A College Kitchn: Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Soup

Everyone has that one specific dish that they crave. The one dish you scan the menu for, hoping it is there; the dish that you beg your parents for when you come home for break; the one dish that makes your mouth water, your heart swirl, your hand grab for a fork.

There's that one dish for everyone, and for me that dish is broccoli soup. 


Broccoli: the green, tree-like vegetable that has made us turn up our noses since we were children. Served raw, its crunch and stalk leaves something to be desired. Even steamed, broccoli can make the most curated tastes among us reach for salt, pepper, or just anything to spice it up. But something magical happens when you transform broccoli into a creamy, hot soup: it becomes insanely delicious. 



This week's recipe is one that I have enjoyed nearly all my life. It's the recipe that I beg my mom to make when I come home, arms full of laundry and eyes tired from all-nighting that final essay. So believe me when I say, this soup is better than Panera - in fact, it's better than most other broccoli soups you will order at any restaurant.

Perhaps I'm bragging a little about the four-star chef I call my mother, or maybe I'm just biased. But the fact that this quick, simple recipe makes such delicious soup means that this recipe has earned itself some bragging rights. 


So whether you're a broccoli-soup enthusiast, sort of enjoy it, or would like to just try it out, this is the perfect recipe for you!  


Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Soup


  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks broccoli, chopped
  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 2 C 2% milk
  • 4 tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 sm. bay leaf (optional)
  • dash of garlic powder and peper
  • Shredded cheese for topping


  1. In pot, combine chicken broth, onion, broccoli, celery, thyme, bay leaf and garlic.
  2. Bring contents to boil and then simmer until vegtables are tender.
  3. In a small sauce pan melt butter.
  4. Blend in flour, salt and peper into melted butter.
  5. Stir constantly, allowing mixture to cook and bubble; 2-3 min.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in milk slowly.
  7. Treturn to heat and stir until mixture is thick.
  8. Add milk mixture to pot, stir to combine.
  9. With fork or masher, mash contents of soup to break down broccoli.
  10. Simmer for at least 20 minutes before serving.