Make: Cream-less Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Croutons

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

You’re probably wondering why I’m posting a soup recipe on a day when temperatures are poised to reach nearly 80 degrees. Here’s why: I eat soup throughout the year—it’s easy to make in big batches, wonderfully freezable, and perfect for grab-and-go lunches—so I don’t let the thermometer determine my soup habits. If you’re a cold-weather soup eater only, save this recipe for Wednesday, when we’re back in the 50s.

This soup is one of my sneakiest recipes to date—sneaky because it tastes so creamy you’ll think it’s loaded with fat and calories, but in fact it’s just the opposite. The low-fat sour cream and buttermilk are the cream-makers here, and they work their magic for a fraction of the bad stuff.

Cream-less Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Croutons
Serves six

For the soup
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. all purpose flour
4 c. chicken broth
1 1/4 lb. fresh broccoli (florets and peeled stems), roughly chopped
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/4 c. low fat sour cream
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper

For the croutons
4 slices whole wheat bread (I love Ezekiel.)
6 oz. low fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
Salt and pepper


1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are soft, about six minutes.

2. Add flour and stir frequently until mixture turns golden and you smell a “toasty” smell.

3. Add chicken broth, broccoli and peas, and turn heat to high with lid on. When mixture boils, reduce heat to low and set lid askew; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli is fork tender.

4. Add sour cream and buttermilk and puree soup with stick blender (or transfer in batches to regular blender, returning blended soup to pot after it’s all blended).

5. Stir in garlic powder and cayenne.

6. To make croutons, toast bread in toaster and turn oven on broil (move oven rack to top of oven if not already there).

7. Place toasted bread on foil lined baking sheet and top with about 3/4 of the grated cheese. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place in oven on top rack and “babysit” until cheese is bubbling and brown. Remove from oven and cut into squares.

8. Serve soup hot with croutons.

Per serving: 287 calories, 13 fat grams (including 3 grams saturated fat), 15 milligrams cholesterol, 984 milligrams sodium, 675 milligrams potassium, 27 grams carbs, 7 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams sugar, 18 grams protein.


Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.

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