Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Overhead shot of broccoli and cheddar soup with bread and a striped napkin.

Yes this has butter and cheese in it, but because it’s so simple you don’t need a ton of either of those things to make a real impact. Go for a little of the real stuff and see how amazing it can be.



3 T unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced (or half a medium yellow onion)
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 head broccoli, chopped small (including stems – trimmed, peeled, and chopped)
⅛ tsp baking soda
34 C water
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ C grated pecorino romano cheese
Juice of half a lemon


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli, baking soda, and just enough water to cover (I usually end up just shy of 4 cups).

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until broccoli is very tender.

Blend in batches using a jar blender, or in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the cheddar and pecorino and whisk to combine. If using an immersion blender I stir the cheese in and then buzz it one final time with the stick blender – this makes it silky smooth.

Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Don’t skip the baking soda, even though it seems weird, it’s what helps the broccoli get tender quickly, which means a faster, smoother soup!

Keywords: light comfort food, broccoli cheese soup, healthy comfort food