- 12-16 oz frozen broccoli – about 2 cups, cut to spoon size
- 2 cups chicken broth – or vegetable
- 2 cups milk – low fat is fine
- 1 onion – small or 1/2 medium
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz shredded cheese
To Thicken – optional
- 4 tablespoons corn starch – in a slurry of cold water
Chop one small or 1/2 medium onion.
In a smaller crock pot (3-4 quart) mix 1 can (about 2 cups) of chicken broth, the chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 cups of milk.
Add about 2 cups of broccoli. I suggest frozen baby florets which are small in size. If you use bigger frozen broccoli, you should chop it up some before adding. Or you can use fresh. The broccoli needs to fit in a spoon.
Mix well and cook on low for 2 hours. Check that the broccoli is tender. If not, extend the cooking time by 30-60 minutes. All crock pots cook differently.
Mash about half the broccoli with a potato mash while still in the crock pot. The exact amount is more your test and your broccoli. You may also use an immersion blender if you want.
Add 2 cups (8oz.) of shredded cheese of your choice.
If thickening (recommended), in a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons corn starch with about an equal amount of cold water. Mix until smooth.
Then add slowly to crock pot and mix well. Increase the crockpot to high and cook covered another 20-30 minutes until thickened.
- Choose the cheeses you like. I generally use sharp cheddar and Velveta. If using block cheese, go by weight, not volume.
- If you want to copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup, then add 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots and 1 stalk thinly sliced celery at the same time as the broccoli.
- Make it Bacon Broccoli Cheese Soup. Everything is better with bacon. Chop 3 strips of bacon into 1/2 inch squares and fry until done. Drain and add along with the cheese.
- The broccoli needs to be small or chopped small enough to fit in a spoon. I suggest starting with Birdeye Baby Broccoli Florets which has smaller florets already.
- Two hours will usually be enough to get the broccoli tender but check and add a bit more time if needed. Do not proceed until it is tender. Every crock pot is different.
- Great as leftovers. Good refrigerated for 2-3 days. This will NOT freeze well due to the cornstarch. If you plan on freezing, then you should use the flour roux method of thickening from my stovetop recipe. Or the soup does taste great without thickening and will freeze well that way.
- If you want Keto or Low Carb, then skip the corn starch. The taste is great, but it will be thinner.
- Nutrition calculated on about 1 cup serving and low-fat milk. One cup is an ok serving if served with something else. If the soup is the only dish, then we usually eat about 1 1/2 cups.