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Low-Carb Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Makes 6 servings30 minutes hands on time55 minutes total time

While conventional broccoli and cheese soup often contains starchy thickeners, this diabetes-friendly version omits them, making it a carb-conscious comfort food.

This is my daughter’s favorite soup by a landslide. I’m convinced it’s because the combination of broccoli and cheese makes it less like soup and more like a decadent casserole.

Don’t be alarmed that there’s no potato or flour to thicken it; it’s plenty thick thanks to the abundance of broccoli and cheese. But do purée it well, because otherwise it will have a slight tendency to separate into its liquid and solid components (although this is nothing that a little bit of stirring won’t remedy).

If you forget to hold back a bit of broccoli and cheese to make it pretty when you serve it, you can garnish the soup with the fact that it is perfectly delicious just the way it is.

Recipe Details: Low-Carb Broccoli Cheddar Soup

From Catherine Newman

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 15 grams per serving

Recipe Note

If you’ve got it, feel free to use 1/4 teaspoon of fresh thyme that’s been stemmed and chopped in place of the dried thyme. You can also substitute kosher salt with table salt; to do so, cut the measurement in half.


Chopped broccoli for broccoli cheddar soup

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • Large pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 large bunch (around 2 pounds) broccoli
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste


  1. Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent, around 10 minutes.
  2. Add the salt, broth, and thyme, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and simmer on low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, roughly chop the broccoli; If there are any really gnarly stems, trim and peel them a bit. (This doesn’t need to be very pretty or exact.)
  4. Add the broccoli to the soup along with the half and half and the mustard, then bring back to a simmer, cover, and simmer over low heat until the broccoli is tender, around 15 minutes. (To be fancy, grab out a bit of broccoli after about 5 minutes, while it’s still bright green, and reserve this for garnish.)
  5. Stir in the cheese (keep a bit out for garnish, if you like), then purée the soup, either with a stick blender or in a blender in batches, until it is quite smooth. If using a blender, fill the blender jar only half full, remove the center of the lid (also known as the fill cap), and use a dish towel to cover the hole (this prevents steam from building up and blowing the lid off). Taste the soup. It should be outrageously delicious. If not, add more salt and/or pepper and taste again. If it still needs a little something, add the tiniest squeeze of fresh lemon.
  6. Serve, garnished with reserved broccoli and cheese, or not – to be honest, it really doesn’t need anything.

Photo credits: Catherine Newman (top); iStock (bottom).