Cheesy Low-Carb Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
Cheesy Low-Carb Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup is loaded with cheesy broccoli flavor, and this meatless soup is also Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
There’s a reason why nearly every family restaurant in the U.S. has some version of broccoli cheese soup on the menu, and that reason is the wonderful flavor combination that is broccoli + melted cheese. But if you’re trying to limit carbs and you check the nutritional information for soups like Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Corner Bakery Cheddar Broccoli Soup, or Ruby Tuesday Broccoli Cheese Soup, you’ll notice all those soups are thickened with flour or cornstarch.
I knew that had to be the case so for a long time I just ignored my broccoli cheese soup cravings, but lately I’d been thinking about making a low-carb version of soup with broccoli and cheese. I noticed that my friend Lydia’s Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup at Soup Chick didn’t have any flour, and I also got some inspiration from Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Soup from Closet Cooking. And after looking around a bit online, I started experimenting!
My soup creation added cauliflower, which pureed nicely to add some body to the soup. I also added some barely-cooked broccoli florets at the end for a little more texture. I tested this recipe for Cheesy Low-Carb Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup with my nephew Jake and we gobbled it up after a long cooking day when we weren’t all that hungry, so I think it’s safe to say it was a success.
Just a couple more comments before we get to the recipe. I think that if you’re going to try making a pureed soup that’s not going to be thickened with flour or cornstarch, using an Immersion Blender to puree the hot soup is going to be the easiest method, and will also give the best results. (Pureeing hot soup in a blender or food processor is possible, but it’s not easy.) I also think this kind of soup needs plenty of extra sharp cheddar to make it taste really good, and using a high-end imported aged cheddar will really improve the soup.
Edit: Cheesy Low-Carb Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup was featured in the Top Ten New Recipes of 2015 (plus Honorable Mentions).
Cut up two cups of chopped broccoli and 2 cups of chopped cauliflower. Chop up an onion and saute in olive oil until is starts to brown, then add garlic and dried thyme and cook a minute or two more. Add 4 cups vegetable stock plus the chopped broccoli and cauliflower and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are quite soft.
When the vegetables are nicely softened, use an Immersion Blender to puree the soup until it’s fairly smooth. Then add 2 cups sharp cheddar and melt it into the soup. Add 1/2 cup milk, half and half, or cream and stir in.
Put the other 2-3 cups of broccoli florets into a large glass measuring cup or bowl and microwave 1 minute. Add the barely-cooked broccoli to the soup, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve hot (with extra cheese to add at the table if desired.)
Cheesy Low-Carb Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup at Soup Chick and Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Soup from Closet Cooking.)
2 cups chopped broccoli, including stems
2 cups chopped cauliflowers, including stems
2-3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. olive oil (or butter)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
4 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth
2 generous cups grated sharp cheddar + more to add at the table
1/2 cup milk, half and half, or cream (I used half and half)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Cut up 2 cups each of chopped broccoli and cauliflower, including stems. Cut another 2 cups of broccoli florets and chop the onion. Heat the olive oil or butter in a large heavy soup pot and saute the onion over medium-high heat until it’s starting to lightly brown; then add the garlic and thyme and cook about a minute more. Add the vegetable stock, chopped broccoli with stems, and chopped cauliflower with stems, and let the soup simmer on medium-low heat about 20 minutes (or until the broccoli and cauliflower are both very tender.)
Use an immersion blender to carefully puree all the soup until it’s quite smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully puree small amount of soup in a blender or food processor until it’s all pureed; then add it back into the pan. Be sure not to fill the blender or food processor too fill and take care not to get burned with the hot soup.)
Bring the soup back to a very low simmer; then add the grated cheeese and stir until it’s melted into the soup. Turn heat as low as it will go and stir in the half and half. Put the broccoli florets into a large glass measuring cup or bowl, cover with cling wrap, and microwave on high for one minute. Stir the barely cooked broccoli into the soup, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve hot, with extra grated cheese to add at the table.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This soup recipe as written would be suitable for most types of Low-Carb eating plans, and go ahead and use butter if you prefer. The South Beach Diet would certainly recommend using olive oil, low-fat cheese, and skim milk to make this soup lower in saturated fat. I think the olive oil and skim milk would be fine, but I’m not sure how the low-fat cheese will melt in the soup and I think I’d use regular cheese and make this an occasional treat.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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More Low-Carb Soups with Broccoli or Cauliflower and Cheese:
Cauliflower and Mushroom Pressure Cooker soup with Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Low-Carb Broccoli Cheese Soup ~ The Low-Carb Diet
Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup ~ All Day I Dream About Food
Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder ~ Iowa Girl Eats