This healthy Broccoli & Cheese Soup combines sautéed onions, garlic and broccoli with a creamy blend of low-fat milk and sharp cheddar cheese, creating a flavourful and satisfying classic soup I just know you’re going to love. A nutritious option, this soup is perfect for a comforting meal without compromising on taste!
I know we’ve talked about classic soup recipes before and like this Creamy Potato and Leek, this Broccoli & Cheese Soup is also one of them. It’s creamy AF, full of delicious cheesy flavour and proves why this classic combo is always a favourite. Broccoli & Cheese Soup is just one of those soups you can guarantee will be delicious. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies (and cheese, duh!), is the most perfect comfort food and makes a great appetizer or side dish to just about any meal. I don’t know about you but I’m NEVER complaining when I see a bowl of this on the menu and its creaminess is truly addicting. The good news? This version is lightened up and healthier than you’re typical heavy cream packed broccoli cheddar soup but trust me, the flavour is still all there!
I love having soup on my weekly meal plans come Winter. There’s just something so special and cozy about having a pot of homemade soup simmering away on the stove on a cold or gloomy day. Nothing says comfort like spooning a mouthful of hot soup into your piehole while watching snow flakes accumulate on the ground. Am I right?! Especially if it’s your job to then go out there and shovel said accumulated snowflakes… Having a bowl of homemade soup ready and waiting is pretty much mandatory.
And I just want you to know that if you so choose to make this broccoli & cheese soup as the bowl you have ready and waiting, you will not be disappointed! So, embrace the snow, conquer the shovel and reward yourself with a steaming bowl of classic goodness. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you, and your winter blues won’t stand a chance.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP
There’s nothing fancy going on here – just simple flavours coming together to create the most satisfying and comforting soup. This broccoli & cheese soup is an all-year-round delight that you’re going to want to keep making over and over again! Let’s discuss exactly what you’re going to need to do so in a little bit more detail down below:
- Broccoli: The star ingredient, providing texture and nutritional value to the soup. High in fiber, vitamins (C, K), and antioxidants, broccoli supports a healthy immune system and promotes overall well-being.
- Cheddar Cheese: Contributes creaminess and a distinct, robust cheese flavour to the soup. Sharp cheddar cheese is typically used in this classic soup recipe. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you can experiment with a different kind. Mozzarella, marbled or monterey jack make great alternatives. Either way, use cheese that you grate yourself for best results.
- Onions: Adds depth of flavour and sweetness to the soup. White or yellow onions work best in this recipe.
- Garlic: Enhances the savory flavour profile of the soup. Therefore, fresh minced garlic works best in this recipe.
- Broth: Serves as the liquid base for the soup, infusing it with flavour. I used chicken broth but you can use vegetable broth instead, if you prefer.
- Milk: Adds creaminess to the soup without excessive fat content (I used low fat milk). However, any kind of milk you have on hand should get the job done just fine.
- Whole Wheat Flour: Used as a thickening agent for the soup. You can use regular flour instead, if you prefer.
- Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the onions and garlic, providing a healthy fat base for the soup. However, you can use a different cooking oil (such as avocado) instead, if you prefer.
- Salt and Pepper: Essential in enhancing and balancing the flavours of the soup.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy recipe for broccoli & cheese soup in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Uniformly cut ingredients. Ensure consistent size when chopping onions and broccoli. This ensures even cooking and a uniform texture in the final soup.
- Use cheese that you grate yourself for best results. Pre-packaged and pre-grated cheeses contain anti-caking agents that prevent them from melting properly.
- Allow the onions and garlic to fully sauté until softened. This brings out their natural sweetness, enhancing the overall flavour of the soup.
- Add the broth to the soup gradually, stirring continuously. This helps to avoid lumps when incorporating the flour and ensures a smooth consistency.
- Use an immersion blender for convenience and to achieve a creamy texture directly in the pot. If using a regular blender, let the soup cool slightly before blending in batches.
- Gradually add the cheese and milk to avoid clumping. Stir continuously to ensure a smooth and velvety consistency.
- Season the soup at the end, after adding cheese and milk. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly. Remember, cheese adds saltiness, so be mindful of the overall sodium content.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If your Broccoli Soup tastes bland, there are several potential reasons. Here are some common culprits and suggestions to enhance the flavour:
Insufficient seasoning. Solution: Taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly. Add seasonings gradually, allowing time for the flavours to develop.
Not enough sauteing. Solution: Ensure the onions and garlic are sautéed sufficiently before adding other ingredients. Properly caramelized onions contribute sweetness and depth to the soup.
Consider adding fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or a pinch of nutmeg for extra depth. These can elevate the overall flavour profile of the soup. A touch of acidity, such as a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of white wine vinegar, can brighten the flavours and balance the richness. Allow the soup to sit for a while after cooking. Sometimes, flavours develop and intensify as the soup cools and rests.
If your Broccoli Cheddar Soup tastes gritty, it’s likely due to issues with the cheese not fully melting or incorporating properly. Some cheeses have a higher melting point and may not blend smoothly into the soup. Choose a high-quality, good-melting cheese like sharp cheddar and avoid the pre-packaged and pre-grated stuff. You can also shred the cheese finely to help it melt more easily. Cheese needs time to melt and incorporate fully into the soup. Rushing this process can result in a gritty texture. Allow the soup to simmer gently after adding the cheese, stirring continuously until the cheese is completely melted and integrated into the soup.
Several factors could contribute to cheese not melting properly in your Broccoli Soup. Cheese requires heat to melt. While you don’t want the soup to be boiling when adding the cheese, you still need it to be fairly hot so it can melt properly. Use cheese that you grate yourself for best results. Cheeses with high-fat content can sometimes be trickier to melt. Choose cheeses with moderate fat content, or mix high-fat cheeses with those that melt more easily.
Cheese is sensitive to high temperatures, and prolonged simmering can cause it to break down and become stringy or grainy. This can result in an unpleasant texture in the soup. Cheese has a tendency to separate at high temperatures. Simmering the soup vigorously after adding cheese may cause the fats in the cheese to separate from the liquid, leading to an oily or curdled appearance. Cheese has delicate flavours that can be easily lost or altered when exposed to prolonged heat. Simmering for an extended period may diminish the distinctive taste of the cheese in the soup. Intense heat can cause the cheese to stick to the bottom of the pot, leading to burnt bits in the soup. This not only affects the flavor negatively but also makes the soup pot harder to clean.
To maintain the integrity of the cheese and achieve a smooth, velvety texture, it’s recommended to add the cheese at the end of the cooking process and let it melt over low heat. Once the cheese is incorporated, it’s often better to remove the soup from direct heat or reduce the heat to its lowest setting. This allows the cheese to melt gently into the soup without the risk of overcooking or separation.
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 cups Broccoli Florets
- 3 cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Low-Fat Milk
- 2 tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onions and garlic, sauté until softened.
- Add broccoli florets and continue to sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir well to coat.
- Gradually add vegetable broth while stirring to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is fork tender.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a blender in batches.
- Return the soup to low heat. Gradually stir in milk and cheddar cheese until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 614Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 1080mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 16gSugar: 15gProtein: 33g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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