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The Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

There's less cheese, more broccoli, and some beer. The perfect lineup.
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We've said it before and we'll say it again: soup is supposed to be a healthy choice. Yet, just like with high caloric dinner salads that you'll find at chain restaurants that pile on the fat, there are many heavy bowls of soup on the menus that come as a side dish, yet come with more calories than an entree. Traditionally, broccoli cheddar soup is about the cheese, the broccoli playing a quiet second fiddle to a bowl of glorified fondue. In this broccoli cheddar soup recipe, we turn the tables on that tradition by giving broccoli its proper due and using only a handful of sharp Cheddar to give this soup a rich, creamy texture and yes, beer—preferably a full-flavored ale like Bass—or even Guinness if you'd like, to give it body and soul. Plus, only 8 ounces is needed, which leaves you 4 more to sip on while the soup simmers away.

Nutrition: 290 calories, 17 g fat (9 g saturated), 580 mg sodium

Serves 4

You'll Need

1 Tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1  head broccoli, cut into florets and stem thinly sliced
2  cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1  cup beer
2  cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
4 Parmesan crisps

How to Make It

  1. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, broccoli, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook until it evenly coats all of the vegetables.
  4. Add the stock and beer, stirring vigorously to keep the flour from clumping.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes, then pour the mixture (working in batches, if need be) into a blender and puree until mostly smooth (a bit of texture can be nice here).
  6. You can also use a hand blender to puree the soup in the pot.
  7. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  8. Stir in the milk and cheese.
  9. After the cheese has fully melted into the soup, season with salt and pepper and a few good shakes of Tabasco.
  10. Serve each bowl of soup with a Parmesan crisp floating in the middle.

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