Some highly rated broccoli soup recipes are found on Food Network and Epicurious. The Food Network recipe involves making homemade croutons to serve with the soup, and the Epicurious recipe uses cheddar cheese for a broccoli and cheese soup.
For the broccoli and cheese soup at Epicurious, first heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a medium pot until melted. Add in broccoli stems from 2 pounds chopped broccoli and a large chopped onion, then cook for about 6 minutes. Mix in two cloves minced garlic and 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon and cook for an additional minute. Add in 6 1/2 cups chicken broth, then bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes before stirring in 1 cup whipping cream.
Mix together 3 tablespoons butter and flour to form a paste, then stir the paste into the soup. Add in the broccoli florets and cook for about 5 minutes until soup is thickened. Place the soup in six individual bowls, top each with 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and melt the cheese under the broiler for about 4 minutes.
To make homemade croutons to serve with the soup, place French bread cubes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bake the bread on a sheet pan for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.