6 tbsp. butter, divided
¾ cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped or shredded
4 cups small broccoli florets
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ tsp. onion salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the carrots to the pan and cook a couple minutes more. Stir in the broccoli, chicken broth, onion salt and garlic powder. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened, whisk in the cheese until completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the cheese sauce to the soup pot. Allow to simmer until warmed through and broccoli is tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. If desired, puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smooth texture.