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Welcoming these chilly winter days with this Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It’s cozy, creamy, secretly full of vegetables, and totally delicious. This soup is made simply in one pot with puréed cauliflower (to make it creamy), sharp cheddar cheese, and plenty of broccoli. Plus a little bit of coconut milk gives this soup an even creamier texture. It’s such a delicious healthier take on my favorite broccoli cheddar soup.

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

I’ve definitely shared my love for broccoli cheddar soup many times over the years. It’s one of those soups that for me, brings back all the best memories. I’ve loved a bowl broccoli cheddar since the days of my mom taking me out for lunch, way back when we lived in Cleveland.

It wasn’t that often that we’d go out for lunch, but when I could convince my mom to take us to Panera, it was always the best. The boys would just get bagels, but mom and I would get soup. Either the broccoli cheddar or chicken noodle, but broccoli cheddar was the favorite.

I haven’t had Panera since probably 6th grade, but I remember it being creamy, cheesy, and so delicious. I’ve loved a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup ever since. I feel like a lot of you have similar stories. It’s such an all around loved soup.

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

The idea

I already have a good broccoli cheddar soup on HBH. But I wanted to create a healthier version that was still just a creamy and delicious.

I thought I could mix in a cauliflower purée to add creaminess, plus an extra serving of vegetables too. It worked perfectly, and you’d never know that cauliflower is even in the soup!

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

Details

This soup is easy, but it does involve one extra step that a traditional broccoli cheddar soup doesn’t include, a double purée.

Start out simply with an onion, carrots, and broth. Add a head of cauliflower and let the soup simmer until the cauliflower is super tender. Purée this mix until it’s super creamy. You don’t want any chunks of cauliflower left over.

If you enjoy chunks of carrot in your soup, be sure to pull those out before puréing the cauliflower.

Return the creamy base to the stove, then in goes the broccoli. You’ll need to cook the broccoli until it’s tender too, then do another round of blending. This time, don’t blend the soup all the way. I love to leave some chunks of broccoli.

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

Next, add a little cheddar cheese. Then add a splash of canned coconut milk to make the soup perfectly creamy…but without any cream!

I’d highly recommend serving this soup with a side of crusty bread or pretzels. You need something for dipping!

Alright, and with that, I’m going to leave you all to it. If your week needs some warming soup, this is it. I’m actually beyond excited to make this again soon!

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other soup recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup

Creamy French Onion and Mushroom Soup

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

Healthier Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Lastly, if you make this lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 300 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Melt together the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes, then gradually whisk in the broth. Add the cauliflower and bring to a boil. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
    2. Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. If needed add 1-2 cups water, then the broccoli, bay leaves, paprika, cayenne, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
    3. Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup in batches until the broccoli is finely chopped, but small chunks still remain.
    4. Return the soup to the stove and set over low heat. Stir in the coconut milk and cheese until melted and creamy. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If the soup is thick, add broth to thin. Ladle into bowls and top with a little extra cheddar and fresh thyme. Enjoy!
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Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is INCREDIBLE. I honestly forgot to add the milk because it was so creamy already without it. Question: would this translate well to a slow cooker? How would I do that?

    1. Hey Alli,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for trying it out! Sure, you could cook on low for 6 hours. ☀️xx

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe. I followed it closely (only omitted the oil, and just using the 2 tbsp butter). Next time I won’t use the coconut milk because it didn’t really add anything to the flavor. Will definitely make this again and recommend it.

    1. Hey there,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! Have the best week:) xT

    1. Hey Colleen,
      Totally, that will work well for you!! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Love a good broccoli cheddar soup, and this one didn’t disappoint! Love adding the cauliflower in (I’m all about adding as many veggies to meals as possible).

  4. 5 stars
    Very good. I added sharp white cheddar and some garlic jack cheeses. Topped with homemade rye bread croutons and some fresh ground black pepper. I will definitely make this again.

    1. Hey Victoria,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try. Have the best week:)) xT

    1. hi Monica,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try. Have the best week:)) xT

  5. Hi! I would love to do this recipe tonight, and I have everything except the cauliflower. Do you think it’s still a good option to try this soup, but with more broccoli (and no cauliflower at all)?

    Looking forward to this, thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve tried this with potatoes and it’s really good, if you have those. The cauliflower makes it creamy, but just broccoli would still be tasty! Probably very green too 🙂

    2. Hi Chloe,
      Totally, that should work well for you! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was so satisfying and delicious! I made your super easy beer bread to dip and some chicken and it was the perfect meal 🤗 thank you for your amazing work! Everything you post is delectable 😋

    1. Hey Sereena,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a go, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    I love broccoli cheddar soups, but rarely make them because of the calorie count – so this is perfect, thank you! Plus, my husband (who claims not to like cauliflower) thought it was the best broccoli soup he’d ever had – AND I served it as our “vegetarian” meal night and he didn’t fuss about not having any meat. This is a winner! Thanks, Tieghan.

    1. Hey Leslie,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it!! Have the best day:) xx

  8. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! My family is pretty particular about their veggies (meaning they haven’t discovered how great many of them can be) but they all loved this soup. I didn’t add the coconut milk or cheese because I tasted it and it was so delicious without them but imagine it would taste great with them too…I’m just trying to reduce some dairy in our diet. I did however have green onion and bacon on the side. Thank you for yet another delicious recipe. This is a keeper.

  9. 5 stars
    First off, this recipe is delicious but also simple to make!
    Secondly, I don’t blend soups very often so maybe I’m just a total idiot, but I cracked my blender pitcher in half during the process. Is there a method you use to prevent the steam from causing this issue? I need insider info!

    1. Hi Whitney,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it!! Yikes, so sorry to hear this! You need to make sure you have a blender that is meant for cold and heat, like a Vitamix. You could also use a food processor or an immersion blender. I hope this helps for next time. Have the best day:) xx

  10. This is excellent! I make it 1-2 times a month. Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Chicken gyros are next on my list.

    1. Hey Manda,
      Awesome!! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit. Have the best week:) xx

    1. Hi Andi,
      Sure, that would be a great idea! You could also do a large salad, I think that would be great! I hope you love the recipe, let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    So delicious! This recipe is yummy and filling and has just the right amount of spice. It was light and not so heavy. Have made twice and can’t wait to make again! Yum!

    1. Hey Emily,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed!! 💕xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve made this once every week since you posted the recipe. We love it – my husband comments every time I make it that he’d eat it even more frequently. Depending on who we’re feeding, I’ll add more carrots, a couple cloves of garlic, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce…or follow the recipe to a T! I do agree with other commenters that I omit the milk most of the time. It’s just so good by the time you get to that point in the recipe that you can skip it and save a couple more calories! Now I’m trying to adapt the cauli cream to make a lighter Mac & cheese 🙂

        1. Hey Emily,
          Awesome!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. xx