A bowl of broccoli-cheddar soup with olive oil toasted croutons.

Broccoli-Cheddar soup is something I always want to make but never do. With heaps of cheese, half and half, butter, and sometimes bacon, recipes, at a glance, often more resemble Super Bowl queso than soup.

So when I saw this recipe on Bon Appetit, I was intrigued. For one, it calls for water, as opposed to stock or milk. How nice? Two, it’s thickened by both puréed broccoli stalks and potato, as opposed to a roux. Love it. Three, it’s finished with a small amount of Greek yogurt. Interesting, right?

As I made it, I discovered another plus: It’s a one-pot, prep-as-you-go job: while you sweat the onions and garlic, you chop the broccoli and potato; as you simmer the broccoli and potato; you grate the cheese. It all comes together in about an hour, but it’s a very efficient hour.

It’s relaxed, too, a period of time during which you can both prep and clean in between steps. When the soup is ready to serve, your kitchen will be neat as a pin. You may even find time to toast up some cubes of day-old bread with olive oil and sea salt, something I highly recommend you do.

Can you tell how much I love this recipe? The soup tastes like — wait for it — vegetables! But it’s not so austere: there’s a richness and a heartiness to it thanks to a good amount of Cheddar cheese as well as the puréed potato-broccoli base. It has some nice heat, too, thanks to crushed red pepper flakes and as much freshly cracked black pepper as you wish.

This soup may have you heading back to the pot for thirds and fourths, which may leave you wondering if one bowl of queso might have been better? No chance.

PS: 5 Favorite Soups:

PPS: ALL the Soups.

Ingredients on a board to make broccoli-cheddar soup.
Here’s the play-by-play: Gather your ingredients.
A Dutch oven with onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and butter.
Chop up some onions and garlic, and sweat them slowly, covered, with crushed red pepper flakes and butter.
An overhead shot of a cutting board with broccoli florets and stems.
Meanwhile, trim the florets from the stalks of broccoli. Roughly chop the stalks.
A board with broccoli florets, cubed potatoes, and broccoli stems.
Peel and roughly chop a potato.
A Dutch oven with onions, garlic, broccoli stems, and water.
After 15 minutes of sweating, add the broccoli stalks, potato, and water to the pot. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
Adding broccoli florets to the broccoli-cheddar soup pot.
Add half of the florets, and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes.
A Dutch oven with an immersion blender puréeing broccoli-cheddar soup.
Purée until smooth.
A Dutch oven with puréed broccoli-cheddar soup and fresh florets added on top.
Add the remaining florets and cook, covered, for another 3-5 minutes.
A Dutch oven with broccoli cheddar soup in the works.
Add 2 cups of grated Cheddar cheese.
A Dutch oven with broccoli-cheddar soup and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. Stir to combine. Taste. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Keep soup over low heat while …
A skillet with cubed focaccia and olive oil.
… you toast up cubes of days-old bread in olive oil in a skillet.
Olive oil toasted cubes of day old bread in a bowl for soup.
Pile the croutons into a bowl.
A bowl of broccoli-cheddar soup with olive oil toasted croutons and a spoon.
Ladle broccoli-Cheddar soup into bowls, top with croutons, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.