Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup that is perfectly thick, creamy, and delicious without any cream! If you love a broccoli cheese soup like I do, you’ll love this recipe. Made with simple real food ingredients and topped with smoky crispy bacon, this hearty soup is hard to beat!
Healthy broccoli cheddar soup! Yes, we’re doing it…we’re making a delicious broccoli cheddar soup made with simple real food ingredients, packed with veggies, and filled with flavor.
Broccoli cheddar is such a delicious soup and the Panera version is one of my favorites. I wanted to create a healthier version of the classic soup that was made with simple ingredients and so easy to make, even on a weeknight.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
This recipe uses pureed cauliflower to create a smooth and creamy soup base without the use of any extra milk or cream. A little crispy bacon on top brings everything together for the most delicious bite.
This soup is extra special because it is thick and creamy without the use of any cream, coconut milk, or thickeners. All of these real food ingredients come together to make a delicious soup that is perfectly satisfying.
Bacon: This is optional, but I mean you cannot go wrong with crispy bacon.
Veggies and Aromatics: This soup uses plenty of onion and fresh garlic to help create flavor. Of course, there are also grated carrots for that classic broccoli cheddar soup deliciousness.
Cauliflower: This soup gets its delicious creaminess from a secret ingredient – cauliflower! Once it’s blended, it creates a thick and creamy base for the rest of the soup without the use of any thickeners or cream.
Broccoli: Can’t have broccoli cheddar soup without plenty of fresh broccoli!
Chicken Broth: You could use veggie broth if you prefer!
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Extra sharp cheddar cheese has the most delicious flavor. You can use mild, if you prefer, but I love the flavor of sharp cheddar in this soup.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Step One: Start by heating a large dutch oven over medium heat and then add in the bacon lardons. Sauté the bacon until crisp, and then use a slotted spoon to carefully remove it from the pan.
Step Two: Next, add the minced garlic, diced onion, cauliflower florets, salt, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Sauté everything for three to four minutes until fragrant. Next, add three cups of chicken stock to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer. Let everything simmer for around fifteen to twenty minutes until the cauliflower florets are tender.
Step Three: Use a ladle to carefully transfer the soup to a high powered blender. Blend everything until smooth, creamy, and there are no remaining lumps.
Step Four: Carefully pour the pureed soup base back into the pot. Next, stir in the remaining chicken broth, grated carrot, and chopped broccoli florets until well combined. Let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
Step Five: Lastly, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until well combined and the cheese is thoroughly melted into the soup. Serve the soup warm topped with crispy bacon and sliced green onion.
How to Serve
I love to serve this soup with plenty of crispy bacon and green onion on top! If you want, you can also serve it with your favorite fresh bread or crackers on the side, although I truly think it is filling and hearty all on its own.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
You can store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container for three to four days. If you would like to freeze the soup, I recommend transferring it to a freezer safe container and then freezing for up to three months. When you are ready to reheat the soup, transfer it to the fridge to let the soup thaw and then reheat on the stovetop.
Tips and Tricks
I highly recommend shredding your own cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheeses often contain stabilizers which make it harder for them to break down and melt. Instead, grab a block of your favorite cheddar cheese and use your box grater for freshly shredded cheese and the best results.
If you would like to make a vegan version of this soup – you can sauté the vegetables in olive oil instead of the bacon fat and use veggie broth instead of chicken broth. Although I have not tried it myself, when it comes to the cheese, you will likely able to use your favorite dairy-free cheese!
Be sure to blend the cauliflower and broth until completely smooth. This is going to form the base of the soup so you want it to be nice and creamy.
I hope you give this Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup a try! It’s the perfect spiced loaf and the cream cheese takes it over the top!
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