Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a Bread Bowl

I have an unhealthy addiction to Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl (I have an unhealthy addiction to fresh, warm bread in general). But the soup is great too; perfect for cold, rainy days when all you want to do is curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good movie. It was one of those cold, rainy days when I decided that I wanted broccoli cheddar soup, but I didn’t want to go out into the crummy weather to get it. So, I decided to create my own. I made bread bowls using Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day dough that I had in the fridge – and by the way, have you heard that authors Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg are coming out with a new book? It’s called Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and it’s full of delicious whole wheat and even gluten-free recipes. You could make your bread bowls using their master whole wheat bread recipe, and they’d be even healthier and just as delicious. Try it out this weekend! Here’s what you’ll need for the soup:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces grated colby jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First, prepare the bread bowls. To make two bread bowls, I took half a batch of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day boule dough out of the container in my refrigerator and divided it in half again. I let the dough rest on a floured pizza peel on my counter for about 40 minutes. While you’re waiting, make sure your baking stone and broiler pan are in the oven, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

For the soup, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat.

Remove the onions and add in the flour, stirring constantly. Add in the half and half, milk, and chicken stock. Bring to almost a boil.

Add the onion and garlic back in, along with the broccoli and carrots. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, bake the bread for 30 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool. When the bowls are still a little warm, cut out the centers.

Season the soup with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. Stir in the cheeses (and you can play around with the amounts; use however much or little you like) and let simmer for 10 minutes longer before serving. Pour the soup into the bread bowls, and enjoy!

41 Responses to “Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a Bread Bowl”

  1. 1 Lori @ RecipeGirl Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Great idea!! Love the book :)

  2. 2 Sandy Smith Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Wow ~ great use of this recipe! Looks fantastic, and satisfying! Perfect for snow days.

  3. 3 Small Town Runner Karen Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Oh my gosh! That looks sooooooo good! (So when are you inviting me over?) (:

  4. 4 shelly (cookies and cups) Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    This is seriously homey food! I love this and plan on getting in sweats this weekend and making it ;)

  5. 5 Cassandra Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    That looks super yummy! I might have to make it soon.

  6. 6 Sandy Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Man I HAVE to get that book!

  7. 7 Jessica Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    It’s a cold day today, so the soup looks even more appetizing!

  8. 8 Danielle Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    wow….I’m sure which one I’m craving more…but I love it! I need, or shall I say knead (haha) to get one if not both of those cookbooks….and soon. like…tomorrow. (cuz I’m too tired to go out tonight and get it/them).

  9. 9 Asha@FSK Says:
    November 6th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    mmm.. i love bread bowls!!! and soup is the only way I’ll have broccoli.. healthy and comforting.. nice one!! :)

  10. 10 Erika Says:
    November 7th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    That soup looks just divine – it’s 7am and already I’m craving it!

  11. 11 Beth Says:
    November 8th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love Panera Bread’s soup and bread bowls too…YUM! Now I can have them at home ;)

  12. 12 Rylan @ Art and Appetite Says:
    November 8th, 2009 at 4:51 am

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH the soup looks so delish, delish, delish. It also looks soo presentable with the bread bowl. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I hope to make this one day.

  13. 13 SnoWhite Says:
    November 8th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    this looks wonderful! I can’t wait to read a copy of their new “healthy” artisan bread…. yum.

  14. 14 bridget{bake at 350} Says:
    November 10th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    HOW I missed this post, I don’t know. I have an unhealthy addiction to Panera’s French Onion Soup in a bread bowl. And for the side, I always order bread. ;)

    You have inspired me!

  15. 15 Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction Says:
    November 10th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Oh yum… Your bread bowls look fantastic. I love chili in a bread bowl… Atlanta Bread (similar to Panera) serves their chicken chili in a sourdough bread bowl, and that is one of my favorites!

  16. 16 BeckyRos Says:
    November 11th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I share the same addiction! We should go to help group together…or I should just learn to make it at home like you did! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  17. 17 Memoria Says:
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I added a post about this delicious soup today! Thanks for the great recipe.

  18. 18 Memoria Says:
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I replied to you there, but just in case you don’t get a chance to read it, I have copied and pasted it here:

    “Hi, Tracy! I didn’t see when you were supposed to add in the garlic, so I added it in with the onions. Thanks for a great recipe!”

  19. 19 Tracy Says:
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Memoria – Ah yes, thanks for letting me know! I’ve updated the post. :-)

  20. 20 Michelle from Taste As You Go Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I am like you, Tracy. I’m ADDICTED to the Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a Bread Bowl from Panera. And I’ve been meaning to make it at home forever… especially since there is no Panera near me in NYC. Thanks for posting this!

  21. 21 Eleanor Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I was looking for something different to serve my family on Christmas Eve. It was wonderful! I followed the recipe but let it sit in my slow cooker till guests arrived. Comfort food and delicious flavor added up to a new tradition started in 2010! Thank you!

  22. 22 Choco Says:
    November 6th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    wow O_O what can I say!?? this recipe looks amazing,
    I adore broccoli recipes ?? just made it today & as a beginner I’m more than satisfied with the final result XD
    My mom & sister loved it ?
    thanks Tracy you made my day ^___^

  23. 23 Jaeny Says:
    June 2nd, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Oooh! I’ve always wanted to make my own soup bread, up till now I’ve always bought bakery baked ones. I love my chowder in it. This looks like another great recipe to add to my list of soups to try. I wonder though if making a wheat free soup bread is possible.

  24. 24 Vivian Says:
    August 10th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I had something similar at a Renaissance Fair… It was delicious! Although I think it was potato and cheese soup…

  25. 25 Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) Says:
    October 10th, 2011 at 2:14 am

    I love that you did everything homemade, including the bread. I’ve done the soup in the bowl thing (the kids LOVE it), but not with homemade bread. I’m very inspired though…bookmarking it so I can plan it during the upcoming cooler months.

  26. 26 I HEART BREAD BOWL Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 8:07 pm


  27. 27 Jenna Says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    This looks awesome. I am going to the store to buy the stuff now. How many servings does this make? Thanks. Cant wait to get started! :)

  28. 28 Tracy Says:
    October 30th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Jenna – This recipe made about 2 big bread bowls of soup. Hope that helps!

  29. 29 Jaime Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Hey there- I’m making this right now and I haven’t put the cheese in yet (it’s still simmering) but it seems extremely thick. Any tips? Also, how long was I supposed to saute the onions? I kind of just guessed.

  30. 30 Tracy Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Jaime – I usually saute the onions until they’re translucent. The soup base should definitely thicken up, but if it’s too thick just add in some more chicken stock or milk to thin it out. Hope that helps!

  31. 31 Kendall Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    how many serving is your recipe set for? I wanna make this for our work soup group but Im sure I will need to double or triple the recipe.

  32. 32 Tracy Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Kendall – I filled two good-sized bread bowls with the soup for this recipe, so I would definitely double or triple the recipe if I were you. Hope that helps!

  33. 33 Jaime Says:
    January 8th, 2012 at 7:49 pm


  34. 34 Faith Says:
    March 5th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one addicted to Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup. I LOVE IT! I think I will try this recipe. Thanks!

  35. 35 CHANEL Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    just made the soup and it is HEAVEN!! Watch out Panera!!!

  36. 36 Jia Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    So amazing!! I saw this recipe yesterday and decided to make it for dinner tonight!

    As for the bread, I didn’t make it ahead of time so after letting it rise for 2 hours I used it RIGHT AWAY after kneading it a bit and it turned out great! Also, I just cut the recipe in half when making it since you said you used only that much for 2 bowls and it was perfectly portioned.

    Thanks so much for this, we were so happy for dinner and I felt so proud being able to say I made the bread myself. I was a little worried on how it would turn out because the directions aren’t very detailed (how long or if bread should be kneaded, simmer with or without top, how long to saute garlic and onions before removing) and I’m fairly new at cooking actual meals for more than one college student but this is easy and delicious! I’ll definitely be making this again.

    Thanks so much!

  37. 37 Veronica Says:
    September 25th, 2012 at 3:07 am

    This seriously looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it out, hopefully I will be successful lol

  38. 38 Chris Says:
    February 4th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Love this recipe! I’ve made the soup several times, and it’s become a treat at our house. Thanks so much for posting!

    Only request I have. . . could you post the full soup recipe at the bottom or post a link to it? I haven’t copied the recipe down yet and it’s hard to scroll up and down the web page while cooking. :)

  39. 39 Chris Says:
    February 4th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Sorry to post again, but as I make this, I remembered another thing. You didn’t mention when to add the spices, I think. I’ve been doing it at the end. Thanks!

  40. 40 Tracy Says:
    February 4th, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Chris – Glad you are enjoying the soup! The spices are added right before the cheese (the “season the soup with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom” step in the recipe). If you would like to view the recipe without the photos you can simply click the “Print” link at the top of the recipe. Hope that helps!

  41. 41 Rohit Says:
    June 28th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    its a great

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