Broccoli Cheddar Soup (& New Recipe Page!)

First things first, I am so excited to finally launch my brand new Recipe page!  You guys have been asking for better ways to find and use recipes, and I couldn’t be happier about the new format.  Now you can search by keyword or ingredient, print recipes in a printer-friendly format, even text recipes to your phone for your grocery lists!  (If you want something similar for your own site, visit Recipage for all the details.)  Now speaking of recipes, let’s dig right into the newest one…

Back when I lived in Ohio, one of my favorite places to eat was our local Panera.  The broccoli cheddar soup pulled me in every time.  But all it took was one glance at the nutrition facts for me to realize that Panera’s version was a lot more cheddar than it was broccoli – not good.  Missing my favorite soup here in these winter months, I decided to go ahead and make my own…

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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(click here for the printable recipe!)

Ingredients: (makes 8 cups)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2lbs frozen broccoli
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Daiya non-dairy cheese (or light cheddar)
  • Greek yogurt (optional, for garnish)

To Prepare:  This is definitely one of those recipes where frozen veggies are better than fresh.  You want to cook the broccoli down so that it is falling apart, and that’s much easier to achieve with the frozen version.

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In a large Dutch oven, start by sautéing the garlic and onions in a little bit of olive oil, until they start to brown.

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Once browning, add the frozen broccoli and allow it to defrost and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add 4 cups vegetable broth and bring up to a simmer…

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In order to get a good “cheesy” flavor from this soup, add 1/3 cup nutritional yeast – also boosts the protein content!

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Season with salt and let it simmer (covered) for about ten minutes.

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Using a ladle, transfer the soup to a Vitamix in order to puree into a smooth soup.  Make sure if you are using a blender, you remove the cap on top so that it can release the steam (otherwise you get an explosion!).  You can also use an immersion blender for this step – I tried both ways, and both were successful!

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Pulse until you have a thick soup with just a few chunks, and then add back into the Dutch oven to heat through.

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Stir in 1/3 cup non-dairy Daiya cheese for a little boost to the cheddar flavor.  This soup is definitely more broccoli based than cheese, but it still tastes rich and creamy.

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Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt (if you like) and a few extra sprinkles of cheese.  Grab a big spoon and dig in!

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Much healthier than the soup that inspired it, this version only has 100 calories per cup – including 2g of fat, and 7g of protein!

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Which is why I prefer to eat several cups at a time…

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Easy, simple, and healthy – just the way I like it.

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Enjoy!