Roasted Broccoli Soup with Melted Cheddar Croutons

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creamy roasted broccoli soup with melted cheddar croutons and za’atar

servings: 4-6


  • 2 ½ lbs broccoli (whole stalks), ends trimmed
  • olive oil, as needed
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp za’atar spice blend
  • 1 ½ qts chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 oz fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp minced chives

for the croutons…

  • 4 slices fresh grainy bread, about ½” thick
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 6 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp za’atar spice blend


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Divide the broccoli stalks into florets and stems. Peel the stems, dice them about a ½”, and set aside. Place the florets onto a sheet pan and drizzle with a generous coating of olive oil. Toss well and spread into an even layer. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly charred and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add the ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Stir in the leeks and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and za’atar, and cook for 30 more seconds.
  3. Add the diced broccoli stems and pour in the vegetable stock. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 25 minutes until the broccoli stems are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add in half of the roasted broccoli, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts. Ladle the soup into a blender and blend for 90 seconds until creamy, working in batches if needed. Transfer the soup back to the pot and stir in the cream. Season with salt to taste.
  5. For the croutons, place the sliced bread onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Top each slice with a mound of cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the za’atar over top. Turn the oven to high broil and bake until the cheese is melted & golden (watch closely so they don’t burn).
  6. Place the sheet pan of remaining roasted broccoli back in the oven for just a couple of minutes to heat through. Serve the soup warm with a melted cheddar crouton and roasted broccoli on top. Garnish with the chives and more black pepper.


If you like lots of bread with your soup, I suggest doubling the crouton recipe and toasting 2 slices of cheesy bread per serving. You could also cut the bread into bite-sized pieces after toasting in the oven (more like regular croutons).