Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup is loaded with chunks of potato, broccoli, and pancetta adding delicious depth of flavor. A yummy, cheesy chowder, this comforting one-bowl meal is hearty, filling, and just what your tummy craves on a chilly day.
Today’s easy soup recipe is essentially a cross between broccoli cheese soup and my favorite old-fashioned potato soup. What’s more, this recipe is extremely versatile.
That’s because many of the ingredients can be substituted and you still end up with one fantastic thick and creamy bowl of homemade soup!
Italian-Style Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup
Now that the weather is a bit chilly, you can bet I’ll be making a bit pot of soup or chili every single week.
Homemade soup is not only much tastier than canned soup, it’s over all better for you. I know it takes a little longer, but it’s really not that hard and it’s great having leftovers for lunch throughout the week.
One of the easiest soups you’ll ever make, this Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup is chock full of veggies and is thickened without adding any flour.
Once the potatoes cook, spoon a cupful out, mash them up, and stir them back into the soup—and pronto! You’ve got yourself a perfectly thick and delicious chowder.
- Potatoes — Yukon Gold, russet, or red potatoes
- Broccoli — fresh broccoli florets or frozen chopped broccoli
- Onion — sweet Vidalia or white onion. Also, if you have celery or carrots in the fridge, you may dice and cook them with the onions, too.
- Cheddar cheese — use whatever you have on hand. Preferably, sharp or mild cheddar, Gruyère, or smoked gouda.
- Chicken broth — may substitute vegetable broth
- Milk — may substitute heavy cream or half and half
- Pancetta — may substitute diced bacon, ham, or kielbasa. If you use bacon, drain off the extra grease before adding the other ingredients.
- Extra virgin olive oil — may use melted butter if you’re not worried about extra calories!
Vegetarian potato broccoli soup
Easily make this soup recipe vegetarian by omitting the diced pancetta and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth. Otherwise, follow the recipe directions as written.
Basic soup making tips
- First, cook aromatics like onions, celery, carrots, or garlic to start building flavor. For today’s soup, we’re cooking the onions and pancetta together. This smells so good, you’ll be ready to eat it up before you even finish the soup!
- Add the liquid and other ingredients that require more cooking time, for instance potatoes. Today’s recipe uses mostly chicken broth with a little milk or heavy cream to make the broth creamy, but you can use all broth or all milk.
- If using milk or cream in the liquid, cook at a lower temperature to avoid scalding the milk.
- Add quick-cooking ingredients (like the chopped broccoli) during the last five minutes of cooking.
- When adding cheese to soup, it is best to remove the soup from the heat first and stir in the cheese gradually to avoid the cheese seizing or curdling.
PRO TIP: Some chefs make sofrito — a mixture of slow-cooked, caramelized onions, carrots, and celery — and store it in the refrigerator or freezer to use as a jump start when making soups or stews.
Can you freeze Potato Broccoli Cheese soup?
Potato soups are not the best for freezing because when thawed, the potato texture can become grainy. That being said, if you do choose to freeze this soup I would recommend you make it to freeze with all chicken or vegetable broth and not add any milk or cream.
How long does this soup last?
You can safely store Potato Broccoli Cheese soup in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. To reheat, add a little chicken broth or milk to each bowl of soup and warm in the microwave.
Since this soup is made with pancetta, which is already salty, use salt sparingly when adding more to your soup. Taste and season to your own taste.
It’s a little thing, but garnishing a warm bowl of soup with fresh herbs definitely ups the ante. Imagine raising that first spoonful toward your mouth and getting a whiff of freshly chopped herbs along with the soup’s savory aroma. JUST. YUM.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (4-oz.) pkg. diced pancetta
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk or heavy cream
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- To a dutch oven or soup pot over medium low heat, add the olive oil, onion, and pancetta. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is tender and pancetta begins to crisp. Add the garlic and cook another minute, until fragrant..
- Add the potatoes, chicken broth and milk. Bring the soup to a gentle boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- With a slotted spoon, remove 1 1/2 cups of the soup to a bowl. Use the back of the spoon to mash the potatoes against the side of the bowl, then stir them back into the soup.
- Add the chopped broccoli florets and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and choppe parsley, if desired.
For vegetarian Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup: Omit the diced pancetta and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
You can safely store Potato Broccoli Cheese soup in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat, add a little chicken broth or milk to each bowl of soup and warm in the microwave.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 2181mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 24g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!