Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Every now and then on Sunday we enjoy visiting Panera Bread for their wonderful Broccoli Cheese Soup. Of course the atmosphere and the wonderful bread that goes with the soup makes the trip worthwhile.
But we like the soup more often than we can afford to buy it and so we searched for a recipe. Could the Panera version be made half so well at home?
It can .. and here's where to find the basic recipe we used.

Because we're vegetarian, that was another reason to make our own and be 100% sure it was free of all meat and meat by-products (the Panera version is probably not; they likely use chicken broth as noted in the recipe).
So we substituted Knorr Vegetarian Vegetable Bouillon for the chicken stock. The recipe is just as good - I can't tell any difference at all - and no animal is harmed in the making of this soup.
We also substituted frozen broccoli (Kroger's offers an excellent choice) for fresh. Again, it tastes just as good and is easier to make this way.
We almost never use butter, either, but usually have Blue Bonnet margarine on hand. If you're a butter chauvinist, go ahead.
Otherwise we made the recipe as noted on the link above. What a wonderful bowl of soup this makes on a cold winter day. We at Pinehaven recommend you try it.