We’re having quite the unseasonably warm winter here in the west; other parts of the world are not so lucky. No matter the weather, winter is made for soup. Who can resist a big pot of soothing, simmering nutritional goodness? The days are still short and I’m still curled up on my couch watching my favorite winter shows . . . never mind that the 2018 Olympics are about to invade my house!!! I am such an avid Olympic fan. I don’t want to miss a single downhill turn by Lindsay Vonn or a backside grab from Shaun White! I can easily double this soup so that I’m sure to have a quick and easy meal ready to roll just in time for every double axle or quadruple flip on the ice. I can’t wait!!
I’m pretty much in love with this Cheesy Cauliflower Broccoli Soup. I’ve enjoyed many versions over the years, but find this no-flour recipe to my liking. I recently shared it at a women’s luncheon to great reviews, so it’s well taste tested. Boiled and blended cauliflower give this version it’s creamy texture along with lots of extra sharp shredded cheese and a little fat-free half and half. Nutritionally it’s a home-run with all the healthy broccoli and carrots, olive oil and garlic.
I’ve eaten a similar soup at Panera Bread restaurant lately and thought how similar in taste and texture this version is but of course mine leaves out all the butter, flour and cream. It’s so satisfying to create healthier versions of delicious foods eaten away from home. It might take a little longer to prepare (duh), but I think it’s so worth the effort. Fresh, wholesome ingredients put together in your own kitchen to create tasty goodness your whole family will love. Pair with Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls or Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Bites for a complete dinner meal.
- Cheesy Cauliflower Broccoli Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 head of cauliflower, core removed and cut into small florets
- 2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 4 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (Do not use the pre-shredded bagged cheese; it will not melt as well), plus an additional 2 ounces (about half a cup) for sprinkling on top, if desired
- 1 cup fat-free half and half
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Crumbled bacon for sprinkling on top, if desired
- Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, garlic, nutmeg, dry mustard, cayenne and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for a minute or two.
- Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for least 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender and can be mashed easily with a fork.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender, and puree until smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the soup pot and place over medium heat. Add the broccoli and carrot. Bring back to a simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese a little at a time. Stir in the half and half. If you want an even thinner soup, add additional broth or water to desired consistency. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve in bowls and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, if desired.
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