An easy recipe for cream of broccoli soup with heavy cream and Parmesan. A one-pot recipe, it's wonderfully creamy and flavorful.
Whenever the weather gets cooler, I get super excited about making soups. I wasn't always a fan of them, but my husband is, and he had taught me to appreciate them. They are warming and comforting, and they make great use of all kinds of vegetables.
Creamy, delicate, and incredibly flavorful, cream of broccoli soup turns the humble broccoli into a delicacy. It's a delicious soup, very satiating, and surprisingly easy to make. You can serve it as a first course, but you can also double the amount you serve per person, and then it's perfect as a main course.
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty soup. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Chicken broth: I use reduced-sodium chicken broth. I like the Pacific Natural brand. Sometimes when I have homemade chicken broth, I use that.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the soup could end up too salty. Ultimately, how much salt you should use depends on how salty your broth is. So it's a good idea to taste the soup after you mix in the heavy cream and parmesan to make sure it's salty enough to your taste.
Spices: I like to use onion powder, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Broccoli florets: Either fresh or frozen. As you can see in the video below, I used frozen broccoli when filming it. I find that both work, although the broccoli retains more of its bright green color if cooked from fresh, and then I find the color of the soup is more pleasing to the eye. But you can't beat the convenience of frozen, of course. And it does produce delicious soup.
Heavy cream: I only use ¼ cup and it adds a wonderful creaminess to the soup. You can add more if you wish, up to a total of ½ cup.
Grated Parmesan: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan, not coarsely shredded. This is not absolutely necessary, but it does add great flavor and it also helps to thicken the soup, since we're not using any flour to thicken it.
How to make cream of broccoli soup
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. In a large saucepan, add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and spices.
2. Add the broccoli. Bring to a boil, then simmer until very tender, 10-15 minutes.
3. Turn the heat off. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
4. Stir in the heavy cream and the Parmesan. Cook just until heated through, and serve.
How to serve this soup
It makes a wonderful first course. But you can also make it into an entree. Simply serve it to two instead of four, with these tasty keto cheese muffins to round out the meal.
Sometimes I make tiny meatballs (based on this baked meatballs recipe) and add them to the soup.
How to thicken cream of broccoli soup
Many recipes add flour, but I don't think it's necessary. Any pureed soup is inherently thick (this butternut squash soup is another good example). And when you add heavy cream and Parmesan, there's truly no need for starches in this soup.
As for the heavy cream, I only add ¼ cup of it to this soup. I find that this is just the amount needed to make it wonderfully creamy without detracting from the broccoli flavor and making it too milky. However, if you wish, you can add more - up to a total of ½ cup.
How to store the leftovers
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
You can also freeze cream of broccoli soup in covered mugs, in individual portions. To prevent the frozen soup from curdling when I reheat it, I reheat very gently in the microwave, on 50% power, in 30-second increments, stirring often.
More tasty soups
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Cream of Broccoli Soup
- 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt Or ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 lb. broccoli florets fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (not shredded)
- In a large saucepan, add the chicken broth, kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme. Whisk to combine.
- Add the broccoli. Bring to a boil over high heat. This should take about 5 minutes if using fresh broccoli, 10 minutes if using frozen.
- Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the broccoli is very tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off. In batches in a blender or in a food processor (carefully!), or using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. The soup will be smoother if you use a food processor or a stand blender than if you use an immersion blender. But an immersion blender is obviously easier.
- Return the soup to the stockpot (if you didn't use an immersion blender). Turn the heat up to medium-low. Stir in the heavy cream and the Parmesan, then taste to see if you'd like to add more salt. Cook just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.