The easiest bowl of comfort food! This lightened up broccoli cheddar soup is made with olive oil and milk instead of butter and cream. It’s loaded with wholesome broccoli and freshly grated cheddar cheese.
Broccoli Soup Without Cream
Do I have a delicious bowl of comfort food to share today! It’s a classic bowl of broccoli cheddar soup that will warm you up from inside out. This lighter milk based soup is made with olive oil instead of butter and milk instead of cream.
It’s flavored with aromatics such as bay leaf, mustard, and nutmeg. The milk along with stock and roux base give the soup creamy rich taste. It’s insanely delicious and so easy to make!
What Goes with Broccoli Soup?
This broccoli cheese soup is great for lunch or dinner. Pair it with a salad and some crusty bread for a cozy meal. Here are some vinegar-based salads that work amazing with this soup. Katya’s TIP: feel free to add your favorite protein to any of these salads!
- Chopped Autumn Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
- House Salad Recipe – family favorite!
- Avocado and Apple Brussels Sprout Salad
Or serve broccoli soup with a lean protein and a side for filling dinner:
- Easy Roasted Herb Chicken
- Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Cod in Creamy Red Roasted Pepper Sauce
- Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
Ingredients for Cheddar Soup
You can whip up this soup in no time. It’s super easy to make with most ingredients likely in your pantry. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Onion, carrot, garlic
- All-purpose flour
- Spices – bay leaf, dry mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper
- Whole milk
- Vegetable stock
- Broccoli – fresh or frozen (see note below for frozen)
- Cheddar cheese – freshly grated from a block
FROZEN BROCCOLI: You can make this broccoli soup with frozen broccoli. The instructions are exactly the same. No need to thaw out the broccoli. Just keep in mind the cooking time might slightly vary depending on the size of the florets. Frozen broccoli usually cooks a little quicker since it is pre-blanched.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Step by Step
- Step 1: Sauté onions and carrots in olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds.
- Step 2: Sprinkle flour over the veggies and cook for about 1 minute, while stirring.
- Step 3: Stir in bay leaf, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Step 4: Add broccoli, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until tender.
- Step 5: Turn off heat, discard the bay leaf, and gradually stir in cheese. Taste for salt and pepper before serving.
Variation: Broccoli Soup with Coconut Milk
You can make this broccoli cheddar soup recipe with coconut milk. You’ll need one (14 ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk. Just make sure to shake the can of coconut milk really well before adding into soup as the cream and liquid tend to separate.
I personally love the creaminess of coconut milk in soups. I find that almond milk tends to be a little bland for my taste, however, some of my readers had great success using almond milk.
Here’s what Eleanor says: “Wow, this is an amazing recipe! The only changes I made were I used almond milk (same amount) and almond flour (1/8 cup), and I didn’t have any nutmeg, so I used pumpkin spice instead. This one is a keeper, for sure.”
Can You Freeze Soup with Milk In It?
From my personal experience, soup that contains milk (or even cream) does not hold up well in the freezer. Normally it separates and turns grainy when rewarmed. However, it will keep refrigerated up to 3 days.
When reheating the soup, do it over low heat on the stovetop. I would not recommend reheating in the microwave.
Top Tips for Making Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- Low heat is the key to this soup, especially when adding the cheese. The cheese can break down and look grainy if melted over high heat.
- Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Not only is fresh and creamy but it melts way better than bagged cheese from the store.
- Use whole cow’s milk for the soup and if using a non-dairy milk, such as coconut milk, make sure it is full-fat and not lite.
- Reheat the soup on the stove top over low heat.
- For thicker soup, add a handful or two of cauliflower florets or diced potatoes.
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The easiest bowl of comfort food! This lightened up classic is made with olive oil and milk instead of butter and cream. It’s loaded with wholesome broccoli and freshly grated cheddar cheese.
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced, 3/4 cup
- 1 medium carrot, diced, 1 cup
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 8 oz. block cheddar cheese*, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- cayenne pepper, for serving, optional
- In a 4-quart dutch-oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onions and carrots, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add the bay leaf, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer, then simmer for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Add broccoli, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
- Turn off the heat, discard the bay leaf, and gradually stir in cheese. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, topped with extra cheese and cayenne pepper, if desired.
- Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. It’s much creamier and melts way better than pre-shredded bagged cheese. Only melt cheese over low heat or it will separate and look grainy.
- Leftovers will keep refrigerated up to 3 days. My biggest tip would be to reheat the soup on the stovetop over low heat so it does not separate. Soup does not freeze well.
- Variations: Use frozen broccoli instead of fresh. Amount and instructions are the same. For non-dairy milk, full-fat coconut milk is a good alternative. You will need one (14 oz.) can which yields anywhere from 1 2/3 cups to 1 3/4 cups of milk, depending on the brand.
Keywords: healthy, cheese soup, milk soup, fall