Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup

hands holding bowl and a spoon, digging into the soup

This Lightened Broccoli Cheddar Soup is SO delicious! Made with only a handful of ingredients it’s quick to whip up, so yummy and makes for an easy weeknight dinner!

I feel like I’ve been wanting to share a Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe for soooo long on here! 

I guess my obsession with this flavor of soup when I was in high school. The mall was within walking distance of my high school and after school my best friends and I would walk down to Panera (which was located inside the mall) and scrounge up a few dollars to split a bread bowl of soup. Yup. 

Ever since then, I feel like this soup to me, represents a hug in a bowl. Coziness. Comfort food at it’s finest. And I knew, since it’s January, that I wanted to make a slightly lightened up version of it! 

large ladle of soup in the dutch oven

Does that mean it’s all the way “healthy” according to society’s standards? No way! It still has cheese and milk but I feel like I added a few other ingredients in order to try and balance it out and add some extra nutrition in there. You know me – it’s all about the balance 😉 

Why I Love This Soup: 

I love it because like I said – it’s SO cozy. Winter can be dreary and cold and even sometimes lonely and to me, there is nothing better than cozying up underneath a blanket watching your favorite show and eating a big bowl of this soup. 

This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is rich and creamy but it’s SO well balanced that it’s never overly rich or creamy – if that makes sense!

It’s ultra cheesy, super savory and one of my favorite things about this soup is the TEXTURE! 

This isn’t an intensely pureed soup that has the texture of baby food – there are still small bits and pieces of broccoli, carrot and even garlic that permeate the soup that give the final dish incredible texture! 

close up of garnishes on bowl of soup

Pro tip – leave a few finely chopped pieces of fresh broccoli to garnish it with to give even extra texture and crunch! 

Another pro tip? You must pair with some crusty warm bread! Yessss. 

So okay, enough of me telling you how much I love this soup – let’s get into what you need to make it! 

Ingredients You Need: 

  • Broccoli Florets 
  • Carrot
  • Chicken Broth
  • Whole Milk 
  • Whole Wheat Flour 
  • Salted Butter 
  • Yellow Onion 
  • Fresh Garlic 
  • Salt, pepper + nutmeg
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese, fresh grated cheese 

How to Make Soup: 

As always, I like to get all of the chopping and dicing out of the way. Dice the onion and the carrot, mince the garlic and of course, dice the broccoli into florets ! Set that all aside as you get the pot ready. 

For this soup, I used my dutch oven. But a large pot should do as well. 

Place whatever pot or dutch oven you may be using on your stove top on medium heat. Add in 2 tbsp of salted butter and let that melt and make your kitchen smell amazing! 

Once the butter is melted, add in those diced onions along with a large pinch of salt. Stir around to  let the butter coat the onions and then let them cook for around 3-4 minutes or until they begin to get soft and translucent. 

hand holding spoonful of soup in bowl

Stir in the garlic next and let cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Next, add in the whole wheat flour and mix it in until the veggies are coated with the flour. 

To this, slowly whisk in the chicken broth, whisking as you go. Once you’re finished with the broth, slowly whisk in the milk as well. 

Once it’s all combined and there are no lumps in the liquid, add in the broccoli, carrots and spices! Taste and adjust if needed – aka if you need more salt like I almost always do! Ha! 

Stir everything to combine and let the soup cook on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or so OR until the broccoli becomes fork tender. 

You can eat the soup from there BUT I prefer to add mine to a heat safe blender and blend it up a little. Be sure to blend it to where there are still some bits and pieces of broccoli in it and it isn’t just puree! You can also use an immersion blender. It will look something like this: 

side by side photos of blended vs. unblended soups

And then finally, add the blended soup BACK into the dutch oven and add in the FRESHLY grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir in until combined and melty. 

stirring melted cheese into soup in dutch oven

Ladle into bowls and enjoy! 

Best Soup Making Tips: 

Use FRESHLY grated cheese – it makes a world of difference and melts deliciously into the soup. 

Be sure to leave some fresh broccoli to garnish the top with, as well as some fresh cheese. Nothing like garnishes on soup, right?!

close up of spoon in bowl with big bite in it

Taste and season as you go! There is nothing worse than unseasoned soup! Be sure to taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. You know your own palette better than anyone!

Storing Soup: 

If you have any leftovers, be sure to store them in a tightly sealed tupperware container in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few others you might enjoy! 

Broccoli Kale Crunch Salad 

Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli with Roasted Garlic Aioli 

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche with Bacon 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

Lightened Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Lightened Broccoli Cheddar Soup is SO delicious! Made with only a handful of ingredients it’s quick to whip up, so yummy and makes for an easy weeknight dinner!

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword broccoli and cheese soup, broccoli cheddar soup, cheesy broccoli soup, healthy broccoli cheddar soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Haylie

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2-3 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 large carrot, diced 
  • 3 cups chicken broth 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 2 tbsp salted butter 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • lots of salt and pepper to taste 
  • 8 oz freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • extra cheese + fresh broccoli to garnish soup

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion, mince the garlic and dice the carrot. Cut the broccoli into florets. Set aside for now.

  2. In a large dutch oven, place on medium heat and add 2 tbsp of salted butter. Let it melt and then add in the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring around, for 3-4 minutes or until they begin to get soft and translucent. 

  3. Add in the garlic next and cook for 1 minute or so. Next, add in the flour and mix around until the veggies are coated with the flour. 

  4. Slowly add in the chicken broth, whisking it in as you go. Next, whisk the milk in slowly as well.

  5. Next, add in the chopped broccoli, carrot, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine and let it cook on low/medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the broccoli becomes fork tender. 

  6. Once done, if desired, add to a heat safe blender or use an immersion blender and blend to desired consistency. I preferred mine with some bits and pieces of broccoli and carrot still whole. Add back to pot.

  7. Add in the freshly grated cheese next and stir in until melted.

  8. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed (add more salt if needed!)

  9. Enjoy! Store leftovers in tightly sealed tupperware in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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