Creamy, cheesy, and packed with wholesome broccoli, this hearty crockpot broccoli cheese soup is a warm hug on a chilly day. Enjoy a bowl of pure deliciousness.
Dive into a bowl of pure comfort with our Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup! Loaded with tender broccoli florets, creamy cheese, and a blend of savory spices, this slow-cooked delight is a hug in a bowl. Let your crockpot work its magic, and return to a kitchen filled with the irresistible aroma of cheesy goodness. Perfect for those cozy nights or a hearty lunch – it’s a warm, creamy, and utterly delicious experience you won’t want to miss!
Ingredients for Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup
Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in creating a well-balanced and delicious Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup, combining flavors, textures, and visual appeal for a satisfying and comforting meal.
** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.
- Broccoli Florets: These are the stars of the show in broccoli cheese soup. They provide a hearty and nutritious base, packed with vitamins and fiber. The florets add a pleasant crunch and vibrant green color, making the soup visually appealing and adding a fresh, earthy flavor.
- Onion: Onions are a flavor foundation in many soups, including this one. They add a sweet and savory depth, enhancing the overall taste. Diced onions also contribute to the soup’s texture.
- Chicken Bone Broth: The broth forms the liquid base of the soup, infusing it with a rich, savory flavor. Chicken bone broth adds depth and a hearty quality, making the soup more satisfying and nutritious. It also provides the necessary moisture to cook the other ingredients.
- Corn Starch: Corn starch is used as a thickening agent in the soup. It helps create the desired creamy consistency and prevents the soup from being too thin.
- Salt (to taste): Salt is a crucial seasoning element that enhances the flavors of all the ingredients in the soup. It balances the richness of the cheese and adds depth to the overall taste.
- Ground Black Pepper: Pepper provides a subtle kick of spice and complements the creamy and cheesy flavors in the soup. It adds a touch of warmth and complexity.
- Granulated Garlic: Garlic is another flavor enhancer, and the granulated form disperses evenly throughout the soup. It contributes a mild garlic flavor without being overpowering.
- Cheddar Cheese: The star of the cheese show! Cheddar cheese adds creaminess, richness, and that unmistakable cheesy flavor. It’s what transforms this soup into a classic broccoli cheese soup.
- Half and Half: Half and Half, a combination of equal parts whole milk and heavy cream, adds creaminess and richness to the soup without making it too heavy. It contributes to the luxurious texture and taste.
- Green Onions: Green onions, or scallions, provide a fresh and slightly pungent onion flavor to garnish the soup. They add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to each bowl.
- Fresh Parsley: Fresh parsley is a bright and herbaceous garnish that enhances the soup’s presentation and adds a burst of fresh flavor, balancing the richness of the cheese and cream.
How to Make
To make Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup, simply combine ingredients in a 6-qt slow cooker and cook until tender. Add the creamy half-and-half and cheddar cheese. Then garnish and serve!
** You can find the full recipe ingredients and instructions on the printable recipe card below.
- To make Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup, start by combining broccoli florets, diced onions, unsalted chicken bone broth, salt, ground black pepper, and granulated garlic in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 4 hours until the broccoli is tender.
- In a separate bowl, whisk cornstarch into the half and half until smooth, then stir it into the slow cooker. Add shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until it’s melted and the soup is creamy.
- Let the soup simmer for another 15-20 minutes on low to thicken. Serve hot, garnished with chopped green onions and fresh parsley. Enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!
Why this Recipe Works:
This recipe succeeds due to its thoughtful combination of ingredients, the convenience of a slow cooker , and the careful balance of flavors and textures, resulting in a delectable and comforting Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup.
- Slow Cooker Convenience: The use of a slow cooker allows for effortless cooking. It slowly simmers the ingredients, intensifying their flavors over time while requiring minimal hands-on effort.
- Balanced Ingredients: The combination of broccoli, onions, and chicken broth forms a flavorful and nutritious base. Broccoli adds a hearty, green component, while onions provide a savory undertone.
- Thickening Agent: Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent to create a creamy consistency without the need for heavy cream or flour. It ensures the soup is neither too thin nor too thick.
- Richness and Flavor: Cheddar cheese adds a luxurious creaminess and a sharp, savory flavor that complements the earthy notes of the broccoli. It’s what makes this soup quintessentially “cheese soup.”
- Creaminess without Heaviness: Half and half provides the desired creaminess without making the soup overly heavy, striking a balance between a comforting, indulgent dish and a more health-conscious option.
- Seasoning: The addition of salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic enhances the overall taste, ensuring a well-seasoned and delicious soup.
- Garnishes: Green onions and fresh parsley garnish the soup, adding a burst of color, freshness, and a subtle oniony or herby note to each serving.
Recipe Tips and Kitchen Tricks:
- Prep Ahead: Chop your broccoli and onions ahead of time to save time on the day you plan to make the soup. You can also purchase pre-cut broccoli florets to make it even easier.
- Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh broccoli and onions for the best flavor and texture. Fresh ingredients often yield a more vibrant and delicious soup.
- Low and Slow: Cooking on the low setting of your slow cooker is essential for this recipe. It allows the flavors to meld and the broccoli to become tender without overcooking or becoming mushy.
- Cornstarch Slurry: To avoid lumps when thickening the soup with cornstarch, whisk it thoroughly into half and half before adding it to the slow cooker. This ensures a smooth consistency.
- Cheese Selection: While cheddar cheese is the classic choice, you can experiment with other cheeses like Gruyère or Swiss for different flavor profiles. Just ensure they melt well.
- Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with Bacon: Add crispy bacon bits as a garnish or stir them into the soup for a smoky flavor and extra crunch.
- Creamy Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup: Incorporate diced potatoes for a heartier version of the soup. They’ll add creaminess and a different texture.
- Spicy Broccoli Cheese Soup: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give your soup a spicy kick. It pairs wonderfully with the richness of the cheese.
- Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup: Substitute dairy-free ingredients like cashew cream or coconut milk for the half-and-half and use vegan cheese for a plant-based version.
- Loaded Broccoli Cheese Soup: Top your soup with a medley of toppings such as sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, and croutons for added flavor and texture.
- Beer and Broccoli Cheese Soup: Incorporate beer into your soup for a unique flavor profile. The beer adds depth and a subtle bitterness that complements the cheese.
- Crusty Bread or Bread Bowls: Serve the soup in a bread bowl for a comforting and hearty meal. Crusty French bread or sourdough are excellent choices for dipping.
- Garlic Bread: Accompany the soup with slices of warm, buttery garlic bread for a delightful combination of flavors.
- Side Salad: A simple side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette adds freshness and balance to the richness of the soup.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Classic grilled cheese sandwiches make a perfect pairing. Dip them into the soup for an indulgent experience.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
By following these instructions, you can store, freeze, and reheat your crockpot broccoli cheese soup while maintaining its flavor and quality.
- Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing.
- Transfer the soup to an airtight container or sealable plastic bag.
- Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing the soup is not recommended.
Reheating from the Refrigerator:
- Gently reheat the soup on the stovetop over low to medium heat.
- Stir frequently to ensure even heating and prevent scorching.
- If the soup has thickened too much, you can add a splash of chicken broth or half and half to achieve the desired consistency.
- Once heated through, serve immediately.
Note: When reheating cheese-based soups, it’s important to do so gently over low to medium heat to prevent the cheese from separating or becoming grainy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I use frozen broccoli in my Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup? Yes, you can use frozen broccoli in this soup recipe. However, since frozen broccoli may release more water during cooking, you may want to reduce the amount of chicken broth slightly to maintain the desired consistency. Also, be sure to thaw the frozen broccoli before adding it to the slow cooker .
- Can I make this soup ahead of time for a party or event? Absolutely! Broccoli cheese soup is a great make-ahead dish. You can prepare it a day or two in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently on the stove or in the slow cooker before serving. Just keep in mind that if you add the cheese before reheating, you might need to adjust the consistency with a bit of additional broth or half and half.
- Can I use a different type of cheese besides cheddar in this recipe? Yes, you can experiment with different cheeses to create unique flavors. While cheddar is a classic choice, other options like Gruyère, Swiss, or even a combination of cheeses can work well. Just make sure the cheese you choose melts smoothly for a creamy texture. Feel free to get creative with your cheese selection to suit your taste preferences.
Wine & Cocktail Pairings
Remember, personal preferences play a role, so feel free to explore and discover your own favorite pairings!
- Chardonnay: A buttery and oaked Chardonnay complements the creamy texture and richness of the soup. Its citrus and apple notes provide a refreshing contrast to the cheese.
- Sauvignon Blanc: A crisp and citrusy Sauvignon Blanc offers a nice balance to the savory and cheesy flavors of the soup. Its acidity and herbal notes make for a refreshing pairing.
- Pinot Noir: If you prefer red wine, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can work well. Its red fruit flavors and gentle tannins won’t overwhelm the soup but will provide a pleasant accompaniment.
- Classic Martini: The clean and crisp flavors of a classic martini, with gin or vodka, complement the richness of the soup. The martini’s herbal and slightly savory notes make it a great match.
- Bloody Mary: If you’re looking for a bold and savory pairing, a Bloody Mary can be a fantastic choice. Its tomato-based, spicy flavors harmonize with the soup’s creamy and cheesy profile.
- Mimosa: For a brunch or lunch pairing, a Mimosa made with champagne and fresh orange juice offers a bright and effervescent contrast to the soup. Its citrusy notes refresh the palate between bites.
Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 6 qt crockpot
- 8 cups Broccoli Florets [See Note 1]
- 2` cups Onion diced
- 6 cups Chicken Bone Broth unsalted [See Note 2]
- 1/3 cup Corn Starch
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic
- 4 cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded [See Note 3]
- 1 cup Half and half [See Note 4]
- 3 stalks Green onions green part only
- 1 Tbsp Parsley freshly chopped
- Fresh or frozen broccoli both work fine.
- I use unsalted chicken bone broth or unsalted chicken broth. You can use bouillon here but be careful of the amount of additional salt you add into the dish.
- I use mild cheddar cheese. Sharp and age have less moisture and can sometimes be grainy. If you want to add some spice to your soup, you can substitute the cheese with jalapeno or habanero cheese.