Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I wanted to squeeze in one more soup recipe before Spring starts later this month, and what better than a warm, comforting, cheesy bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup? I can’t believe I haven’t posted a recipe for this before now, because it’s one of my absolute favorites. When I come up with a recipe, I usually start at my computer by brainstorming a list of ingredients, estimating the amounts I’ll need to use and then plugging that into the Weight Watchers recipe builder to see what the points will be per serving. Then I actually start cooking and adjust the quantities, etc on my computer as I go. I’m pretty sure that’s backwards compared to how most other people cook, but I’m a weirdo and I’m okay with it. For this recipe I borrowed a little from my Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (because I already know that’s delicious), determined the amount of broccoli florets based on how much I had in my fridge, and went from there. I’m thrilled to say it worked out perfectly!

Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This lightened up Broccoli Cheddar Soup is hearty, cheesy, vegetarian and it tastes decadent for just 232 calories or 8 Weight Watchers SmartPoints per serving on myWW Green, Blue and Purple. It’s also perfect to make ahead and bring for lunches throughout the week! If you’re on a soup kick, be sure to check out my soup category for favorites like Butternut Squash Soup, Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup, Cheeseburger Soup, Chicken & Dumplings, Spaghetti & Meatball Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Slow Cooker White Bean Soup, Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and more!

Light Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of light butter (I use Land O’Lakes)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups of fat free half and half
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 oz (6 cups) small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp)
  • 4 oz 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Cabot 50% Sharp)

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the dice onion and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until onion is softened. In a small dish, stir together the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper until mixed. Add and whisk the flour mixture into the butter and onions a little bit at a time, whisking continuously until well combined. Slowly add a bit of the half and half and whisk it into the flour mixture until combined. Continue to add and whisk in the half and half a little at a time until it is all combined.
  2. Add some of the vegetable stock and continue to whisk the mixture until all the stock is added and all ingredients are well combined. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and the ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder. I also added a few twists of freshly cracked black pepper at this step. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Uncover and reduce the heat to medium-low (medium on my stovetop is a 5, so I had this at a 3) and allow the soup to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the broccoli florets and shredded carrots and stir in to combine. Continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Optional: At this point I suck my immersion blender in the pot and blended maybe 1/3-1/2 of the soup. Alternately, you could just put some of the soup in a regular blender or skip this step entirely, depending on how you prefer the consistency of your soup. I do recommend not pureeing the entire pot, because it’s nice to have some full broccoli florets in there.
  4. Increase the heat to medium and add the shredded cheeses (you may reserve a bit at this point for topping the soup if desired). Whisk the cheese into the soup until fully melted and combined.

MyWW SmartPoints per (1 cup) serving: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Green: 8 SmartPoints/ Blue: 8 SmartPoints/ Purple: 8 SmartPoints

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
6 per (1 cup) serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Nutrition Information:
232 calories, 16 g carbs, 5 g sugars, 14 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 12 g protein, 1 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

Emily Bites Original (I consulted Food Network for help on some of the timing/instructions)