• Shannon Crocker, RD PHEc

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup


Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup

You are going to LOVE this veggie-packed Broccoli Cheese Soup that is tasty, comforting AND rich in nutrients you need for energy and good health.


Immune health is on everyone's mind these days, but it’s also Osteoporosis Month and so bone health is on my radar too! I created this nourishing soup that gives you both immune system-friendly nutrients (like protein, beta carotene (vitamin A precursor) and vitamin C) and bone-boosting nutrients (like calcium, protein, potassium and vitamin K2).


It's also EASY to make and tastes amazing!


Nutrients working better together to boost nutrition

As a culinary dietitian, I find it super cool that nutrients in our food work together to create a synergy to boost nutrition beyond the basics. For example, calcium needs vitamin D to hustle it into your bones (That’s why milk is so great — it has a matrix of nutrients that work together!).


And in this creamy bowl of comforting soup: the fat helps to your body absorb the vitamin K2 from the extra old cheese and Vitamin A (converted from beta-carotene) in the spinach and carrots. Plus, the vitamin C in the lemon juice helps your body absorb some iron from the plant-based ingredients.


Synergy!


A super satisfying meal in a bowl

This soup is meal in a bowl. The secret ingredient - soft tofu - adds creaminess to the soup and protein to keep you satisfied and energized. Protein also supports bone health and immune system health.


It's also jam-packed with veggies. I add the carrots to provide a little sweetness which balances the sulphur-y flavours in the big bunch of broccoli. I also add in 4 cups of spinach – which might look like a lot, but it cooks down -- packs in potassium which is also necessary for heart health and bone health.


Good to know: you can use frozen broccoli and spinach too. Keep your freezer stocked so you can make this soup all winter long. No tofu? Add a diced potato in when you add the broccoli -- it will add a creamy texture too.


Happy Healthy Cooking,

Shannon


Broccoli Cheese Soup


Makes: about 4 dinner-size servings


Ingredients

2 tbsp canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 big bunch broccoli, washed and cut into “trees”

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

4 cups baby spinach, loosely packed

1 package (300 g) silken (soft) tofu

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Pinch hot pepper flakes

2 tsp lemon juice

1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese


How to Make:

In a large pot, on medium heat, add canola oil, onion and carrot. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.


Add broccoli and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until broccoli is slightly soft.


Add spinach, tofu, thyme, salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes. Stir until spinach has fully wilted.


Remove pot from heat. Puree soup with an immersion blender directly in the pot or in small batches in a blender.


Add soup back to the pot. Stir in lemon juice. Add more broth if thinner consistency is desired. Reheat soup until warmed through. Adjust seasoning to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated cheese.


Tasty tip: Top your soup with cheese-y toast! Add grated cheese on top of sourdough or whole grain bread slices. Broil until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Add to hot soup in place of grated cheese.

Disclaimer: This website is designed to provide basic nutrition inspiration only and is not meant as a substitute for personal health or nutrition advice from your registered dietitian. 

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