A simple recipe for everyone’s favorite soup! Creamy broccoli cheese soup is good any time of the year.
Whenever I need a quick and easy meal I always go for soup. I can open my fridge, grab a bunch of ingredients, throw them into a pot and end up with a great meal. The leftovers make great lunches throughout the week and also freeze well.
I always plan “lighter” meals for Thursday nights because I make a huge bowl of popcorn to watch Scandal. So, in order to consume as much popcorn as possible, I like to eat a light dinner. Last week I made this broccoli-cheese soup and it was just too good not to share. Now, broccoli-cheese soup isn’t the lightest of soups out there. However, a small bowl fills me up and this version clocks in at around 200 calories for a generous portion, so it’s not too bad!
A lot of broccoli-cheese soup recipe use a roux to thicken them and add tons of cheese. I personally don’t like really thick soups, so I omit the roux all together – saving calories and time! Instead of milk I use almond milk, which also saves some calories and keeps the carb count low.
Since I’m already saving calories, I go all in with the cheese. I know a lot of people are “fat-phobic” and try and use low-fat this and low-fat that, but I just can’t do it. I don’t like my food chemically altered, so I stick to full-fat stuff and look for really good quality (no orange cheese here). I always use extra sharp cheddar in dishes like this because it packs the most flavor.
Then comes the broccoli! Instead of cooking the broccoli right in the broth I steam it first and add it in at the last second. I find long-simmered broccoli soups to have a bitter flavor. This way keeps it very fresh tasting and gives the soup a really vibrant green color
While your broccoli is steaming, sauté the onions and celery and flavor it with garlic and spices. Add in the chicken broth and almond milk, bring it to a boil and then toss in the broccoli and remove it from the heat. It all takes about 10 or 15 minutes! Then you’re ready to puree and add in the cheese. The cheese will thicken it up some, but it’s still a much thinner version than the traditional recipes out there.
This recipe makes roughly 4 servings, maybe more if you eat a small bowl like I do. The leftovers don’t last long around here! However, it does freeze really well.
I love how fresh this soup tastes! It’s perfect for cool spring nights when you want something fresh, but still warm. You could easily serve this alongside a nice green salad for a light and healthy meal!
- 6 Cups Broccoli Florets
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Light Olive Oil
- 1 Small Onion, chopped
- 1 Stalk Celery, chopped
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock, or vegetable for vegetarian
- 1 Cup Almond Milk, or milk of your choice
- ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, optional
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Place the broccoli florets in a steamer basket and put over boiling water. Steam the broccoli for 10 minutes or until fork tender.
- While the broccoli is steaming, heat the olive oil in soup pot and add in the onion and celery. Cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes or until they start to soften, and then add in the garlic.
- Add in the chicken broth and almond milk and season the mixture the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn off the heat and add in the steamed broccoli.
- Puree the soup to desired consistency – using a blender or immersion blender. I like to leave it slightly chunky so that the soup has some texture.
- Add in the cheddar cheese and stir until it’s melted.
- Serve the soup topped with more cheddar cheese, if desired.