This post has been updated for recipe, content and photos since its original publication in 2015.
If you love broccoli cheese soup, this sophisticated French-inspired version will blow you away! It’s a creamy vegetable soup with a bevy of broccoli potatoes, onions and carrots finished with white wine, a splash of cream and gruyere cheese. And if you’ve been searching for truffle oil recipes, bookmark this one, because the garnishes on this soup are trés chic and super easy to make. Top your creamy broccoli potato cheese soup with truffled croutons and a drizzle of truffle oil. Best of all, this creamy broccoli soup recipe is ready to eat in about an hour.
This is a French inspired version of the famous and ever-popular broccoli cheese soup that appears on every local diner and Panera Bread menu across the country. Most of them are broccoli and cheddar soups, that are so rich and thick, you can’t finish a bowl without falling into a food coma. This truffled broccoli potato cheese soup tastes indulgent, but it’s not heavy. Instead this creamy vegetable soup is kissed with a dry white wine and finely grated gruyere cheese for a more refined creamy broccoli soup that you’re really going to love.
What you’ll need for the soup
- Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- All Purpose Flour
- Dry White Wine (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc)
- Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
- Broccoli (both florets and stems)
- Red Skinned Potato
- Fresh Thyme
- Parmesan Rind (optional)
- Gruyere Cheese
- Truffle Oil
For this creamy broccoli soup, I don’t let ANYTHING go to waste. That includes the broccoli stems. They may look tough and inedible, however, if you use a vegetable peeler on woody stems, the inside is tender and delicious (Just be sure to trim the dried end off). You’ll want to prep the vegetables before getting started on cooking, because the process goes pretty quickly.
How to make French-inspired broccoli cheese soup
- Sauté the onions, carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil and butter until tender.
- Add flour and stir to coat the vegetables, cooking for about a minute.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine and stir until thick and bubbly.
- Cook the wine mixture for 1-2 minutes before adding the vegetable broth a little at a time, stirring constantly so it blends together without clumps.
- Add the potatoes, broccoli, thyme bundle and a rind of parmesan cheese (optional) to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender.
- Stir in the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the thyme bundle and parmesan rind from the pot and discard.
- Move the broccoli potato cheese soup from heat and add finely grated gruyere cheese about half a cup at a time, stirring until the cheese is melted before adding more.
- Blend the creamy broccoli soup until smooth and serve with truffled croutons, additional cheese and truffle oil for garnish.
What’s with the parmesan rind?
This is a not-so-secret cooks trick for adding extra umami flavor to soups, stews or sauces and it’s why I always save the rinds from a used up piece of Parmigiano Reggiano. The rind softens as it simmers and infuses broths and sauces with an extra layer of umami goodness. The rind doesn’t actually melt, however. It just softens and becomes pliable. Discard the rind before serving your dish. For this creamy broccoli soup, you need to discard the rind before blending it.
The broccoli cheese soup – for grown-ups
Have you ever noticed how most broccoli cheese soups closely mimic the same hue as Cheez Whiz with their neon-orange glow? They’re cheesy, yes. However, they can be so redolent with cheese that it completely upstages the broccoli and vegetable part of the soup. This creamy broccoli soup isn’t like that. Deglazing with white wine lends an acidic undertone and just a splash (not a vat) of cream enhance the flavors in this creamy vegetable soup. Gruyere cheese strikes just the right balance of cheesy indulgence and sophistication. I consider this a broccoli cheese soup for grown-ups.
FAQs and troubleshooting
Why is my cheese soup curdled or grainy?
This can happen if the soup temperature is too high (over 150°F) when adding the cheese – coaxing out the proteins in the soup and causing them to clump together instead of melting gently — and it’s why I remove the pan from the heat when adding the cheese and add it a little at a time. Doing that should eliminate the issue.
Additionally, you’ll want to use the finest rasp on a box grater for grating the gruyere cheese. The smaller the strands of cheese, the more easily they’ll melt into the broccoli cheese soup.
Acidity (from wine) helps break down the proteins, while adding enough water to prevent it from happening too quickly. So, the wine in this creamy broccoli soup not only provides a balance of flavors, but also helps to keep the the soup smooth.
Can you eat curdled soup?
Yes, though, it’s not as pleasant to look at (there’s nothing dangerous about it). That said, this is a blended soup and if you have a powerful blender and puree in batches, you may be able to overcome the curdle by blending on “high”.
Blending cream of broccoli soup
You can use an immersion blender to puree this soup, but frankly, to me, it’s more work than it’s worth. I prefer a good stand blender for this task. I have a Vitamix (expensive, but worth the investment to me), however, there are plenty of mid-priced blenders that will do the job.
Safety tips for blending hot soup
The key to blending a hot soup is to NOT FILL THE CONTAINER MORE THAN HALFWAY.
Why? It’s HOT... and when you blend, especially at a high speed, the soup will froth and expand in the container.
Fill it too high and it will shoot hot soup out the top and all over you and your kitchen. I am always extra cautious here and besides limiting the amount of liquid I blend at a time, I always cover the top with a dish towel... just in case. This is especially important if you have small children or animals who like to “help” in the kitchen.
This dish is satiny smooth — and my favorite way to finish off a creamy soup is with texture and CRUNCH. These easy croutons are basically just toasted crunchy shreds of sourdough bread tossed with a bit of white truffle oil. What you’ll love about them is that they’re not big and unwieldy like many commercially available croutons. Instead of one-inch perfectly square cubes, these are small and offer just a bit of toasty crunch with every spoonful of the creamy soup. I also use this method for topping salads, so that every bite gets that shattering crackle.
Garnishing with truffle oil
This may sound like a real indulgence, but truffle oil isn’t nearly as expensive as whole truffles and it imparts a rich, earthy nuance to the soup. I used Monini White Truffle Oil, (about $11/bottle) for flavoring the crunchy croutons and finishing the soup.
Don’t worry if you don’t have truffle oil, it’s optional. However, you’ll definitely want to make the crispy croutons.
Making truffle oil croutons
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Remove the crusts from the sourdough bread.
- Rip the bread into chunks and transfer to a mini food processor.
- Pulse several times to shred the bread into uneven and jagged shreds.
- Transfer the bread crumbs to a baking sheet and drizzle with truffle oil (or olive oil).
- Spread the crumbs are in a single layer.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Stir the crumbs well, then spread into a single layer again.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake another 8 minutes until truffled croutons are golden and very crispy.
The final flourish
The soup only needs a light drizzle of truffle oil to have an impact, so you’ll be able to use the rest of the bottle in plenty of other truffle oil recipes. If you are skipping the truffle oil, a light drizzle of good quality finishing olive oil works wonders too.
More creamy vegetable soups:
- Thai Style Pumpkin Squash Soup
- Creamy Vegan Asparagus Soup
- Fennel and Leek Soup with Mushrooms
- Chilled Cucumber Soup
More truffle and truffle oil recipes:
- Truffle Fries via Lisa at The Snappy Gourmet.
- Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese from Dawn at Girl Heart Food.
- The Truffled Anjou from Leah at The Gastronom Blog.
- Truffled Deviled Eggs via Amanda at Striped Spatula.
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Truffled Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (can also use chicken broth)
- 1 pound broccoli trees stems and florets
- 1 large red skinned potato peeled and diced
- 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme tied with kitchen string
- parmesan cheese rind optional
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 cups finely shredded gruyere cheese
- drizzle truffle oil optional
FOR TRUFFLED CROUTONS
- 2 slices sturdy sourdough bread
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil or olive oil
FOR THE TRUFFLED CROUTONS
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Trim the crust from the bread and transfer to a mini food processor. Pulse several times until it's broken down into bite sized, shaggy tears of bread.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with truffle oil (if using) or olive oil. Toss well to coat and arrange croutons in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes and stir the croutons. Return the bread to the oven and cook for another 8 minutes or until golden and very crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
FOR THE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
- Prep the broccoli by removing the florets and setting aside. Trim the tough end of the broccoli stems. Use a vegetable peeler to peel away the tough outer skin. Discard the peelings. Chop the stems into 1/2" pieces
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Stir in the onion and carrot and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion is softened and slightly translucent, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat down if the vegetables start to brown.
- Add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for one minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir into the vegetables until all the flour is absorbed by the oil and butter. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the wine a little at a time, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any fond. Bring to a low bubble and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the broth a little at a time, until the soup stock is well blended.
- Add the broccoli florets, stems and potatoes, thyme bundle and parmesan rind (if using) to the soup stock and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. When it just reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid slightly askew so the steam can escape. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes and broccoli are very tender, stirring occaasionally.
- Stir in the cream and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and using a pair of tongs, remove the parmesan rind and thyme bundle. Discard.
- Add the grated gruyere cheese about half a cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted before adding the next handful.
- Blend the soup until smooth. You can use an immersion blender for this or a regular blender. For a regular blender, fill the container no more than half way, secure the lid tightly and cover the lid with a dish towel to avoid any splatters. Pureé in batches.
- Process the soup until you have the chunkiness or smoothness you desire. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of truffle oil and crispy croutons over each bowl. Sprinkle on additional gruyere cheese if desired.
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