Healthy, Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
Do your kids love broccoli? No? Then this week’s Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is for you because this will convert most kids, especially if you omit the word broccoli and call it “Cheesy Vegetable Soup”. Naturally gluten free and thickened with vegetables, this is healthy, yummy and tummy warming on a cool fall or winter day. I mostly just love that my kids will inhale it- #momwin
Vegetable Based Broccoli Soup
Today's recipe is not especially pretty but it is very tasty. A weeknight favourite in our house, this is something I feel good about feeding my kids. Much healthier version than most restaurant soups, it's “creamy” but without the cream unless you choose to garnish the soup with a little at the end. In fact this soup is made almost entirely of vegetables and of course the cheese at the end. Broccoli cheese soup is FULL of vitamins and fiber and a perfect easy dinner for Meatless Monday.
How does it get a creamy texture? One russet potato, a ton of broccoli then finished with a cup of cheddar. My kids go nuts for this stuff and it’s easily done in a half hour making it perfect for a busy weeknight meal. (See below- my daughter trying to eat it while I was trying to take pictures)
Another of our favourite soup-as-a-meal recipes is my mom's Beet and Beef Borscht recipe. I add in the sour cream garnish and call it pink soup which gets the kids excited.
What To Serve With This Broccoli Dinner?
My kids love it served with some homemade no knead bread so I often make that too if time permits or else pick up a fresh whole wheat baguette at the store. Salad are another perfect side dish. Try Crisp Apple and Fennel salad or my Fresh Fig salad if you are lucky enough to have fresh figs.
This recipe is very straightforward, the only thing to be aware of is that you add the cheese at the end of cooking. Don't let the soup come to a boil after adding cheese or it can become grainy as the cheese separates.
Another Tip That We Use To Eat More Veggies
I've been lucky that my kids generally like fruits and vegetables. That being said, they love carbs more and as they've gotten older, they've gotten a little pickier. I find they are least picky when they are hungry to the first thing I do when I make dinner is chop up the veggies. I put a simple plate of raw veggies (usually 3-5 like cucumber, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower etc.) When the kids come in the kitchen complaining of hunger, I have an answer, a fresh plate of veggies, washed and ready to eat. While they are sometimes resistant if the vegetables aren't ready, if the veg are all ready, they will mindlessly start snacking on them.
Another "hidden veggie" recipe that my kids love are these Zucchini Muffins. Give those a go for more veggie snacking.
Enjoy the soup and let me know if it converts your kids to broccoli lovers.
Broccoli Soup-Easy, Healthy and Gluten-Free
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 c Onion, Chopped About 1 medium sized onion
- ½ c Carrot, Chopped ¼" About 1 small-medium carrot
- 4 c Vegetable Stock
- 1 ½ c Russet Potato, Peeled And Chopped ¼" About 1 med-large potato
- 4 c Broccoli, Stems And Florets Chopped About 1 head of broccoli
- 1 c Cheddar, Shredded Or Cut Small 4 oz
- Salt And Pepper To Taste I used ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 5-10 drops Hot Sauce To Taste I use Tobasco and 5 drops if making for my 5 year old gives it a very subtle spice level
- In a 4 quart or similar pot, heat oil on medium until hot but not smoking. Add onion and carrot and saute, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent, then add vegetable stock and potato and simmer until carrot and potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, top with lid and simmer 5 more minutes or until soft but still bright green then turn heat to low.
- Using an immersion/stick blender or in a regular blender (be careful if pouring hot soup in blender and make sure lid is on firmly before blending) puree soup until smooth or desired consistency.
- Add shredded cheese, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper and stir gently until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
(Take care not to let soup come to a boil after adding cheese or it will separate and although it will still taste good, it will have a grainy texture.)
- Garnish as desired with a swirl of cream, extra shredded cheese, fresh herbs or broccoli florets.