Tonight I made something new: a broccoli cheese soup that is not only rich in vegetables, but is high in protein, moderate in carbs, and gluten free. I've made plenty of cheese soups in the past, but they were often thickened with flour or laden with butter and cream. Sometimes they even contained canned soups or processed (Velveeta) cheese. This one has none of those things, but is still delicious. I think it needs a bit of tweaking to be perfect, but I'll put it out there and you can try it or mess with the recipe and let me know how it turned out for you.
Healthier Broccoli Cheese Soup
Put this stuff in a soup pot:
3 cups of low sodium or sodium-free chicken stock (I used homemade bone broth)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
a few shakes of Mrs. Dash table blend, or salt and pepper to taste
a few good shakes of garlic powder
a dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup of onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 1/4 cups of raw cauliflower, florets only (not stalks), chopped
1 cup of peeled, cubed white potato (you could probably leave this out and sub more cauliflower if you prefer)
All of the above veggies should be chopped in smaller slices/pieces than usual so they cook through quickly. Cook the veggies in the stock for 20-25 minutes until everything is very soft.
While that is going on, cut up 2 cups of raw broccoli into bite sized pieces and steam them, or microwave them with a bit of water in a covered bowl for 5 minutes.
When your stock and veggies are done, remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of low fat sour cream (check the ingredients, use a nice natural sour cream without starches to thicken it) and 1 ounce of low fat cream cheese. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is totally creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, let the soup COOL to almost room temperature and puree it in a blender, then add back to the pot and gently reheat. Do not boil! Just warm it back up. Then add the cooked broccoli and 1 cup of shredded 2% sharp cheddar. Stir until cheese melts.
This recipe makes a little over 5 cups. Each 1 cup serving contains
11 g protein
13 g carbs
3 g fiber
8 g fat
When I make this again, I think I will add more cauliflower, more broccoli, and perhaps some cooked, diced carrots (after the pureeing). I think I will play around with the amounts of sour cream and cream cheese, perhaps using 1/3 c sour cream and 2 oz cream cheese, depending on how that affects the nutrition stats. My main goal here was to have a traditional comfort food-type soup that is gluten free and has more vegetables in it than usual, and I certainly accomplished that by replacing a cream base with a cauliflower one.
Hope you enjoy this! If you change it for the better, let me know in the comments.
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