My all-time favorite soul-satisfying first-course dish is Broccoli Cheese Soup! Yep, even above Loaded Potato Soup. As you know, I am on a bariatric diet; therefore, I made my alterations to my recipe listed below. The bariatric diet involves low carbs, low fat, and high protein; however, legumes are acceptable. Thank goodness, since chickpea pasta has been my saving grace. My goto brand is Banza, anyway more on that coming soon.
For this soup squeeze into the guidelines of the bariatric diet, I made a change to the milk, half & hand, and cheese. I used a reduced-fat cheddar cheese, fat-free half & half, and 2% milk. There are tradeoffs in using lower fat products, which come in the form of texture. Fat is part of the reason; this soup usually is so silky. Now, don’t get me wrong; I only notice the difference in texture because I have had the other very often. One of the ways to get around the texture difference is to ensure you blend the soup very well.
Furthermore, using a mixture of 2% milk and whole milk can do the trick. Lastly, using half reduced-fat cheese and regular cheese will alleviate most differences. After getting used to low-fat eating, these changes will not be as noticeable. There are other ways to combat it, such as using zucchini or cauliflower. Depending on the application, they work out perfectly for you.
In the recipe, I use xanthan gum to thicken the soup. That is just my preference, feel free to use a roux. To use a roux, sprinkle two tablespoons of all-purpose (or gluten-free) flour over the onions, carrots, and garlic. All this to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe as written, omitting the xanthan gum.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup onion diced
- 1 cup milk I use 2%,, but whole is fine or non-dairy unflavored
- ¾ cup half & half
- 2 cup vegetable stock
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot diced
- ½ lb broccoli Fresh or frozen
- ¼ tsp mustard powder
- 1 pinch nutmeg fresh ground if possible
- ¼ tsp ground pepper freshly ground
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese fresh grated
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- Melt the butter in a 2-3 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and ¼ tsp salt. Saute until onions are translucent, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 to minutes more.
- Adding vegetable stock, half and half, and milk. Be sure to stir to keep the milk from scorching
- Add the broccoli, mustard powder, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, cover, stirring occasionally until tender, about 20-30 minutes. If using frozen broccoli, check to see if it's tender after 10 minutes. Add xanthan gum.
- Remove from heat. Puree the soup with a stick blender or blend to the desired consistency. Remove some pieces of broccoli and carrot before pureeing if you want a chunkier soup.
- Place the soup back on the heat, turned to low. Slowly whisk in the cheese a ¼ cup at a time, letting each addition melt completely before moving to the next addition.
- Taste the soup add the remaining ¼ of salt if needed, as well as pepper.