Broccoli cheddar soup ranks high on our list of favorite comfort foods. With each bowl chock-full of rich and creamy goodness, the soup is simply irresistible. Problem is, most recipes don’t go too easy on the waistline. Many conventional recipes call for high-fat ingredients like butter and cream. Likewise, store-bought versions usually carry a boatload of preservatives and sodium. Well lucky for you, here at SkinnyMs. we’ve brought you a full-flavored, lightened up version of the real thing. Our Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup is nothing short of 100% decadence, and better yet, it won’t sabotage your waistline!
A Slimmer Version of the Savory Classic
The main focus of all of our recipes is to cook with whole foods, and this one is no different. Our lightened-up broccoli cheddar soup features fresh broccoli and other “real” ingredients. This differs from the to-go packages or canned soups you’d find in grocery stores.
Our revamped soup packs in all of that cheesy flavor you dream about, without weighing you down with fat and calories. Nothing beats curling up with a big bowl of this belly-warming soup. Plus, knowing that it contains nothing but quality ingredients only makes things better.
The Magical Wonders of the Slow Cooker
You’ll need a slow cooker for this recipe, and we must admit that this awesome appliance is a real game-changer. Slow cookers use long, low-temperature cooking, ultimately bringing out the richest version of each ingredient’s flavor. Not to mention, many cooking methods destroy the nutrients in ingredients due to rapid cooking on high heat, but using a slow cooker actually preserves them! Lower cooking temperatures and a more gradual heating process helps maintain all those feel-good vitamins and minerals your body wants!
The Stars of This Scrumptious Soup
Our clean-eating recipe proves that healthy soups can still taste irresistibly indulgent if they contain fresh ingredients, free of preservatives. Of course this recipe spotlights broccoli. It recommends using an entire pound of frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped.
One of the world’s healthiest superfoods plays such a big role in this recipe. That said, our savory soup certainly delivers a bunch of feel-good health benefits. We could honestly go on and on about the health powers of broccoli, but for time’s sake, we’ll just comment briefly on its nutrient-rich profile.
The nutrient-powerhouse is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bioactive compounds. It contains potent antioxidants to boost immunity and fight off disease. Meanwhile, its bioactive compounds can reduce inflammation and defend your body against cancer. If that’s not a reason to savor each and every delicious bite of this soup, we don’t know what is!
Related: 12 Ways to Prepare Broccoli
Next, our recipe calls for whole-wheat flour, just a few tablespoons. Nutrition-wise, this ingredient beats regular flour because it contains four-times more fiber than all-purpose flour. Meanwhile, it packs in more potassium, zinc, and magnesium than its counterpart.
Our recipe subs low-fat milk, organic preferred, in for regular milk. With its lower fat content, this alternative shaves off a chunk of calories while still creating that creamy consistency. Our savory slow cooker soup calls for a few more clean-eating ingredients you can feel good about. These include olive oil, chicken or vegetable broth, and of course, shredded cheese.
Your Waistline Will Thank You!
All in all, our healthy broccoli cheddar soup delivers all of the mouthwatering goodness you crave, but its lighter ingredient list and leaner nutritional profile wont wreck your diet or health goals! This yummy recipe makes a wonderful lunch, or a filling main course for dinner. If you want a healthier version of a classic favorite, look no further than this cozy, comforting soup!
Best Creamy Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This healthy spin on an all time classic will provide you with all of the cheesy flavor you love, minus the extra fat and calories!
Servings: 6 people
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or white whole wheat
- 1 cup low-fat milk organic preferred
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, low sodium preferred
- 1 pound broccoli frozen, thawed and chopped
- 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded, skim not recommended for this recipe, please buy the block and shred yourself to avoid waxes
- 1 garlic clove minced
In a frying pan, heat your oil, but don’t let it get so hot it smokes. Using a whisk, whisk in the flour a little at a time so that the flour and oil mix well and start to bubble, and become golden in color and fragrant.
Slowly pour in the milk in a steady slow stream, whisking the whole time until a cream is formed. Follow with the chicken or vegetable broth until fully incorporated and then remove from heat.
Pour the mixture into your slow cooker and add the thawed broccoli. We use the frozen broccoli because it seems to hold up better in a slow cooker than the fresh variety. But you can certainly use fresh broccoli florets as well. Add salt to taste, black pepper and garlic, stir to combine.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the broccoli is completely cooked. Stir in the cheese, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next cup of cheese.
Puree the soup in the blender in batches, filling halfway each time. A hand blender (immersion blender) will also work. Be sure to scrape any of the remaining cheese from the bottom of the slow cooker into the soup to blend well. Blend as little or as much as you like until desired consistency is achieved, i.e. some prefer a smoother and some prefer a chunkier soup .
Serving: 1cup | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 445mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to check out these 15 Cozy Soup Recipes for Fall!
And for more fantastic slow cooker recipes, make sure to check out this list of slow-cooker dishes: 15 Spring Slow Cooker Favorites!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 3, 2012.