Broccoli-Parmesan Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Whimsical cheesy croutons make this creamy soup a delight.

Broccoli-Parmesan Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Servings:
4

Creamy, cheesy, but still filled with veggies, could this soup get any better? For this broccoli soup, florets are blended with garlic, broth, and plenty of Parmesan cheese for a lighter take on the usual Broccoli-Cheddar Soup. When it comes to buying Parmesan cheese, we suggest you choose a block. Freshly grated Parmesan melts smoothly, unlike the pregrated kind, which has additives to keep it from sticking together.

We also snuck some Cheddar into this recipe for good measure, using it in the creative croutons for this soup. Since grilled cheese and soup is a classic pairing, we've turned that delicious combination on its head with grilled cheese croutons. They're possibly even easier to make than regular croutons too; all you have to do is make a single grilled cheese, and slice it into twelve tiny squares. Garnish with a few fresh chives and you have a warm comforting soup that comes together quickly on a weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic (from 2 garlic cloves) 

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour 

  • 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth 

  • 2 cups whole milk 

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 

  • ¾ tsp. black pepper, plus more for garnish 

  • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (12 oz.)  

  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, divided 

  • 2 (1 1/2-oz.) hearty white bread slices (such as Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse) 

  • 2 oz. sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup) 

  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated with a Microplane grater (about 2/3 cup), plus more for garnish 

  • Sliced chives 

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in broth and milk until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper; bring to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add broccoli; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium. Place 1 bread slice in skillet; top evenly with Cheddar, and cover with remaining bread slice. Cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip; add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet, and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut into 12 equal pieces.

  3. Carefully pour broccoli mixture and Parmesan into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls; top evenly with Grilled Cheese Croutons, and garnish with chives and additional pepper.

This recipe originally appeared in the September 2022 issue.

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