Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup


¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup diced onions (yellow or white)
1 cup shredded carrots (I used matchsticks that I cut into half inch pieces)
2 ½-3 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup milk (I use skim/fat free)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more as desired)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot over medium high heat, melt butter. Add in onions, carrots and broccoli. Cook to soften about 5 minutes (may be more or less depending on the size vegetables you cut).
Slowly add in broth, milk, and cream. Sprinkle with flour and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and heating over medium heat until thickened. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
Once thick, add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Serve soup and enjoy!