem. I don’t own one of those “stick blenders” , could I put it in my regular blender? Thanks for sharing!

    • — Robin on November 12, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Robin, Yes, that will work well.

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2015
      • Reply
  • another-awesome recipe! thank you!!! I used only half a cup of the cream and it was still so yummy! Best broccoli soup!

    • — sandra on October 27, 2015
    • Reply
  • I have made this soup a couple of times and it was delicious, but somehow I made it with cauliflower. Was it posted initially as cauliflower soup? Yesterday was a bit chilly here in Toronto so I decided to make “cauliflower” soup, and that’s when I discovered it was broccoli soup! Anyway, it is delicious with cauliflower and that’s what I am having for dinner tonight!

    • — marjory ross on September 21, 2015
    • Reply
  • SOOOOO amazing – I bought an immersion blender just so I could make this on a more regular basis.

    • — J. Smith on August 27, 2015
    • Reply
  • Is it possible to make the broccoli and cheese soup without cream? If so, what do you suggest?

    • — Kate on August 14, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Kate, You could definitely use milk (or half-and-half) but it won’t be as creamy.

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2015
      • Reply
  • For this recipe I skipped the croutons and used some roughly crushed tortilla chips as that is what I had. I used low sodium veggie broth. I also substituted white pepper for black, cheddar cheese, and used 1/2 and 1/2.

    • — Erika on March 26, 2015
    • Reply
  • I love broccoli and cheese soup and my first attempt at making it myself was fantastic! The Gruyere cheese makes it taste delicious without leaving a potent cheesy after taste. The only thing I did not make were the croutons as we are not eating bread in the home. This is going to become a staple soup recipe to be made over and over for a quick lunch through the week!

    • — Veronica on March 23, 2015
    • Reply
  • I made this soup last week, it was wonderful. Even my husband liked it. I used half and half since that is what I had on hand, it turned out great. We loved the croutons!

  • This is awesome. The first time I made it I used the full cream. Husband and I had it for dinner and it was more than enough. The croutons are amazing. I used to make my own but somehow had gotten out of the habit. Not any more. The second time I substituted light cream, it was good, but the full cream is delicious for a special occasion. My youngest son dislikes soup, but this got a rave review. Thank you so much Jenn for all the love and care that goes into this site.
    Marjory

    • — Marjory on March 15, 2015
    • Reply
  • Hi, I was wondering if you think this would work just as well with cheddar instead of Gruyère? Also, my husband hates celery — does the soup actually taste at all like celery (or even have a celery “essence”)? Thanks!

    • — Laura on March 12, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, Yes, it’s delicious with cheddar. You can’t taste the celery at all but if you’re worried it’s perfectly fine to leave it out 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 12, 2015
      • Reply
  • Thank you for your recipes. I can feel you cook with love . God keep guiding you. Kindest regards and thanks again for your recipes I enjoy them. Rutj

    • — ruthcrozier on March 12, 2015
    • Reply
  • Simple and absolutely delicious! Subbed half and half and I don’t feel like I missed out- creamy and satisfying.

    • — Gloria on March 12, 2015
    • Reply
  • Would this work with skim milk?

    • — Susan on March 1, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, You could try it, but I would probably add a 1-2 tablespoons of flour to the onion mixture after it is cooked. You would cook the flour/onion mixture a few minutes before adding the wine, then proceed with the recipe. This will help thicken it up.

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2015
      • Reply
    • Tried it with the skim and it was very good – even better the second day. Thanks

      • — Susan on March 4, 2015
      • Reply
  • Delicious! Perfect with half and half cream. So so good.

    • — Melissa on February 28, 2015
    • Reply
  • I had one question about adding the white wine, the recipe says cook until “dissolved”. What is dissolving, the vegetables or did you mean until the wine is almost completely reduced? Looking forward to trying this, it looks great!

    • — David Neely on February 27, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi David, Yes, cook until the wine is almost completely reduced. I will clarify in the recipe. Thx!

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2015
      • Reply
  • Just made this for dinner, awesome! Of course could not find Gruyere at our local SW, but Parmesan worked well. Thanks!

    • — Bruce on February 26, 2015
    • Reply
  • Curious where the “high” carb count per serving is coming from… the croutons? If so, what would be the approximate carb count per serving if croutons are omitted? Will definitely make this! Another winner from Jenn!

    • — MC on February 26, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi MC, Here’s the nutritional data without the croutons: 363 calories, Fat 29g, Sat Fat 17g, Carbs 14g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 4g, Protein 13g, Sodium 568mg, Cholesterol 133mg

      Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 26, 2015
      • Reply

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