Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup made healthier! This creamy broccoli soup uses potato for body while Cheddar cheese adds creaminess and Dijon adds a boost of flavor. To take it even further, each bowl gets topped with cheesy croutons made with broccoli and everything seasoning.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe
So many reasons. For starters, it’s part of my SOUP-er Simple Series. That means this recipe has a short ingredient list, quick cook time, and lots of flavor. It can easily be made on a weeknight and is full of good-for-you ingredients like broccoli, potato, and spinach.
Instead of cream or half-and-half, this soup relies on starchy potato and flavorful Cheddar for body. In addition to a whopping 2 pounds of broccoli, this soup also features spinach. Just a couple cups of spinach adds vibrant green color and of course nutrients.
And I can’t forget the croutons. They’re what makes this broccoli cheese soup a showstopper. Hearty slices of whole-grain bread get topped with Cheddar, broccoli and everything spice blend.
The toasts are broiled until browned and melty, adding the perfect crunch to the cream broccoli soup. (Don’t forget to use the frico to top the soup too! Frico is melted and cooled pools of cheese. There will likely be a few on the baking sheet after broiling.)
- Unsalted butter—you can also use olive oil or ghee.
- Garlic—fresh garlic is the way to go (always)!
- Broccoli—ake sure you purchase broccoli that still has the thick stem intact.
- Russet potato—you only need one large potato.
- Spinach—totally optional! It adds vibrant color and additional nutrients.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese—for the creamiest texture, purchase a block of cheddar cheese and shred it yourself.
- Dijon mustard—this is an absolute must! It makes the soup taste cheesier and more savory.
- This soup will keep for up to 5 days stored in the refrigerator in a glass airtight container.
- We do not recommend freezing this soup.
How to Make this Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup
- Sweat the onions and garlic in butter until softened.
- While the onions cook, prep the broccoli stalks by peeling off their tough outer skin and cutting into 1-inch chunks. Chop the florets and reserve those for later.
- Peel and dice the potato. Add the potato and broccoli stalk chunks to the pot with water. Simmer until vegetables are very soft.
- While the broccoli and potato cook, make the croutons. Toast the bread then top with cheese, broccoli florets and Everything Spice. Broil until toasted and melty.
- Back to the soup, add broccoli florets and spinach to pot and cook briefly. Blend the soup until smooth (you can use an immersion blender to a standard blender. If you’re using a standard blender make sure to blend in batches and be careful!)
- Stir cheese and Dijon into soup then season with salt and pepper to taste before serving with croutons.
FAQs About This Creamy Broccoli Soup
You absolutely can, but it will require a few ingredient substitutions. Use olive oil instead of butter and skip the cheese altogether. Add a few tablespoons nutritional yeast and a splash of dairy-free nut milk or creamer.
The soup itself is gluten-free. Skip the croutons or use gluten-free bread for the croutons to keep the entire dish gluten-free.
I prefer sharp Cheddar here, but you can certainly use pepper Jack, Colby Jack, or mozzarella. It is best to use block cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with an anti-caking agent which makes the soup slightly grainy in texture.
No other reason than I wanted to keep the ingredient list short for you. If you’ve got vegetable broth, chicken stock or chicken broth on hand, go ahead and use that. You’ll likely need less salt so be sure to taste as you go.
Healthy Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 pounds broccoli with stalks, divided
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups spinach, optional
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 slices hearty whole-grain bread
- 4 teaspoons everything spice blend, optional
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium, cover and cook onions until starting to soften about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep broccoli by trimming and discarding tough stalks ends. Using a vegetable peeler, shave off outer skin of broccoli stalks. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces. Prep broccoli florets by trimming as much of the stalk from the floret as possible; cut stalk pieces into 1-inch chunks.
- Roughly chop broccoli florets and set aside.
- Add potato, broccoli stalks, 6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot with onions. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer over medium. Cover and cook until broccoli and potato are tender and a knife easily slides in and out of them; 15–20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat broiler to high with rack set 6-inches from element. Arrange bread on a baking sheet and broil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Flip bread and top each slice with ¼ cup chopped broccoli florets, ¼ cup shredded Cheddar and 1 teaspoon Everything Spice, if using. Broil toasts until cheese is melted and bubbly, 2–3 minutes.
- Add remaining broccoli florets and 2 cups spinach to pot with soft broccoli stalks and potato; cook 3 minutes. Blend soup until very smooth using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.
- (If using a blender, do not overfill or go past the max fill line on your blender. Transfer blended soup to a large heat-proof bowl while blending remaining soup in batches. Transfer blended soup back to pot.)
- Heat soup over medium and stir in remaining 1 cup shredded Cheddar by handful until smooth. Stir in Dijon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut cheesy bread into chunks. Top each bowl of soup with a cheesy croutons and any frico that formed on the backing sheet (melted and cooled cheese pools). Finish with cracked black pepper and olive oil, if desired.
This recipe was originally published on March 1, 2018. It was updated and republished on October 12, 2021.