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Copycat Panera(R) Broccoli Cheddar Soup
January 09, 2014

This has the potential to be a really great broccoli cheese soup. As is, it’s just o.k. To me it tasted like broccoli with cheese sauce. It was bland and seemed to be lacking something. I’m thinking it’s the cooking process. It seems backwards. Typically, milk products are added last because simmering can cause curdling, especially if simmered for a long period of time. It works out o.k. for this recipe because it’s so thick from the cheese that you don’t really notice. What I found odd was that half of the cooking time is dedicated to just simmering the milk with plain stock, absent of any vegetables or seasonings of any kind. It’s only in the latter stage when you add the vegetables and those are only cooked just long enough until tender. Onions, celery, and carrots are essential when it comes to adding flavor to any soup broth and it takes time to develop that flavor. I would suggest adding those 3 ingredients to the chicken broth at the beginning so they have more cook time. The other change I would make is when to add the milk. I would start by adding the broth to the flour first and then the milk, but that’s just me.

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