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Have you ever been to Panera Bread and had their broccoli cheddar soup? It’s divine. It’s what I ordered every time I went there with a crusty baguette to dunk and soak up the flavorful and creamy warm soup. I don’t know why broccoli cheddar had never occurred to me on Keto until now. I guess it may have been the fact that broccoli cheddar usual requires some sort of rue to thicken it and give it it’s comforting heavier-than-your-ordinary-soup carb high.
Well, I think you will come to find that this soup has every opportunity to be much MUCH better tasting and healthier for you than Panera’s. It is so easy and quick to prepare it probably took me 20-30 minutes from start to finish.
I served this soup as the one and only dish for a meatless dinner and everyone was full after only one bowl. Safe to say that this dinner is very economical and I will even add that it’s great to have leftovers of this one because it was almost better the second time around!
Speaking of the second time around, this particular recipe is very high in fat which all Ketoites know is an A+, but one of the things that became clear to me near the end was that an emulsion was necessary to prevent the fat from separating from the broth. Emulsions are simple, you would need to agitate the soup somehow to forcibly combine the liquids with the oils. Sounds complicated, but all that is really needed is an immersion blender (ideal), or a blender (what I have and used in this application). To emulsify, you simply ladle the fat that floats to the top and a good deal of liquid (I like to add some of the onions and garlic floating around in there too) and blend for a minute or two. Then return the mixture back to the pot and serve. You’ll find that this will do a lot of the thickening for you without the use of flour (not to mention the cream cheese mixture we will be adding, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!).
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP KETO STYLE
1 Tbsp olive oil or bacon grease or chicken fat
4 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cup match stick carrots or chopped carrots
4 cups broccoli florets and pieces (nothing wasted here!)
6 cups chicken broth (I had some frozen homemade, but I used bouillon cubes and water for the rest)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning (or salt again if you want to omit)
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 cup white or yellow cheddar (sharp or mild is up to you, I used sharp)
Heat a large pot to medium and when it is good and hot add the oil, butter, onion and garlic, saute’ until the onion is translucent and then add the carrots. Add the spices while the carrots cook and then the broth. Turn up to high and bring to a boil for about 2 minutes. Add broccoli. Next, in a small measuring cup or bowl, microwave the cream cheese to soften it for 15 second intervals until it’s soft to the mixing of a spoon. Stir in the heavy cream with the cream cheese, then stirring with one hand, incorporate it into the soup and turn the heat down to medium-low again. Cook for about a minute, then turn heat to lowest setting. Ladle the chunks of onion and the fat that’s separated and several ladles of broth into a blender and puree thoroughly. Return soup back to pot and stir to administer, then serve.
Top with green onions, more cheese or whatever you’d like! You might be thinking, this soup needs a bready companion. Check out THESE breadsticks!