YOU GUYS!!!!! I am a broccoli and cheese FIEND. I LOVE broccoli and cheese soup. I’ve always loved it. It’s my favorite aside from homemade tomato soup (with a grilled cheese, of course!!). Living in South Florida, it’s pretty rare that the day really ever “calls” for soup. Or chili. Or pretty much anything that is fall because our 4 seasons are hot, hotter, hot-as-eff and oh, this is a nice 83 degrees. But, TODAY, I said screw it. Taco Tuesday? Nah, Broccoli and Cheese Tuesday! (Although, I did make tacos and taco pizza for the taco lovers of my family – and the not so much soup lovers of my family – which is like all of them!)
I want to preface this entry with the fact that soup has always been a “fear food” of mine. If you don’t know what that means (and most people that have never had an eating disorder or know someone with one), it simply means I’ve got a fear of eating (or drinking) that particular food. Not like something terrible will happen to me (or my loved ones – like if I don’t make my bed or if someone messes my freshly made bed up (KENNETH!)), but, I get crazy anxiety about the particular food and it is EXTREMELY hard for me to resist the compulsion to purge whatever it is I ate. Even though I am recovered (and have been in recovery for a little over 14 years), that doesn’t mean the thoughts and fears don’t creep up on you every now and again.
I am SO FRIGGIN’ GLAD I was able to find this recipe. One of the main reasons soups (and chilis and basically any comfort food) are such a huge trigger for me is because it leaves me feeling full – it gives me that uncomfortable, anxiety-ridden fear that you can legit see pounds just growing on you. Yes, I realize that sounds crazy, but, a fear is a fear, right? I felt like I had to get rid of it right then, because if not, my stomach would explode and I would gain at least 15 pounds. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t just control my urge to indulge in something I had eaten a million times before that. I’m glad I found this recipe because it’s a HEALTHY version of one of my favorite recipes! I don’t have that horrible anxiety-ridden fear that “a moment on the lips – forever on the hips” will actually come true. It won’t. I don’t feel guilty that I’m eating this delicious soup – yup – as I type this blog entry. I’m focused on letting y’all know a hearty, yummy recipe instead of rushing to the bathroom to get rid of it. That’s a pretty big win in my opinion – the best win of the day (and it’s Election day today).
One of the best things about this recipe (in my opinion) is that it’s so creamy and delicious, if you’re not able to have dairy for whatever reason, you can omit the cheddar cheese and you DON’T have to omit any of the rich creaminess! This recipe doesn’t come chalk-full of heavy cream, half and half, milk, etc. BUT, it does come with all of the creamy texture dairy has to offer! So, if you’re looking for a yummy creamy recipe that doesn’t make you feel sluggish and gross, here’s the recipe for you!!! I also added a secret ingredient: I made my famous grilled orange chicken and shredded it and put it on top for added protein and because, well, YUM!!
Broccoli and Cheese Soup – 21 Day Fix Approved!!
~2 tsp butter (I used 2 tsp EVOO because I didn’t have any dairy free butter)
~1 medium onion, chopped (I used purple – probably called for yellow, but whatevs)
~1 cup chopped carrots (I used quite a few baby carrots and chopped them up – they’re going to be pureed anyway, so it doesn’t really matter)
~4 cups low sodium chicken broth (a 32oz box if you don’t make your own chicken broth)
~4 cups chopped broccoli
~2 cups chopped cauliflower
~1/2 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
~2 cups broccoli (chopped into pretty tiny little pieces, these are going to be the ones that are chillin’ in the soup, not pureed to make the base, so use your judgement on how you like your broccoli in your soup!)
~1 1/3 cups shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese (HONESTLY, I tried this before putting cheese in it and it was creamy and delicious without the cheese – so if your dietary rules omit dairy – you don’t need to add it to make a delicious soup! OR you can use dairy-free shredded cheese)
~In a big pot, melt the butter (or heat up EVOO if that’s what you’re using) over medium heat. Then, add your carrots and onion. Cook and stir the mixture occasionally. It’s going to be getting cooked again (and eventually pureed, so, no worries on if they’re not super soft after cooking for a few minutes)
~Next, add the chopped broccoli (leaving those two cups of broccoli that’s cut smaller on the side), the cauliflower, tsp of salt and the chicken broth into the pot. Cover and let it simmer. I let it simmer for probably a good 30-35 minutes before the veggies were soft enough. You want to be able to mash the veggies on the side of the pot with your spoon with ease – you’re golden once that happens.
~While the veggies and broth are cooking, I microwaved the smaller chopped up broccoli (I also saved a little cauliflower and used it as well) with about two tablespoons of water for 5 minutes to soften it a bit. The texture was perfect.
~Once all of the veggies (in the broth) are super soft and mushy, transfer the mixture into a blender (or food processor) in batches and puree until the consistency is what you like for your soup. Surprisingly, it’s super thick and creamy! Once it’s pureed, return it to the originally pot. Stir in the cheddar cheese (if you’re using it) and the bowl of smaller chopped up broccoli. Put some pepper in it to taste, and you’re all done!!!
21 DAY FIX containers: 1B | 1/4R | 1 1/2G | 1/2 TSP ***if you add the shredded chicken it’s 1/2R and shredded cheese it’s 1 1/4B***
Drop a pic below of your soup or leave a note saying if you changed up anything, added anything, whatever. I’m always down for learning and trying something new!!