This easy foolproof recipe for cream of broccoli soup is made with heavy cream and Parmesan.
A one-pot recipe that's ready in about 40 minutes, it's wonderfully creamy and so very flavorful.
Whenever the weather gets colder, I get super excited about making soups. 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.
You'll 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: How much salt you should use in this recipe depends on how salty your chicken 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. Do make sure the spices you use 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.
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. The parmesan adds great flavor and it also helps to thicken the soup, since we're not using any flour to thicken it.
Making cream of broccoli soup at home is surprisingly easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
In a large saucepan, add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and spices.
Next, add the broccoli. Bring to a boil, then simmer until very tender, 10-15 minutes.
Turn the heat off. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan. Cook just until heated through, then serve.
There are two ways to puree a soup. For a very creamy texture, working in at least two batches, carefully transfer the hot soup to your stand blender. Blend each batch until completely smooth and transfer it to a bowl. When all batches are done, return the pureed soup to the pot and proceed with the recipe. You can see the results of this method in the photos on this page - very smooth and creamy.
The second method is to use an immersion blender and blend the soup right inside the pot. I used this method when filming the video, and as you can see, the soup is not as creamy. However, it's just as tasty, and using an immersion blender is easier.
Which of these methods you choose is up to you. Both work and both yield great results, just different textures.
When using a stand blender, never fill your blender past the maximum fill line. It's best to fill it no more than half full. If the lid of your blender wasn't designed to allow steam to escape, you’ll need to remove the center piece and drape a clean towel on top of the lid. You can hold down the lid when blending to prevent it from being pushed off, but do so without actually placing your hand - or your face - over the hot steam.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. As you can see in the video below, I used frozen broccoli when filming it.
I find that both fresh and frozen 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.
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.
I don't recommend that. I only add ¼ cup of heavy cream 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.
And by the way, if you wish, you can add even more heavy cream - up to a total of ½ cup.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different seasonings. Good options include dried oregano to replace the dried thyme and adding a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for subtle heat.
This soup makes a wonderful first course. But if you'd like, you can also make it into an entree. Simply serve it to two instead of four, with these tasty cheese muffins to round out the meal.
Sometimes I make tiny meatballs (based on this baked meatballs recipe) and add them to the soup.
The 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 this soup in covered mugs, in individual portions. To prevent the frozen soup from curdling when I reheat it, I reheat it very gently in the microwave, on 50% power, in 30-second increments, stirring often.
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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 and 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 (carefully!), or using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.*
- 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.