With all this glutenous food I’ve been indulging in here at Disneyland, and all the walking we’ve been doing, I am ready for a nice, big, hot bowl of creamy soup. Luckily for me, Dara from Cookin’ Canuck is always on top of healthy recipes that are jam packed full of flavor, and this Broccoli & Cheddar Soup is no exception.
I’m so happy to introduce you to Dara, you’re gonna love her.
Over the past months, I’ve had the privilege to get to know Shawn. We first met at Camp Blogaway in May, and a few months later in Park City at the EVO conference. As much as I loved meeting Shawn in person, one of the most rewarding things was something that we did virtually…the Red Faced Runners 5k Challenge. This red-faced group of 11 food bloggers brought many of our readers along on the ride with us, and were so inspired and excited by the dedication and fearlessness of everyone involved.
While Shawn and I haven’t had the chance to run together yet, I hope that we will someday. And then, of course, we could top the day off by breaking bread over a fabulous meal. Since we are both dedicated to working exercise into our lives and living healthier lifestyles (with fewer dishes at the end of the meal), I decided to make a healthier version of a classic. Broccoli and Cheddar Soup…a meal that can be made in one pot.
The challenge was to make a healthier version (in other words, no cream and less cheese) without sucking out all the flavor or sacrificing texture. The trick is to add cannellini (white) beans. When pureed with the broccoli, onions and garlic, they act as a thickener. A thickener with plenty of fiber and lean protein, and virtually no fat. Stir in some Cheddar cheese at the end for flavor and extra creaminess.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 3 cups small broccoli florets
- 2 cans (14 oz. each) cannellini (or Great Northern) beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup reduced fat (2%) milk
- ½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and smoked paprika and, stirring constantly, cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add the broccoli and cook until it is softened a little, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans.
- Add the vegetable or chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover the saucepan and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- Stir in the milk, remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Using either a hand-held blender, or a blender or food processor (working in batches), puree the soup until it's almost smooth, leaving a bit of texture. If you used a blender, return the soup to the saucepan and reheat it over medium heat.
- Stir in the Cheddar cheese. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve.
Don’t forget to go and say hi to Dara over on her blog, Cookin’ Canuck!