Broccoli and Cheese Soup with Croutons

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
10 min
1 hr

4 servings

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar
  • Croutons, for garnish, recipe follows
  • Croutons:
  • 1 cup 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubed French bread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Essence or Creole seasoning, recipe follows
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)

Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil and Essence. Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until light golden brown on top, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Yield: 1 cup

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc

Acidic, refreshing white wine

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    269 Reviews
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    this soup smells heavenly .. thank you Emeril ! didn't try the creole seasoning an bread since i gave up carbs..
    Underwhelmed by several of emeril's recipes so far!, soup had ok taste but was a bit porridgey in onsistence especially when cooled/cooling, need to find another recipe
    It's pretty good. Not the best, I've had but it's definitely worth trying out. I would like some vermont white cheddar in my soup personally. I will try that next time.
    Didn't do the croutons but everything else pretty much the same. It was good but not amazing, would use more of the spics next time for more flavor.
    Excellent. Followed the recipe exactly as written and it was very good. Love the croutons.
    This was very good , used fresh broccoli and I did not use croutons but served grilled Kings Hawaiian rolls, soooo delish!
    Creamy and rich. I used fresh broccoli and additional garlic. Easy to make.
    Easy & delicious! I chose to add a little extra nutmeg, garlic and cheese. Double the recipe and freeze some for a busy night!
    This was the first time I made this and my family raved about how good it was. Next time I will make enough to freeze to enjoy another time.
    I'm a big Emeril fan, so I feel a little bad about the rating. To be fair, I didn't follow the recipe to the letter and will try to make it again. I only had fresh broccoli, white onion and Colby / Jack cheese. After sampling it, I felt that it needed something extra. I added a little cayenne pepper and Tony Chachere's creole seasoning. The results struck me as being a little flat and lacking flavor. My husband, who has seconds of everything, made this a one bowl affair. He suggested I add bacon next time...which of course makes it an entirely different soup. Like I said, I'll try and make it again. I can't imagine that using fresh broccoli and the other minor changes made that big a difference in the flavor.
    Im cooking it now, with the ingredients I have. I have no cream, so I will use a cup of almond milk. I always/often refer to Emeril for his recipies!
    I also added 2 carrots.
    Amazing! Especially the croutons. This barely makes enough for 4 so double it if you have more than 4 for sure. OH I did NOT add the extra butter at the end, totally unnecessary. Also I did a few more sprinkles of pepper and nutmeg than it asked for. Loved it so much! 
    I agree I did exactly what you did and it came out great. My family enjoyed it. The next time I will tripe the ingredients so I can have leftovers.
    Just finished eating a bowl....oh me oh my....amazing! Great flavor and density. A little bit too salty so I strongly suggest you follow the recipe and use reduced sodium chicken broth as I used the generic type.
    Very good, but could have taken out just a few of the spices . I thought the flavor was almost a little too powerful. Other than that, it turned out great.
    Very good. Everyone that had some liked it very much. I only used 4 tablespoons butter in total and was fine. Also once when I made some ahead of time my sister who I call the sponge, got a hold of it and already had some ate before dinner so I added a can of cream of chicken to it so I would have enough. When I did not have any thyme on hand I used a little italian seasoning spice.
    OMG! This recipe is PACKED WITH FLAVOR! Easier to make then it sounds. I used fresh broccoli and my blender. I will definitely make over and over again!
    AMAZING!!! My immersion blender wasn't working very well and I didn't want to mess with the heavy duty equipment, so I just blended until it was about 1/2 pureed. And I really like to have some vegetables in the soup anyway. The recipe called for leeks or onions, so I used both. I also doubled the recipe. I didn't have any fresh thyme, so I just used dried. The result - a creamy, hearty soup with depths of flavor. I will definitely be making this again! Oh, and did I mention easy? Thanks, Emeril!!
    This recipe is awesome! I had just bought fresh broccoli at the Farmers' Market that morning and was looking for a good easy recipe. This one is super easy even with using the fresh broccoli vs the frozen. I did double the ingredients since I had plenty broccoli. I cut the stems off and cooked them for about 10-15 minutes and then used that water to blanch the cut up broccoli. I used the broccoli water (about two cups) in place of some of the broth. I didn't make the croutons because had fresh bread (from the Farmers' Market) that I served with it. I think I'll make the croutons with my leftover bread to serve with the leftover soup!
    Yes Sir I made this excellent soup for my customers today and they loved it Thank You Emeril
    Wonderful. I used my blender to liquefy. I was thinking of using my food processor, but the blender worked perfectly. I followed directions to a T with great results. I did double it and it turned out wonderful. Served with salad and rolls.
    It's OK. Took a lot of timed cooking with each step, and the taste was so so. Used an immersion blender right in the pot and that worked great. Only did about 5 pulses to save a few large bits of broccoli so it didn't look like pea soup. Used regular crotons and was fine with that. Overall not a keeper as it just took too much time.
    This is one of the BEST broccoli cheese soups I have ever tasted. One of those things that was so good I was thinking, did I really make this or did Emeril sneak into my kitchen? Lucky me, I had some fresh broccoli from our local farmer and went out to my herb garden to snip fresh thyme, so it was extra yummy!
    Very good and easy to make!
    Very filling and easy. I used fresh broccoli and the hardest part was waiting for it to cook so we could eat it!
    This is a super easy soup, with all of the ingredients in my kitchen most of the time. I changed a couple of things...I never have frozen broccoli, but always have fresh, I added 2T more flour because it didn't seem thick enough to me after pureeing, I only pureed 1/2 so there were still some broccoli spears to bite into, and I used skim milk and no butter at the end. I also used a sharp white chedder since anything more mild seems tasteless to me. If you can, make the croutons instead of using store bought ones in replacement. They are super easy to make if you have the essence already made up, and adds a nice zing.
    It was hearty and very filling. I used fresh broccoli and substituted Parm and butter toasted bread for the croutons. 'Twas a little salty, but I think it was the chix stock used. Substituted Sour Cream for heavy cream, came out just right. This recipe was a hit, and a few neighbors who passed my door, asked what smelled so great.
    My husband and I loved this soup and it was just enough for 2 servings the next day as leftovers! Great recipe.
    This soup was very easy to make. It as thick, creamy, and cheesy! If you typically are very light on salt, I would not add all the salt required by the recipe to the soup. I love cheese, so I added chucks of Velveeta in addition to the shredded cheese required by the recipe. I used shredded white cheese instead of cheddar and it still taste just a great.
    Very easy to make and very tasty. I typically don't like nutmeg in savory foods but just a pinch really does make this soup special. I only pureed half of it because I wanted some bite to it.
    Delicious! Forget about the last course of butter, not needed.
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