Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup – Calling all Panera broccoli cheese soup lovers! I’m popping in with a healthy recipe for an easy Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup that takes less than 10 minutes to prep. This is one of the best crock pot recipes to make you feel just as warm and toasty as the Panera original.
This easy slow cooker broccoli cheese soup recipe is perfect when you are in need of a healthy meal but have zero time to cook it, a position I find myself in often, and I suspect you do too.
Nearly every broccoli and cheese soup recipe I’ve found calls for the initial step of making a base cheese sauce on the stove, including recipes designed for the crock pot.
Because I know we don’t always have time to fuss with this kind of prep, I decided to see if I could create a slow cooker broccoli and cheese soup entirely via the “dump and go” method: dump the ingredients into your crock pot; walk away; return hours later to a dinner that’s ready to serve.
1/3 cup butter, sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 cups small diced broccoli florets*
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (or more to taste)
2 oz parmesan cheese, freshly & finely shredded
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until they begin to soften, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add garlic, flour and season lightly with salt and pepper then cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in evaporated milk (whisk well to smooth). Cook mixture, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken then pour into a slow cooker along with chicken broth, diced broccoli and thyme. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH heat for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours.
Turn heat to warm (or off) and stir in heavy cream, then add in shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.
*From about 20 oz broccoli crowns, large stems cut off and discarded (or reserved for another use), florets diced into small pieces.