Several years ago I came up with a homemade version of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup. My family loved it and I made it often. However, it was not the easiest to adapt to gluten free.
The thickener in this soup was flour and I have had trouble coming up with a thickener that did not change the texture and taste of the soup. I tried cornstarch and it made it a bit slimy and the leftovers did not reheat well. I tried rice flour and it turned out grainy. Tapioca starch gave me the same problems that cornstarch did.
Potato starch just did not work very well at all, but when I tried potato flour, I knew I had a winner. It gave me the closest taste and texture to the version that I used to make and love. And now we can once again enjoy my homemade version of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Gluten Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 5 cups broccoli florets (If you have a little more that is fine)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk or 1/2 and 1/2 (1/2 and 1/2 will make it richer)
- 1/3 cup potato flour
- 2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese
- cooked bacon (optional, but good)
- Steam broccoli until tender. This takes about 6 minutes.
- Chop finely. I chop mine in a food processor because we like it really finely chopped.
- In a large pan combine broth and milk and whisk in potato flour. Cook over medium high heat and continue to whisk until it starts to thicken. This usually takes until it almost comes to a boil.
- Stir in chopped broccoli and reduce to low. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes and then add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Serve in bowls sprinkled with bacon and enjoy!