A couple of weeks ago I ate the cheddar broccoli soup and Panera and remembered how much I enjoy this type of soup. I looked up a couple of recipes and combined the best elements of the two. One was even entitled “Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup.”
A common mistake when melting cheese is too much heat. According to Fine Cooking, too much heat causes the proteins to seize, and you’re left with globs of cheese which have had their liquids and fats squished out. The article suggests grating the cheese, bringing it up to room temperature, and using low heat. I don’t think my problem was high heat.
The two recipes asked for cheddar. The article says you should choose a cheese you know well or use exactly what the recipe indicates. Each cheese melts differently. The have three cheese groupings: stringy or stretchy melters, smooth melters, and nonmelters. Cheddar melts smoothly while mozzarella is stringy when it melts, which is why you should use cheddar in soups and mozzarella on pizza.