Broccoli Cheese Soup



Serving size

about 1 1/2 cups as an entree
60 Minutes

This recipe can easily be multiplied and keeps well for about 3 – 4 days. Reheat gently. Serve with a 2 ounce whole grain or gluten-free roll and a side dish such as Waldorf Salad or Roasted Eggplant Salad or Mushroom Salad or Healthy Caesar Salad or Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad or Zucchini Salad.

Broccoli Cheese Soup


3 cup chopped Broccoli, raw
4 cup Water
1 quart Ice water
2 tsp. Olive oil
1 1/2 lb. White onions (thinly sliced)
4 Tbsp. All purpose flour or garbanzo flour
2 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp. Salt
8 ounce Reduced fat cheddar cheese (shredded)


Cut the crowns from the stems of the broccoli.

Divide the crowns into small flowerets and set aside.

Using a potato peeler, peel the stems to expose the tender center.

Dice the peeled stems.

Place them in a stock-pot with the four cups of water on medium heat and simmer until tender.

This will take about 20 minutes and the water will be reduced by about half. When they are soft, drain and add to the ice water.

While the stems are boiling, steam the flowerets until they are bright green and slightly tender: about 8-10 minutes.

When they are cooked, plunge them into ice water to stop them from cooking further.

After they are cool, chop finely.

After the stems are soft, using a blender or stick blender, puree them and the water they cooked in until smooth.

Place the olive oil in a medium stock-pot over medium-high heat and add the onions.

Cook the onions slowly, stirring almost continuously, until soft and they are well caramelized. This should take about 20 minutes.

Add the flour and stir until well blended.

Add the milk and stir.

Add the pureed broccoli stems, half of the broccoli flowerets, and salt.

As the soup thickens, blend it smooth using a blender or stick blender.

Finely chop the remaining broccoli flowerets and stir into the soup.

As the soup reheats, add the cheese in 3 batches and allow it to melt.

Heat gently on low for about 5 minutes and serve.

Serve this recipe with one of these vegetable side dishes.

Caesar Salad

Place the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, lemon juice, mustard, honey, parmesan cheese, and yogurt in a blender or mini-chopper and process until smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours. Rinse the lettuce, drain, and dry in a salad spinner or patting gently with paper towels. Slice the lettuce crosswise and…

Mushroom Salad

Whisk the olive oil together with the mustard, vinegar, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper. Add the orange zest. Chill. When ready to serve, slice the mushrooms very thin. Toss together with the dressing. Serve on top of the romaine leaf.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the stem and tip ends off of the beets. Scrub well and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. (This may be done in advance and the beets placed in the refrigerator overnight.) Remove…

Roasted Eggplant Salad

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a large roasting pan in the oven. When the oven is hot lightly spray the pan with oil and add the eggplant, onions, tomatoes and almonds. Return the pan to the oven and roast for about 30 – 40 minutes. Stir the vegetables about every…

Zucchini Salad

Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper and marjoram. Place in the refrigerator while cutting the zucchini. Cut the zucchini into medium dice. This should be about 1/4 inch cubes. Toss the zucchini, tomatoes and pine nuts together in the vinaigrette. Chill well before serving.

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Special Diet Information

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GERD / Acid Reflux

The onions may be GERD triggers, but they are cooked enough that some may be able to tolerate them.


This recipe is not safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Coumadin® (Warfarin)

This recipe is NOT safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Gluten Sensitivity

This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Use garbanzo flour in this dish.


This is a low sodium recipe.

Recipe Notes

Soup nights are the best. In the winter, a hearty soup like this with a salad is all you need to fill up and be satisfied, and Broccoli Cheese soup is an absolute classic. It has to be cheesy, and that does mean a little extra sodium, but there is so much else that is good in this soup. It makes the perfect main course, especially paired with a great salad on the side.

The key to this recipe is caramelizing the onions. The onions add a hint of sweetness and help reduce the calorie density of the soup. Caramelizing them helps bring out a nice umami flavor that helps reduce the need for as much added salt. The sweet umami of the onion, the salty umami of the cheese, and the slight bitterness of the broccoli come together to create a perfect balance of flavors.

This is a great way to get your veggies and add points to your Mediterranean diet score. A recipe that you will love and kids do too.

It is also worth the extra step of cooking the broccoli and then refreshing it in the ice water. That fixes the bright green color and keeps the soup from being too mushy. A bit of broccoli texture makes for the perfect soup.

"I live on good soup, not on fine words."

Moliere, French playwright