We can't live without soups in the fall and winter, but this Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup is one that I will indulge in year round. It is a healthier version of our favorite Panera Bread recipe with tons of flavor and all of the creaminess you expect. While not the lowest calorie recipe we have shared, it is a great treat that is definitely better than traditional.
Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup
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We recommend using all fresh vegetables for this broccoli and cheese soup. Canned or frozen just won't give you the desired effect. You want the carrots and broccoli to be tender, but not mushy. I always use my 6-quart programmable cook and carry slow cooker, but you can use whatever brand or option you prefer as long as it is a larger slow cooker.
Ingredients for Broccoli and Cheese Soup
4 cups broccoli florets
½ pound carrots
4 stalks celery
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ large yellow onion
32 ounces fat-free chicken broth
4 cups fat-free half and half
2 ½ cups 2% sharp cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt (taste before adding as some broths can be higher in sodium)
Directions for Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Dice broccoli, carrots, celery, and onion into fine pieces. You may alternately shred the carrots and onion if prefer smaller pieces.
Place vegetables along with broth into slow cooker and cook for 3 hours on highest setting.
Remove the lid and stir in the half and half, ½ the cheddar, and black pepper.
Replace lid and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove lid again, adding in the remaining cheddar cheese. Stir well and cook additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Taste for seasoning, and add salt if desired.
Serve alone or with your favorite crusty bread.
Makes 12 servings
Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
5 SmartPoints per serving on the Weight Watchers Freestyle, Flex, Your Way, and Beyond the Scale Plans
2 PointsPlus per serving
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- ½ pound carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ½ large yellow onion
- 32 ounces fat-free chicken broth
- 4 cups fat-free half and half
- 2½ cups 2% sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt (taste before adding as some broths can be higher in sodium)
- Dice broccoli, carrots, celery, and onion into fine pieces. You may alternately shred the carrots and onion if prefer smaller pieces.
- Place vegetables along with broth into slow cooker and cook for 3 hours on highest setting.
- Remove the lid and stir in the half and half, ½ the cheddar, and black pepper.
- Replace lid and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid again, adding in the remaining cheddar cheese. Stir well and cook additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Taste for seasoning, and add salt if desired.
- Serve alone or with your favorite crusty bread.
Alternate Cooking Method for Broccoli and Cheese Soup
While you can cook this slow and low on the stovetop, we found that our friend Sadie's Broccoli Cheddar Stovetop Soup is a better option for stovetop cooking. It's also a Weight Watchers friendly soup, so you don't have to worry about high points!
Making this broccoli and cheddar soup is a perfect way to encourage your whole family to get more vegetables into their day. A hidden veggie like this soup is ideal for those picky eaters. Even our son who hates broccoli loves this soup because it has such small pieces in a flavorful soup.
Serving broccoli and cheese soup
With a generous 1 ½ cup portion, this is definitely more than enough for a whole meal. However, if you have the points and calories available, then you'll want to add a nice crusty bread to this recipe. Another option is to serve with one of our cheddar bay biscuits or even our healthy biscuit recipe using Greek yogurt. Whatever you choose, you'll love this as a comfort food recipe to keep in the rotation all winter.
Follow the recipe exactly. Cheese was in clumps very bland tasting and watery.
I am sorry your experience wasn't good with this recipe. We've made it multiple times with great success.
Some cheeses do not melt as well as others, so for your personal preferences, you may try full-fat or a different brand. Adding salt can help with flavor, but that depends on the individual. If you use low-sodium chicken broth, it will be less flavorful. So, you may need extra salt or other spices to your own preferences.