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Lightened Up! Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

You guys know by now how I feel about soup.  And if you don’t–well, I freakin’ love it.  I’d have soup for every meal if I wasn’t concerned that my teeth would fall out if I never used ‘em.

Plus I like to crunch things every once in a while.  And I guess I would want to have separate elements on my plate every once in a while.

Okay, so I’d definitely never eat soup for every meal.  But I still like it a lot.

Here’s a ridiculously tasty and satisfying recipe for you for a good old broccoli and cheddar soup.  I never liked that smelly green soup growing up, so it was easy for me to take the inspiration and change it significantly without feeling like I was messing with a classic.  A few substitutions for high-calorie ingredients, plus a lot of additions to up the flavor makes this a soup that even a green-soup hater  or a health freak can love.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (Lightened Up!)

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C chopped leeks (I used frozen leeks–new product for me from Trader Joes!)
  • 1/2 C carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, diced
  • 6 C chicken broth
  • 2 C skim milk
  • 3 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 T flour
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Follow a basic soup recipe for this one: in a light sprinkle of canola oil over medium-high heat, add the onions, garlic, leeks, and carrots to a large soup pot and allow them to sweat until they begin to soften.  Add the potatoes, broccoli, and chicken broth, turn the heat down to medium and cover, simmering until the potatoes and broccoli are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the flour in a small saucepan for 30 seconds or so over medium heat, then add the milk slowly, stirring until a nice “roux” (okay, not officially a roux, but close) is formed.  Add the cheddar cheese and stir until the sauce thickens and the cheese melts, 3-5 minutes.

Combine the cheese sauce into the veggie base and stir.  Either use an immersion blender (one of the best kitchen tools ever) or blend the soup in a blender (do about a third at a time) until it is smooth.  I left the soup with some chunks and pieces of veggies left just to make it a bit more enjoyable to eat.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The secret to this soup is to use extra sharp cheddar–little will go a long way to flavor this soup.  You can (and probably should) top the soup with some extra cheddar, too.

I really thought this soup was great–it was hearty, but you are seriously eating a giant bowl of vegetables.  The potatoes help to make this taste nice and creamy without having to use heavy cream, and the other vegetables keep it from tasting like a giant spoonful of blended broccoli.

Also, I found this picture from before we moved and it made me laugh.  A lot.

I’ll try to take some pictures of the apartment tomorrow, now that we have the place mostly set up.  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve already seen most of it.

Have a good night!

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  1. Caitlin

    Broccoli and cheddar soup is in my top five favourite soups. I’m excited to try this.

  2. Jen

    “If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve already seen most of it”
    you little social media maven, you. so proud of the way you navigate the 21st century.

  3. Anna W.

    Looks delicious! I adore soup, too! Even on a hot day, I’ll scarf down a nice hot bowl (or 2).

  4. Chelsey

    Just to confirm, when you type T and t you mean tablespoon and teaspoon correct?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      yep :)

  5. Steph

    I tried this out today and loved it! Mine came out a little thinner than the one in your pictures…maybe because our potatoes were small but the flavor was all there! It tasted like a guilt-free version of the classic. Thank you!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      maybe decrease the broth/milk in the next version? I don’t always measure perfectly so I may have over estimated what I used