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Monday, December 8, 2008

Healthy Meets Indulgence: Cheddar and Gruyere Broccoli Soup

This soup is warm and indulgent. It has a big flavor that is true to the classic character of broccoli cheddar soups while adding a hint of sophisticated imported gruyere. But unlike most other broccoli cheese soup recipes, this one strikes a delicate balance between health and taste. With a full flavored cheddar taste, this soup packs half the fat and calories of traditional broccoli cheese soups. What's not to love?

The same bowl of this recipe has 30 percent less fat than Bon Appetit's Broccoli soup with Cheddar Cheese. And if eating out is your thing take note: this recipe has 40 percent fewer calories than the same sized serving of cheddar broccoli soup at Corner Bakery, half the sodium, and less than half of the fat. All while packing more "feel full" fiber and protein.

Cheddar and Gruyere Broccoli Soup

Recipe by The Skinny Gourmet (E. McDonnell)

Makes 7-8 servings, one cup each

1/3 head (7.5 ounces) cauliflower
1/2 carrot
1.25 lbs broccoli
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 (6 oz) large sweet yellow onion
1.5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes (preferably chipotle)
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup (low fat/1 percent) milk
4 oz fine quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz fine quality gruyere
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

This soup gets some of its thickness and flavor from a puree of cauliflower and carrot. Put the carrot (peeled but not chopped) and the cauliflower (also one big hunk) into a large pot with 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a low boil. Add the broccoli and steam until the broccoli is al dente. Drain the broth into a liquid measuring cup. Add more chicken broth to increase the total volume to 3 cups. Remove the cauliflower and carrot (which should be well softened) and puree. Set aside.

Add butter to a skillet, and saute diced onion, pepper flakes and garlic over medium low until softened and slightly carmelized. Add flour and stir to combine. If too much of the fat has cooked off while sauteing, the flour will look more like crumbled sand when added. If so, slowly add a little olive oil and stir to combine until the flour looks soft, velvety, and begins to puff up while heating. Cook over medium for four minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in slightly warmed milk and the reserved chicken broth while continuously whisking. Return to heat over medium and bring to slow boil. Boil 1 minute then remove from heat. Stir in the vegetable puree. Slowly add the shredded cheese in small amounts, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you prefer a more indulgent soup and are not as concerned with the fat and caloric content, increase the total weight of cheese to up to 10 oz, using two parts cheddar to one part gruyere.

For those watching their health. Recipe as written, 1 cup serving:For those who prefer a smaller serving of more indulgence. Half cup serving of recipe as written with cheddar increased to 6 oz and gruyere increased to 3 oz:


Darius T. Williams said...

I love that this is half the fat and calories!


Chris and Rebecca Lee said...

I just discovered your blog. It looks great and I love the healthy slant to your recipes. Can't wait to try your cheddar and broccoli soup. I chose you as one of the recipients of the Uber Amazing Blog Award. Go to my blog to pick it up!

janelle said...

I adore Gruyere. I should just follow it around the web:). The soup looks delish and healthy!

Alexis {Diva on a Diet} said...

Ohhh, I could definitely do this! Cheese and broccoli were meant to be together! I will be back by to find some more!

Diva on a Diet

Anonymous said...

Oooh, yum. I just stumbled on your blog and have been reading through your posts- I like your healthy approach.
This soup looks so good- I love a broccoli cheese soup with big chunks of broccoli! (It's so disappointing to order a cup at a restaurant and have the only evidence of broccoli be little tiny green flecks.)

Anonymous said...

This looks great. I love broccoli and cheese soup, gruyere sounds like a great addition. I will have to try your recipe.

blog backgrounds said...

Broccoli and Cheese soup is the best! Thank you for the post!

Cabbage Soup Recipes

schlatz said...

This soup was fantastic. Seriously, seriously delicious. I doubled the garlic, subbed shallot for onion, and used vege broth instead of the chicken. It tasted incredibly rich and indulgent.

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