Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Creamy, cheesy, and delicious, this healthier broccoli cheddar soup is a perfect transitional soup for fall.  The soup is healthier because it’s thickened with vegetables like potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots which also add delicious flavor to the soup. 

Traditional Broccoli Cheddar Soup can be heavy and full of fat.  I’ve created a recipe for a healthier cheddar broccoli soup that still keeps the creaminess of the soup, but with just a touch of cream. 

Take advantage of sales on cheese and broccoli at Safeway to make this budget-friendly and easy recipe for a weeknight dinner. 

Broccoli Cheddar soup is a kid favorite when we go to Panera, so to make it at home, I created a healthier version up so that we could also enjoy the soup without the guilt!  My solution was to bulk up the soup with veggies like onions, carrots, and potatoes. 

Adding those veggies adds flavor, nutrients, fiber, and thickness (when pureed) minimizing the need for a ton of heavy cream.  In fact, I only use 1/2 cup of cream for this soup and it turned out rich, creamy, and super delicious!  

 

Ingredients in Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prepare a healthier version of broccoli cheddar soup by loading it up with veggies that are pureed to thicken the soup naturally.  Then add a roux made of flour, butter, and a touch of cream to the soup with the cheese to thicken it even more.

  • Extra virgin olive oil – for sauteeing the veggies to make them soft and tender
  • Yellow onion is chopped and used to add flavor and thickness to the soup
  • Fresh chopped carrots are used to add gorgeous color, texture, and flavor to the soup. 
  • Russet potato, adds heft and creaminess to the soup once it’s pureed.  By using a potato, you can reduce the amount of heavy cream added to the soup
  • Fresh garlic cloves are added as an aromatic and add great flavor to the soup
  • Salt, pepper and smoked paprika are added as the seasonings for the soup.  The paprika adds gorgeous color and a slight smokiness to the soup, bringing out all the delicious flavors. 
  • Chicken broth and water – for simmering the soup with a flavored broth.  Vegetable broth can also be used here, as can water with a bouillon cube.  You can always use homemade bone broth here are well. 
  • Broccoli  – you’ll use both the stems and the florets.  The stems are used as an aromatic along with the carrots, onion and garlic and get pureed into the soup.  The florets are added at the end and simmered until bright green for maximum flavor. 
  • butter
  • flour
  • cream (half n half, milk, or coconut cream can also be used)
  • cheddar cheese, grated

Optional Toppings

  • crispy fried onions
  • goldfish crackers
  • additional cheddar cheese

Kids love broccoli cheddar soup with crunchy Goldfish crackers as a topping. 

Add these items to your Safeway shopping list for grocery delivery or pickuphere or by clicking the buy now button below. 

buy now button

 

How to Make Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Chop the broccoli, reserving the stems for the base of the soup.  Use a peeler to remove any thick or woody pieces from the stems and chop the broccoli stems into 1/4 inch or smaller pieces.   These are used for thickening the soup along with the potatoes, onion and carrots. 

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil then add the chopped onions, chopped broccoli stems, chopped carrots, and diced potato.  Cook for about 7-9 minutes until the vegetables are softened. 

Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.  Stir and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute longer. 

Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the soup to a simmer and allow the veggies to cook until tender about 15 minutes.  

 

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How to Thicken the Soup with a Roux

Thickening a soup with a puree is a restaurant technique that is very easy to do in the home kitchen. After making soup, all you have to do is either puree a portion of the soup (either in a blender or using an immersion blender) and then stir it back in. The puree adds body to the soup and does nothing to muddy the soup’s flavor since it actually is the soup.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted.  Add the flour and whisk vigorously until combined.  Slowly add the cream while stirring until a smooth roux is formed.  Add the grated cheese to the roux and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and creamy. 

In the soup pot, reduce the heat to low and use an immersion blender to gently puree the veggies in the soup pot and thicken the soup. 

If you do not have an immersion blender, remove the soup from the heat and place 4-5 ladles full into a blender. Try to get all the big chunks of veggies into the blender Puree the soup and add it back to the soup pot.  It may not appear totally thick at this point, but it will thicken more when the roux and cheese are added to the soup. 

Place the soup back on the stovetop over medium heat.  Add the broccoli florets and cook for another 5 minutes until the florets are bright green.  Add the cheese sauce to the soup and stir to incorporate.  Cook for a few more minutes until the soup is rich and creamy.   It may not be as thick as a traditional broccoli cheddar soup, but it certainly is healthier.  

Taste for seasoning and creaminess and adjust to your liking.  If you want it more creamy – add more cream, half n half, or grated cheese. 

 

 

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healthier_Broccoli_Cheddar_Soup

Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Creamy, cheesy, and delicious, this healthier broccoli cheddar soup is a perfect transitional soup for fall.  The soup is healthier because it's thickened with vegetables like potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots which also add delicious flavor to the soup. 
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthier Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large Russet potato peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot finely chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups broccoli florets chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup creamy half n half, milk, or coconut cream can also be used
  • 6 oz cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  • Chop the broccoli, reserving the stems for the base of the soup.  Use a peeler to remove any thick or woody pieces from the stems and chop the broccoli stems into 1/4 inch or smaller pieces.   These are used for thickening the soup along with the potatoes, onion and carrots.
  • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil then add the chopped onions, chopped broccoli stems, chopped carrots, and diced potato.  Cook for about 7-9 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  • Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.  Stir and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute longer.  Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the soup to a simmer and allow the veggies to cook until tender about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat the butter until melted.  Add the flour and whisk vigorously until combined.  Slowly add the cream while stirring until a smooth roux is formed.  Add the grated cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and creamy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat for the soup to low and use an immersion blender to gently puree the veggies in the soup pot and thicken the soup.  If you do not have an immersion blender, remove the soup from the heat and place 4-5 ladles full into a blender.  Puree the soup and add it back to the soup pot.   It may not appear totally thick at this point, but it will thicken when the roux and cheese are added to the soup.
  • Place the soup back on the stovetop over medium heat.  Add the broccoli florets and cook for another 5 minutes until the florets are bright green.  Add the roux to the soup and stir to incorporate.  Cook for a few more minutes until the soup is rich and creamy. 
  • Taste for seasoning and creaminess and adjust to your liking.  If you want it more creamy - add more cream, half n half or grated cheese.

Additional Fall Soup Recipes

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho Soup

Pumpkin & Apple Soup

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Avgolemono & Greek Egg Lemon Soup With Turkey

Turkey Noodle Soup

 

 

 

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* Please note – Savings information is based on Colorado pricing and the Safeway Coupon Policy for the Denver Division which includes Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota. Your market may vary. Prices may vary per location*

 

 

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