How to Make Healthier Broccoli and Cheese Soup
A recent study by the Natural Resource Defense Council revealed that most Americans throw away 33 pounds of food each month. This means families are losing up to 40 percent of their food as it travels from farm to table. While it may not be possible for your family to eliminate food waste entirely, there are simple hacks your family can use to reduce its food waste footprint—one of these being to “go further with food” and make the most of your produce. Broccoli is one of those foods you can use all of instead of throwing scraps in the trash.
This healthier broccoli cheese soup still tastes just as rich and comforting as the higher calorie classic version. Broccoli can help prevent many types of cancer, improve our digestive system, lower cholesterol detoxifies the body and maximize vitamin and mineral intake. Antioxidants in broccoli and its high fiber content help to reduce bad cholesterol and keep the heart functioning properly.
Photo Credit: Mike Miller, A Healthier Michigan
- 5 cups broccoli florets (about 16 oz.), finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup fat-free half and half (the fattier your milk the creamier your soup)
- 1 (12 oz.) can 2% evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 (8 oz.) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1-2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Healthier Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup
1. Place the broccoli, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Top with the cream cheese, oregano, nutmeg, and chicken broth. Stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours, until the broccoli is tender.
2. Remove the lid and stir in the half and half and evaporated milk, slowly.
3. Place the lid back and let cook on low for 10-20 minutes until warmed through.
4. Then, stir the salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Recover and cook on high until the cheese is fully melted and the soup is hot, about 5 additional minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!