Hidden Veggie Broccoli-Cheese Soup! No heavy cream, No butter, No guilt!

DSC_0326A no guilt indulgence – this recipe contains only 1/2 cup cheese, no heavy cream, and no milk (instead, using a small amount of sour cream to add creaminess without vast amounts of dairy or fat). For each pot, there is a hidden 12 ounces of carrot, complimenting the broccoli and adding flavor without adding cheese. Please note: this is my recipe. You won’t find anything like this on Food Network. While I’m happy to share, please do reference me if you do so. Thank you!

Weight Watchers points value: 3 points per 10 oz serving. Recipe yields approximately 5 servings.

You will need:

1/2 medium sized white onion
1/4 cup white all-purpose flour
12 oz baby carrots, or chopped full-sized
1 tbsp olive oil
16 oz broccoli
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (part-skim, but not reduced fat)
2 tbsp white vinegar
Season salt to taste
Ground black pepper
Paprika (garnish)

A blender
Emulsion blender (if you don’t have one, chop the broccoli more finely)

1. Immerse carrots in water and boil until fully softened (at least 1/2 hour). After softening, drain off the majority of the boiling water. Add carrots and small amount of water into the blender. Blend until smooth. Add 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) sour cream into the carrot puree, and blend once more. Set aside.

2. Heat the stock pot well. Add olive oil. Finely chop 1/2 white onion and add to the stock pot. Sautee until softened and fragrant.

3. Add flour to stock pot. Stir immediately, mixing into the onion. The mixture will be very dry – watch that it doesn’t burn. Continue mixing until onion is well coated. Add water a small bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency of your soup. Add 2 cups at a time, stiring vigorously and watching as it re-thickens. Wait until the mixture thickens to its maximum, then add more water if needed. You should need 4 – 6 cups of water, depending on how thick you prefer your soup.

4. Once the soup has reached its desired consistency, add the carrot mixture. Stir well until incorporated. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of water. Season with season salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 tbsp white vinegar (adding the acid will bring interest to the dish without over-complicating it with seasoning. It is extremely subtle) Allow ingredients to cook together for at least 15 minutes before adding any more salt or pepper. Once properly seasoned, add additional 1/4 cup sour cream into the soup base.

5. While the base of your soup is cooking, prepare your broccoli, however you prefer to. I prefer to steam mine in the microwave. With a steaming bag, my broccoli is ready to add in 3 minutes, as opposed to the 15 it would take me to make it stove-top. And its light and delicious.

6. Re-taste the soup base. Add seasoning if necessary. Add 1/2 cup mozzarella. Mozarrella doesn’t always melt well into soups. After stirring well, you may still see stringy remnants in the soup base. Its ok – you’ll need to run it through the blender anyhow.

7. Don’t add the broccoli yet! Pour entire contents of the stock pot into the blender (or batch it if your blender isn’t large enough). Blend well (this will take care of any cheese that didn’t perfectly mix in. No need to strain after blending – just return directly to the stock pot.

8. Continue over medium-low heat. Add broccoli. Once broccoli is added, I prefer to go over the soup with an emulsion blender. It helps break the broccoli down in an appealing way, without pulverizing it. As I said above, if you don’t have an emulsion blender, just chop the broccolli more finely. Allow broccoli and soup base to marry together over 10 minutes or so, then you’re ready to serve! Voila! Garnish with paprika and a little more ground pepper if you like. Also, chopped, fresh tomatoes taste fab as a garnish.

Hope you enjoy! Let me know how it goes!


5 comments on “Hidden Veggie Broccoli-Cheese Soup! No heavy cream, No butter, No guilt!

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