When that winter chill hits I always crave a big bowl of warm, comforting soup. One of the soups that was always at the top of my list was Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup served with a nice crusty piece of bread for dipping. I have always been one of those people that think if I am getting a soup and salad for lunch I was being “healthy” but boy was I wrong.
Check out this (long) list of ingredients that are in Panera‘s version of this soup. Many of them I have no idea what they are, or they to help with the coloring of the soup.
I won’t be ordering this soup anymore, I will make my own thank you very much!
I was mindless poking around on Pinterest when I stumbled across a yummy looking recipe for broccoli cheese soup from The Foodie and the Fix. I loved how simple the recipe was and it was made using almost ALL fresh vegetables and some chicken broth.
I tweaked the recipe slightly to use vegetable broth since that is what I had in the house but either would taste great. I loved that I could eat a cup of this without the bread and have a comforting meal that was carb-free! Those yellow containers are oh-so precious when following the Fix nutrition plan 🙂
Here are the container equivalents for 1.5 cup serving:
– If you use vegetable broth: 1.5 green, 1 blue, 0.5 spoon
– If you use chicken broth: 0.25 red, 1.5 green, 1 blue, 0.5 spoon (See image below from Autumn, creator of the 21 Day Fix about how to count chicken broth)
I hope you enjoy this soup! I loved how thick and creamy it got WITHOUT using any cream or milk so I could enjoy it guilt-free!
- 2 teaspoons butter (preferably organic)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup of carrots, peeled and chopped (approx 2 medium carrots)
- 1 32oz container of low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 heads of broccoli, roughly chopped (approx 4 cups)
- 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped (approx 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 additional head of broccoli, chopped into small bite sized pieces (approx 2 cups)
- 1 1/4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until they start to soften and the onions begin to look translucent.
- Add the roughly chopped broccoli (DO NOT add the broccoli that you chopped into small pieces yet), cauliflower, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth.
- Cover and simmer over a medium-low heat until veggies are all very soft, approx 30 minutes. You will know they are ready when you are able to mash them against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.
- While the soup is simmering, steam the broccoli that’s been chopped into bite sized pieces. Place 1″ of water in the bottom of a pot. Place in a steamer basket (if you have one, if not just place the broccoli right in the water). Cover with a lid and steam over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the broccoli is bright green in color. It is ok if the broccoli is still a little al dente because it will soften up when added to the soup.
- When your veggies in the pot are soft enough, puree the mixture using a hand blender (or in batches in a regular blender) until all of the contents of the pot are pureed and smooth.
- Set the pot on a low heat and stir in chopped steam broccoli and the cheddar cheese. Stir until all of the cheese has melted.
- Add pepper to taste.
- Serve topped with a little sprinkle of cheddar cheese (optional)