Broccoli White Cheddar Soup & The Watercolor That Got Me Hooked on it

Here is a recipe for an outstandingly white cheddar broccoli soup that’s full of flavor, light and delicious.

About the recipe

The Filoli cafe is nestled in a shady redwood and oak tree garden in a beautiful setting where the cafe serves espresso drinks, pastries, and light lunches.


On a cool February afternoon having a warm soup for lunch at the cafe at FILOLI gardens sounded really good. And broccoli cheddar soup was on the menu.


I’m not a fan of the traditional orange colored broccoli cheddar soup. For one, it always has bacon bits, and secondly the bright orange cheddar cheese in the typical broccoli cheddar soup turned me off for some reason – that bright orangey color always looked so unnatural.

But here at the Filoli Cafe their broccoli cheddar soup was vegetarian! It had no bacon bits, was made with vegetable broth, and it didn’t look thick and gelatinous as other broccoli cheddar soups do. The soup at the cafe was delicious!  

At the Filoli Garden cafe is where I had my first taste of broccoli cheddar soup!


Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California is a historic mansion and gardens that offer a wide variety of enrichment classes on painting, drawing, botanical sketches, and high-end floral arrangements. I took their watercolor painting class as it was a short two-day class and to be honest more than anything I really wanted to attend a class at the Filoli Gardens in early spring when their daffodils are in bloom!


The watercolor course I took was a two-day class in one of the lovely rooms inside the historic Filoli mansion. 


I can thank taking this art class for my new found discovery of broccoli cheddar soup. If I hadn’t tried the soup at the cafe at FILOLI I would never have known what I was missing – white cheddar broccoli soup!


Here are a few pics of my watercolor painting process. 🎨 😊

from Art

Watercolor is a swim in the metaphysics of life…
a mirror of one’s own character.
Let it be unpredictable and colorful.

Final pansy painting

 Broccoli White Cheddar Soup


  • 1 lb broccoli florets cut into small pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 cups white cheddar cheese finely shredded
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cups vegetable broth or water
  • Salt and pepper  (hold off on the salt until the soup is completely ready as the cheese has salt and it’s best to wait till the cheese is added to the soup before adding more)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • A pinch of red chili flakes


  • In a large pot heat 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté garlic until tender. Add all the broccoli, broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes until broccoli is tender. Blend the cooked broccoli into a puree.
  • In a separate pot melt 2 tbsp butter. Add flour and whisk in until bubbles form at the edges of the pan.  Add the milk, whisking constantly until milk and flour are creamy.  Add cheese and melt in the sauce to make a cheese sauce.
  • Add the cheese sauce to the broccoli soup and mix-in.  Taste and adjust for salt. Heat through for a few more minutes. Soup is ready.
  • Serve broccoli cheddar soup with extra garnish of cheese and some black pepper.

13 thoughts on “Broccoli White Cheddar Soup & The Watercolor That Got Me Hooked on it”

  1. Beautiful water color paintings! The soup looks good, since it has milk and lot of cheese wouldn’t suit my tummy.

    1. Thank you 😊. Yeah, this brocolli cheddar soup is cheesy so its really not meant for folks who are lactose intolerant. Sorry about that. I do have another creamy broccoli soup on my blog that is dairy free – please give it a try.

  2. Kalpana, Now I know where Sri gets the painting gene from!
    Wow, one more of your talent comes out! What next?
    Soup looks delicious!

  3. Kalpana,
    The painting is gorgeous. You should definitely look into taking more classes and create such beautiful masterpieces. You truly are multi -talented.


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