Broccoli potato soup is pure comfort food in a bowl. Packed with bacon, broccoli, and potatoes, this soup is rich and warming, but quick and easy enough for busy weeknights.
We did it, friends! We made it through the long, hot days of summer and back around to comfort food season.
Today I have for you, a cheesy, bacon-filled broccoli potato soup that definitely qualifies as indulgent, and should absolutely be added to your fall/winter soup rotation immediately.
This soup is creamy and cheesy with vegetables that are cooked in bacon grease so the entire thing has a rich, lightly smokey flavor.
It’s thickened twice, once by smashing some of the potatoes into the broth, and then again with a thick and creamy cheese sauce made with butter, flour, milk, and cheese.
You end up with a totally satisfying bowl of soup that’s filling, packed with broccoli and potatoes, and perfect for chilly weeknights.
- Bacon: Use whatever bacon you keep on hand here. I used thick-cut bacon, but thinner slices and bacon ends would work great too. For bacon substitutions, see the variations section below.
- Milk: You can use any percentage milk, but the higher fat the milk, the richer your soup will be. For an extra rich soup, you can substitute some half and half or heavy cream for part of the milk.
- Chicken broth: Homemade chicken stock, low-sodium, and regular chicken broth can all be used in this recipe. Just be sure to taste and adjust the salt as needed. Homemade and low-sodium broths will probably require quite a bit of additional salt.
How to Make Broccoli Potato Soup
1. Cook bacon: In a large pot, cook bacon until just cooked through but not too crunchy. Really crispy bacon is delicious, but it’s not great in soup, so don’t overdo it. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
2. Discard some of the bacon fat: Spoon off and discard all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pot and cook the onions and celery in the grease. It might be tempting to keep more of the grease, but too much can leave a greasy sheen on the top of your soup.
3. Simmer: Add potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then stir the broccoli into the soup. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.
4. Make the roux: If you don’t mind keeping an eye on two things at once, you can start the roux while your veggies simmer. Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add flour and whisk continuously for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the flour begins to turn lightly golden. This will cook the raw taste out of your flour.
5. Add milk: Slowly whisk in milk, whisking out any lumps as they begin to form. Cook, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens and bubbles around the edges, about 5 minutes.
6. Cheese sauce time: Remove sauce from heat and stir in shredded cheese one handful at a time. When all the cheese has been incorporated, pour the cheese sauce into the soup and stir until everything is well mixed.
7. Finish the soup: Stir in the cooked bacon and add pepper. Taste, and add salt and more pepper if needed. Serve topped with additional cheese if desired, and enjoy!
This soup uses the same base as my other potato soup recipes, so you can mix and match ingredients as you’d like.
- Ham and potato soup: Replace the bacon with ham and instead of cooking the vegetables in bacon grease, use 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Omit the broccoli and the cheese from the sauce, and make the rest of the recipe as written.
- Cheesy bacon potato soup: Omit the broccoli from the soup.
- Cheesy sausage potato soup: Swap the bacon for chopped smoked sausage. Brown the sausage pieces and set aside. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to cook the vegetables instead of bacon grease. Omit the broccoli.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes. You can make the soup up to 48 hours in advance. It will thicken as it cools, but that’s normal. Reheat gently over medium heat until heated through.
Can I freeze broccoli potato soup?
I’m on the record as not being a huge fan of freezing potato-based soups. The texture of the potatoes doesn’t hold up well to freezing. BUT a lot of people don’t mind the texture change, so if you want to give it a try, freeze a serving and see what you think.
To freeze the soup, ladle individual servings into freezer bags or airtight freezer containers and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
To read more about freezing soups, check out my post How to Freeze Soup.
This looks good, but how can I make a “healthier” broccoli potato soup?
If you’d like to cut the fat/calories in this dish, not a problem. You can reduce the amount of bacon by half or two-thirds and just use it for topping the soup. Then use nonfat milk in the sauce and omit the cheese as well. Cook the rest of the soup as directed in the recipe. This will significantly cut the calories, but the soup will still be delicious!
More Favorite Soup Recipes
Broccoli Potato Soup
- 12 ounces uncooked bacon sliced into 1-inch pieces
- ½ medium onion diced small
- 2 celery ribs diced small
- 3 ½ cups (about 2 large) russet potatoes peeled and diced medium
- 4 cups (2 15oz cans) chicken broth
- 3 to 4 cups (about 6 to 8oz) broccoli florets cut into small bite-sized pieces
- 5 tablespoons (70g) butter
- ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon (44g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk (any percentage)
- 6 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) shredded cheddar cheese plus more as desired for topping
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- To a large pot, add bacon and turn heat to medium. Cook bacon until just cooked through but not too crunchy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
- Spoon off and discard all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pot. Add onions and celery and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to turn translucent around the edges.
- Add potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then stir the broccoli into the soup.
- Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.
- In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk continuously for about 1 minute, until the flour begins to turn lightly golden.
- Slowly whisk in milk, whisking out any lumps as they begin to form. Cook, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens and bubbles around the edges, about 5 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in shredded cheese one handful at a time. When all the cheese has been incorporated, pour the cheese sauce into the soup and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Stir in the cooked bacon.
- Add pepper. Taste, and add salt and more pepper if needed.
- Serve with additional cheese if desired, and enjoy!
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