Brrrr. It only takes one cold snap and suddenly my attention is drawn away from the barbecue grill and focused completely on the soup pot. Today’s recipe is part of the quick, easy, and shortcut Friday recipes on the blog. And quick it is. A steaming pot of soup ready for dinner in about 30 minutes? Yes, indeed. A couple shortcuts and you’ve got a comforting bowl of cheesy soup loaded with broccoli and chicken waiting for you. Let’s get started because you need a bowl of this to warm you up ASAP.
The biggest timesaver in this recipe? Deli chicken. Pick one up at the store and then pick it clean. While I often cook my own chicken for this recipe, if you’re pressed for time, deli chicken is the way to go. Grocery stores in my area often have these on sale, or offer coupons to get them at discount. Basically the chicken is ready for this recipe in just a few minutes. No special tools needed-just pull it apart with your hands, discarding the skin and bones. You can shred or chop the big pieces, whichever you prefer.
I like broccoli. I like it a lot. It’s really the focus of this particular soup, rather than the cheese or chicken. While I love fresh broccoli, frozen is healthful as well-and all the chopping up work is done for you. And the cooking work, because fresh broccoli would need to be cooked a bit before adding it in here (unless you like super crunchy soup). I love Birds Eye® Baby Broccoli Florets because the florets are pretty small, making them ideal for soups, but you can use any brand of broccoli you like. Thaw it in the microwave briefly and you’re ready to go.
Okay, last shortcut-don’t use real cheese in this cheese soup. This is bound to be controversial with purists, but friends, Velveeta® will make your soup creamier than all git out and it melts super fast. Truly. I know it isn’t “real” by cheese standards, but it’ll make your cheese soups divinely smooth without any of the graininess you sometimes get with cheddar. Even reheated, this soup won’t have any separation anxiety-I mean, issues-like cheddar cheese soups can. If you need to hear it from an authority, listen to The Pioneer Woman because she uses it, too.
Soup’s on! Serve this delicious soup with some fresh fruit and your favorite bread for a quick and easy comforting meal on a busy day.
Quick Cheese & Broccoli Chicken Soup
- ¼ c. butter
- ⅓ c. chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ⅓ c. flour
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 8 oz. Velveeta™, cubed
- 1 c. half ‘n half
- 3 c. frozen broccoli florets, thawed (chop if large)
- 1 2 lb. baked deli chicken, deboned & skin removed, chopped (about 2 ½ cups)
- Step 1 Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Step 2 Add onions and garlic. Stir occasionally while they soften, about 5 minutes.
- Step 3 Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
- Step 4 Gradually whisk in broth. Increase heat to medium and continue whisking while mixture thickens, 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in Velveeta™until it’s melted.
- Step 5 Reduce heat back to medium-low and whisk in half ‘n half. Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.
- Step 6 Stir in broccoli and chicken, cook 3-4 minutes more, and serve.