One of the husband’s favorite soups is Broccoli Cheese (or Broccoli Cheddar) Soup.
Warm, gooey, cheesy, rich – there are a lot of things to love about Broccoli Cheese Soup.
What I don’t love is the fact that one tiny cup of the traditional recipe can run you over 400 calories and 18g saturated fat. That’s because most versions of this recipe end up being more like “cheese soup with a tiny bit of broccoli” 🙂
I have been looking for a way to healthify this recipe for a while now, and I was so excited when I came across this recipe from Cooking Light!
I managed to make the Cooking Light version even healthier by making it veggie-friendly (traditional broccoli cheese soup recipes use chicken stock) and adding in even more broccoli without losing any of the cheesy goodness.
And the best part — this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make! Serve it with some crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a delicious, light, dinner.
- 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 4 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 chopped carrot
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 + 1/8 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional, garnish)
Step 1: Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
Step 2: Turn off the heat. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend the soup until it’s creamy. [Alternatively if you don’t have a hand blender you can use a regular blender: Pour soup into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan.]
Step 3: Stir in 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup half-and-half and 2 ounces cheese. You don’t need to turn the stove back on again, the residual heat from the soup should melt the cheese.
Step 4: Top evenly with remaining 1 tbsp cheese per bowl and parsley.
This is comfort food at its best: delicious (thanks to the cheese and cream) but also nutritious (thanks to the fiber and phytochemicals from the broccoli – which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties).
The husband loved this recipe and we managed to finish all of the soup between the two of us!