Servings: 6 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 30 mins
I’ve never liked cheese based soups. For the most part, I’ve just never really trusted them! It’s always been my belief that a cheese soup was somehow that weird “cheese food” that you get on the nachos at ballgames. It’s entirely possible that I’m full of pretentious snobbery and pompous hoity-toity, but … I’ve just always struggled with these strange processed cheese foods, generally feeling the issue comes down to texture for me. There’s just a strange glutinousness to it that I’ve always struggled with. Even in my darkest days, I’d still manage to avoid this particular foodstuff.
In any event, this is not about that. There are benefits to processed cheeses, one of which is its ability stay emulsified or … “together”. Many cheeses will melt and separate into stringy strands of protein, floating around in pools of oil. I happen to love this particular behavior in things like Queso Fundido, but … in a soup, it makes for an ugly stringy mess. The same is often true of things like cheese sauces for Macaroni and Cheese. If a cheese is sufficiently emulsified or diluted, it tends to stay smooth and creamy, even when melted. This is why some cheesy cream sauces stay “creamy”. It’s also why thickeners are added to sometimes allow for other ingredients to be added, while adding flour to help with the “mouth feel”.
I’m way off track, here … I can tell.
Point being, melted cheese is fussy stuff. It’s tough to make a good soup out of it, without some trickery! In my case, the “trickery” is … cream cheese! This is an emulsified soft cheese, which is thick and tasty. It makes a perfect vehicle for a cheese soup. It creates a thick and velvety “sauce”, in which the cheese can make itself at home in. Throw in some cooked broccoli, simmer and eat! It’s an AMAZING taste sensation!
In case you’re wondering … I’ve been trained to be a little full of myself. Sorry! Blame the chefs that came before me! 😉
Bacon Note: If you’d like, you can use bacon fat, in place of the butter at the beginning. You can also replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock, and garnish with bacon bits. You know … if you’re not a vegetarian.
Broccoli Cheddar SoupPrint Rate
- 1 tbsp butter melted
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme chopped and divided
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 large bunch broccoli including stalks, cut into florets
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese warmed and softened
- 1/2 lb cheddar cheese grated
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Place a medium sized soup pot on the stove over medium-low heat.
- Add your butter to the pan and melt it.
- Add your onions, garlic, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Sweat the onions for about 3 minutes, or until translucent.
- Add your vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
- Once your stock comes to a simmer, add your broccoli and a little salt and pepper.
- After about 2 to 3 minutes, the stock should begin simmering again. Whisk in your cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
- Allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until the broccoli is soft and tasty.
- Taste, adjust seasoning and then serve!
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
68 thoughts on “Broccoli Cheddar Soup”
YOU ARE AMAZING! LOVE THE WAY YOU BREAK IT ALL DOWN!
Thanks, TJ! I needed that! Sometimes I worry I get too wordy with things people don’t care about. "Just get to the recipe, Foodie!", I hear them all say (the voices in my head). I appreciate the vote of confidence! 🙂
i use this same recipe, only adding heavy cream 2 cups as I recall.. its soooo good :}
Hi Unknown. 2 cups of cream? YUM! No wonder its so delicious! As one of my chefs in cooking school used to say, "Fat is flavor!" 🙂
What type of cheddar cheese? Sharp, Extra Sharp, Medium, Mild, White Sharp, White Extra Sharp?? The varieties are endless and I never know which kind to use! Which one will melt smoothly and not separate? By the way, love your website and your Facebook page!
Hi Confused Chris! I usually use a medium or mild cheddar cheese, but I left it open to those seeking a stronger flavor. In terms of the stringy melty options, different cheeses are going to behave differently, not just based on color or strength of flavor, but also from brand to brand and farm to farm. An aged cheddar from a local farm with grass fed cows will behave differently than your standard block of CostCo Cheddar. My suggestion would be not to worry about it, too much. Stick with the middle of the road, common ingredients and if you’re feeling experimental, step a little outside the comfort zone and give it a shot! I’m 99% certain that it’ll be ok! In this case, even the more extreme, dry aged cheeses will still melt and distribute well within the cream cheese, but as a general rule, don’t be afraid to trust your intuition. Worst case scenario, it’s a little off or a little stringy. It’ll STILL probably be delicious, even if it’s not perfect. You still get a decent meal, and an experience which you can build upon! I hope that helps!
I like the commentary going in! No need to rush- we all know where the recipe is and can cut right to it if we need to! 😉
Hi DJ, I made this and is was awesome! The only change I made was I used chicken stock just because I didn’t have vegetable stock and didn’t want to go get any. The soup was delicious. I love, love, love cheese! I sprinkled a little extra grated cheddar on top of mine when I scooped it out into the bowl. It was fabulous! Just wanted to thank you for you recipes, and your inspiration. I have been on the road to healthier eating and weight loss since last March. I’ve lost about 72 lbs now and feel great! Your recipes and suggestions have been so helpful along my journey! Please, please keep on keeping on!
I plan to, Lisa! For as long as I can! 🙂 Thank you for the kind words! You have no idea how much that kind of thing keeps me goin’!
OMG! Who knew low-carb eating could be so good! I made this soup in about 15 minutes and it is absolutely delicious. Thanks!
Fantastic, Sherry! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I just bought a huge bag of frozen organic broccoli today and then came across this delicious recipe, can’t wait to try it! Thank you!
Just stole your soup recipe DJ … hoping to make it this Sunday … love your page so much 🙂
Just found this web site and joined. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. I am going to make this soup today and have available for lunches this week.
I hope you enjoy it, Jackie, Mary and DragonFly! It’s a good one! 😉
I only just started using your web site, but I love it already. I have been trying over the years to stick to Atkins, but was always looking for ways to "cheat" or feel like I’m cheating. Just looking at your recipes makes me feel that this way of life truly is easy and healthful. Even my doctor agrees that low-carb eating is the way to lose weight and still be healthy. However, I do have a question on serving size. You state "6 servings" in a recipe but don’t say how much that serving is. In this chowder, is a serving 1 cup, 1/2 cup? It would be great if your recipes included what the serving size actually is. Otherwise it would be VERY easy to overeat, which could lead to defeat, since the recipes are so good. Thank you!
As much as I hate to say it ? it?s about 1/6th of the recipe! Although, here?s kind of a fun way to look at recipes. This is often how I personally determine how many servings it might be (usually based off my own desire to eat it!). A cup of water weighs about 235 grams. This is about 8 ounces. This is about 1/2 a lb. So, if you add up the gram weight of the ingredients in the recipe, you?ll see they total 1482 grams. If we divide this total by 6, we?re given a total serving size of about 247 grams. Now, due to water loss from evaporation and a few pieces of onions that dropped on the floor, the end result will probably coast in at about 7 1/2 ounces, or ? a scant cup of soup.
While this information may seem strange or petty, it?s actually HUGELY helpful for me when determining the serving sizes of things like salads, which don?t fit very well into a measuring cup. Knowing the weight of the ingredients and then being able to somewhat picture the ?mass? of the ingredients as it relates to a cup of water ? this all really helps me visualize the size of meals, the weights, the nutrient densities, and so on. Fun stuff, huh? In any event ? the answer to your question is ? just a very small amount less than a cup. I hope this helps! 😀
Hey DJ – I am obsessed with your recipes – everything that I have made so far is awesome! Question have you tried to freeze this? Wondering how it stands up….thanks!
Hi Bonnie, thank you!! 😀 About your question … no. I’ve never tried to freeze it. It might be worth freezing a small chunk of it, to see if it works. It "might" … something tells me that it won’t, or that the end result would be less than awesome, but … it "might"! I think it could be worth trying a little experiment. Please let us know what you find out!
Hi! Thanks for this terrific site, the wonderful recipes, the realistic breakdown of nutritional information, and also a lot of the explanation you gave on the different types of sugar and alcohol sugar. It’s all very confusing and you’ve really made it easy to understand. Plus. The recipes are terrific. I do have a question– there’s a sugar substitute that you speak about on the site and I don’t remember the name right now but I clicked on it and it’s a substitute for sugar used in cooking, there’s one for confectioners’ sugar and there some others. The one I’ve got at home though is made by Splenda. Is that one the same thing and if not is it okay? I’d rather use up what I have before I buy something new, but I don’t want to use something that secretly affects blood sugar!
Hi Esme. Thank you for the kind words! I like Swerve Sweetener, as it’s got zero net carbs per cup. Granular splenda has about 24 net carbs per cup. It’s got dextrose and maltodextrin as fillers, which are essentially sugar. If you’re using Nectresse, which is also made by Splenda, then … I don’t know how many net carbs it has. The labeling is done in such a ludicrous way, it’s tough to know. It does contain both sugar and molasses and the carbs MAY run as high as 96 carbs per cup. The way they label it … it "hides" this potential, which … is so obviously misleading and potentially dangerous … In any event, I hope this helps! 🙂
Hi! I’m dying to try this recipe but I’ll be making it for two… Does it reheat well? Are there any tricks to reheating it? Or am I better off just making less? Thank you! I’ve never found a bad recipe from you! I love then all! 🙂
Hi Rachael, the problem with reheating this recipe would be the broccoli. After sitting in the hot soup, then being chilled and then reheating … it would be colorless, textureless lumps of broccoli shaped floaties. My suggestion would … make the soup without the broccoli. Then, pour off some of the base and let that cool. With whatever you have left in the pot, add your broccoli to it, mix it in … cover it and let it slowly simmer for about 8 or 9 minutes. Then, eat it! Then, later … when you want another bowl, take out some of the soup base and reheat THAT. Add fresh broccoli to it and let it simmer with a lid for about 8 or 9 minutes. Eat! Does this make sense? I hope it helps!
I was looking at the smoothies today and this was on the random item. I went during my lunch break to get a few ingredients. Got home and made this with 4 slices of bacon instead of butter.
I also had decided to cook the lb of bacon in over so I dumped all the bacon fat in here as it was simmering on the stove. all I have to say is OMG it is sooooooooooooo good. Thanks
Sounds AMAZING Unknown! I’m glad you liked it (and used a lot of bacon! 😉 )
It would have been nice to have a regular recipe. Please could you post one.
With only 2 cups of stock, do I really get 6 servings? Not a cook so I really not sure.How much for a serving?
Hi Unknown, all the ingredients combined will equal about 6 total cups worth of soup. Each serving is about 1 cup.
THIS SOUP. It’s delicious, it’s creamy, it hits the "comfort food love" spot very well… it’s really a winner. Thank you very much for this delicious (and simple! simple is really fantastic, yes? YES!) recipe. I don’t often use all caps, so please know how much I loved/inhaled this soup. 😉 I’m going to go eat some left overs, right now. As soon as I submit this comment, of course. Cheers!
PS – Your reheating method mentioned in the comments is perfect. You saved the broccoli from becoming lifeless. 😉 Thanks again!
YAY!!! Thanks, Jana! I love the enthusiasm!!! I’m glad its workin’ for ya!
If you used low fat or skim cream cheese and cheddar, it would just as good, but wouldn’t have as many fats or calories. I will make it this way as it sounds super
Hi Unknown, low fat products tend to have added sugars and starches to make up for the lost volume and flavor. It’s my believe that a high fat ingredient, lower in sugar or starches is better than a low fat ingredient, high in sugar or starches. It has to do with blood sugars and the fat storing hormone insulin. If you reduce sugar and starch, you’ll reduce insulin … and if you reduce insulin, you can eat more fat and calories … and still lose weight and have less appetite and cravings. Pretty neat, huh?! 😉
@Unknown – taking the fat out of low carb food makes it either higher carb, or worse, a chemical $#!+storm.
Either low carb or low fat . . . Low carb will lose more weight, faster; low fat will screw up metabolism even more.
I made this soup today and loved it! My kids who are aged 9 and 11 also devoured it! My 9 y o said "it smells funny but tasted great"!! To explain his reaction, he is not a cheese fan so I just kept the ingredients to myself! Thanks for the recipe – it will be a regular on our meal list from now on!
Kylie … your kid isn’t far off, really. As much as I love cheese and broccoli, neither of them really emanate pleasant aromas! Some cheeses are downright stinky! That said … you’re kid’s response was also to gobble it down. That’s the right response! 😉
This was incredible!!! I will definitely make it again but, I will leave out the thyme. I myself didn’t like it in this type of soup. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!
Glad you liked it, Patti. YAY!
I took my immersion blender to this soup at the end of cooking it to make it nice and creamy- so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Sure thing, Elsa! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you! The whole family loved it 🙂
Regarding your commen to Esme on 4/6/14: "Granular splenda has about 24 net carbs per cup. It’s got dextrose and maltodextrin as fillers, which are essentially sugar"
Do you mind telling me where you found this information? I went by what was on the bag which says 0 carbs and that it is made with sucralose. I’d like to vet your comment before I toss it in the trash. Thanks so much.
Never mind – I actually found the information on their website. Into the trash it goes.
Hi Cyndi, you CAN buy liquid sucralose, which is truly zero carb. Sucralose is VERY sweet, so it needs some kind of bulk in order to measure like sugar. Dextrose and maltodextrine are cheap and are used as the filler in many … MANY sweeteners, including many popular stevia blends. It’s basically sugar, but … worse … in the sense that it’s glucose, which is higher on the glycemic index than sugar. It’s "instant" blood sugar! They can legally get away with saying it’s zero carb by setting the serving size very low. As long as the product is below 1/2 carb per serving, they can list it as "zero". So .. the trick is, setting serving sizes very low and hide those carbs! Frustrating … Glad you caught it!
I just made this tonight with all dairy free ingredients bc I’m lactose intolerant. Boy, was it good!
—Reply posted by Karyn on 6/20/2015
Could you pleeez share your dairy free version of this low carb broccoli/cheddar soup? ??
—Reply posted by Lynda on 1/14/2015
Margo, would you share what you used to substitute?
Wow, Margo! I can’t even imagine this without dairy. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Thank you! This has become a favorite!
It was so cheesy I about keeled over dead.
—Reply posted by Carol on 2/9/2015
I did not use the whole 1 lb of cheddar and it was still very good. I used about half or slightly more.
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/15/2015
But in a good way, right? …. riiiiiiight?! 😉
Does anyone know if I can make this in my crock pot?
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/15/2015
Hi Maryanne. You “could”, but a crock pot is for slow cooking and this soup comes together quickly. It’s possible, but it’s not what I’d consider to be the right tool for the job. You’d just have a big cauldron of hot cheese sitting there, all day. You’d want to add the broccoli near the end, or else it’d be gray mush by the time you got to it. Might as well melt the cheese fresh, rather than have it sit all day … Just my thoughts. Maybe someone else has a strong opinion on the matter …
I just made this for lunch. I will definitelymake it again, except I will double the recipe next time!
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/18/2015
excellent!!! I have tried other low carb broccoli /cheese soups and they weren’t great. This one is fantastic!!! Thank you!!!
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/9/2015
WHOOO HOOO!!! 😀
Holy moly. I’m eating this now, and it’s really good. Thank you!
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/9/2015
Awesome, Alexandra. Thanks for the comment!
I made this today and it’s fantastic. I didn’t have thyme so I Googled what could be used instead. It said oregano but I thought that would be too strong, so I used parsley flakes & a dash of dried cilantro. I used neufchatel cream cheese, & sharp white cheddar. Added julienned carrot for color and this was fabulous. My daughter loves broccoli cheese soup so I can’t wait til she gets home so she can try it lol 😉
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/9/2015
YAY! I’m glad you enjoyed it, Carol. Hopefully your daughter enjoys it, as well! 🙂
I have never made broccoli and cheese soup but I couldn’t resist this recipe. Wow, it was so good! My husband loved it. I had other recipes for broccoli and cheese soup lying around and I threw them all away after making this one.
Just made this soup and it tastes wonderful. I’m not a fan of broccoli as a rule, but have always loved Broccoli Cheese soup! I do feel I’m cheating, and it was so quick to prepare! I used frozen broccoli and it worked well.
A couple of questions…first, is each serving supposed to be one cup? When I measured it out at the end it came out more like 5 1/2 cups, instead of 6. Also, I did purée the veggie/broth mixture before adding cheeses, as I prefer a velvety texture, but it still has a fine grainy finish. Could that be the broccoli florets?
Otherwise, fantastic!! No cream needed! Thanks so much!
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/19/2015
Hi Olwyn, as written, the recipe should create just over 6 1/4 cups of soup. Granted, with some evaporation, the soup will drop to about 6 cups, but … it’s very much right around the 6-cup ballpark. If a little less broccoli is used and a smaller onion, or a twinge shy of the liquids, it’ll reduce that total, but … it should be a bit over 6 cups when all is said and done. Regarding the texture … yes, the broccoli tends to have a subtle gritty texture when pureed. However, if you cook it a bit longer (like 15 minutes, as opposed to 10), and puree it just a bit longer, that will eventually go away. You can also strain it through a fine mesh strainer to get a silky smooth soup. That’ll get out any remaining fibrous bits. I hope this helps! 🙂
Hi! This recipe is going to be dinner tonight, I knew as soon as I started reading it that I need this in my mouth! Hahaha. I’m looking forward to trying it out, but I do have a question, and it’s purely for curiosity’s sake. Why did you choose stock, instead of broth? I’ve seen so many other versions of broccoli soup calling for broth, I think this is the first one to specify stock.
Thanks for the recipe! I’m super excited about it.
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/21/2015
Hi there! I have no major reason. It’s likely just a terminology thing, from my restaurant days. I’ve never once referred to any kind of veggies or meat broth as “broth”. It’s always just been a “stock” within my own personal vocabulary. To me, a “broth” is a concentrated soup base, and a consomm? is a clear broth. Stocks are lighter, in my view of the world, but my guess is …anything you purchase in the store is going to use the two terms interchangeably. They’re all more or less the same thing … (at least, I assume so … ) … Something like that. O.o
I quadruple this recipe and add cauliflower. YUM
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015
Yep, I think this recipe is VERY well suited for cauliflower. Definitely a solid addition!
I also add grated Parmesan cheese and use chicken stock
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015
I have read this comment. 😉
Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I made a big batch today and got rave reviews from all the ladies at my Bible study lunch!
—Reply posted by DJ on 4/28/2015
WHOO HOO!!! I’m glad you liked it! Thank you for the kind words! 🙂
—Reply posted by Marilyn on 4/27/2015
Just had the last of the leftovers for lunch today (Monday) from Friday’s luncheon. DH and I ate this all weekend by reheating a cup at a time in the microwave and it has been wonderful! I used sharp cheddar and the extra flavor really knocked it out of the park.
Love this lower carb broccoli cheese soup, have lost a lot of weight doing lower carb! I made a lot of substitutions and am sure it is even better made as written. I made 1/2 batch and used frozen broccoli, turkey broth, home made light cream cheese, dried thyme and left out the butter. Thanks so much for the flexible recipe, my “what I had on hand” trial was very satisfying and pure comfort food!
—Reply posted by DJ on 5/30/2015
Sure thing! I’m glad you were able to use it to twist something tasty up for yourself! A recipe is only a guide … 😀
Great recipe.. easy to prepare and tasty
—Reply posted by DJ on 6/11/2015
Awesome, Alvina. Glad you liked it! 🙂
Ridiculously delicious!!! I added cauliflower, and pureed it with my stick blender. I am so looking forward to my lunches over the next few days! (If I can get my husband to actually leave me some!)
—Reply posted by DJ on 6/24/2015
Glad to hear it, Jillian. Ask your husband to save a bowl for me, too! I could really go for one. YUM! 🙂
I just made this with some frozen cauliflower and it is excellent. I am trying to get back on a lower carb way of eating. I feel so much better. The issue is I had lap band surgery and I have difficulty eating many things. This is perfect for lunch. Thank you!
Sooooooo good. I love how thick this soup is. Look forward to many bowls of this soup. Thank you.
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/18/2016
Awesome. Glad to hear it. Thank you! 🙂
Didn’t read all the comments but wondering if this soup freezes well.
I just sat down to gather the ingredients and make this, but I only have frozen broccoli and have NO idea how much broccoli is in “1/2 large bunch broccoli.” I ran through the Comments and didn’t find one about this. Please, how much in cups should I add?
The recipe shows the weight of the broccoli, in addition to the “amount”. It suggests roughly a pound (420 grams). So, if you have a 1 lb. box of frozen broccoli, just use the box. Hopefully this helps gauge it.
I used 4 cups frozen broccoli and between 1/2 to 1 cup more milk. I used my immersion blender. Very good.