It’s cold outside today and after a trip to the grocery store I’ve decided on broccoli cheese soup for dinner. It meets all my criteria – it works for our family’s “Meatless Mondays,” and it’s peak broccoli season, which satisfies the Paleo challenge.
Many broccoli cheese soups feel so heavy that you’re left wondering if it was truly healthy. That’s a common theme in America: the idea that because it’s a vegetable it must be good for us. Ummm … not when you fry it or dump cheese all over it!
I promise this recipe is healthy and tasty. I use mostly chicken broth with only a half cup of 1% milk, and a good sharp cheddar cheese so that a little can go a long way. A few other tips include steaming all the vegetables and including some cauliflower to help thicken the soup. Cauliflower can often act as a starch, but without the carbs that come from potatoes. I’m not a big cornstarch fan so this soup’s heartiness truly comes from the vegetables.
I also have to consider my 3-year-old daughter’s dinner, and she won’t eat soup. I’ve decided to reserve some of the steamed broccoli for her, and throw together a quick cheese sandwich and some fruit. Dinner is done!
I’ve included ranges for this recipe’s ingredients because you may need to increase or decrease the amount based on your preference. I don’t believe in exact measurements (except for baking – that must be precise!). Many nights we open the refrigerator door and need to make the most of the ingredients on-hand. This broccoli soup consists of staples and can be thrown together within 30 minutes and serves four people.
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
1-2 cups cauliflower
2-3 cups broccoli
1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
1 tsp of white pepper
Steam the onion, celery, cauliflower, garlic and broccoli together until tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of broccoli.
Place remaining steamed vegetables, chicken broth, and the bouillon cube in a pot and simmer for a few minutes.
Turn off heat and gradually stir in cheese, milk and white pepper.
Use a blender or hand immersion blender to puree until desired consistency. Then add the reserved broccoli and pulse until just combined.
Serve with garlic bread or side salad.