So, I’ve been promising this recipe for two weeks now, and I only just got around to typing it up. Would you believe that this, my 32nd year on Earth, is the first time I’ve ever attempted to make a proper cheddar and broccoli soup? To be fair, I didn’t really love it as a child – I always preferred tomato soups. However, as I got older, Panera’s delicious (and incredible not nutritious) cheddar and broccoli soup started appealing to me. So, in an attempt to appease my husband’s keto desires, I decided to chance it. The best part? It’s insanely easy, requires very few ingredients, and it only took about 40 minutes total from start to finish.
Another plus? It’s cheap. Like dirt cheap. To feed our family of four because, yes, this is kid-approved, too, the whole meal cost a total of $11. We had leftovers, too, so Ryan got to take it to work again. Happy husband, happy tummies, and happy mama because it’s easy and delish.
I started with two medium heads of broccoli. With the first, I cut the florets off, but reserved quite a few small chunks to offer a bit more texture and bite. Then, I took the other one and a half heads of broccoli and put them in my handheld food-processor. This manual food processor from Pampered Chef is my favorite because it’s so easy to use that even my little sous chef can safely use it!
Once the broccoli was prepped, I added 3 tbsp of butter to a medium hot skillet with a tsp of chopped garlic. We then lightly sauteed the broccoli florets and added 16 oz of chicken broth. We let the flavors marry and added a touch of salt and pepper as it simmered for about 10 minutes before we added 1 cup of heavy cream and reduced the heat slightly. If cream gets too hot, it can curdle, so we didn’t want to risk it.
Now, here’s what sets this keto cheddar and broccoli soup apart. You know that thick texture that most of your favorite variations have? It’s often achieved through potatoes and starches. Or, in the case of keto remakes, lots of people opt for xanthum gum. We wanted it to be a little richer and creamier though, so I added two tbsp of room temperature cream cheese and stirred until it was thick and well mixed – about 5-8 minutes. Finally, we added about 1 cup of sharp cheddar to the soup to give it that creamy and slightly salty bite.
If you want to try it for yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
16 oz of chicken broth
8 oz of heavy cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
2 tbsp cream cheese
2 heads of broccoli
1 tsp garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
One thing to note with a keto lifestyle is you’re looking for less carbs and more fat. This recipe delivers in spades. However, you can very quickly turn the tides by adding too much cream cheese, or additives like onions. So, take your portioning and ingredients into account when you dive in!
My husband ate it as-is and gave it rave reviews. My boys and I sipped our soup with pretzel buns, which were a huge hit for them…totally not keto, but this pregnant mama cares very little these days about that. Overall, it was a huge hit, and I’ll definitely be making this one again!