Broccoli and cheddar soup is one of those things that I never had before I came to the US, but I fell in love with it at first sight (taste). I knew right away that we would become best friends, I just didn't know that my hips would love it so much too. So after so many years of "tasting" this glorious soup, I blame it for at least 5 pounds on me! I just couldn't deal with all the guilt anymore after consuming so many calories in a soup, so I made my own version without all the heavy cream and buckets of butter and cheese. Just to make it a little bit exciting I added a twist with few cubes of reduced fat ham (mostly to "encourage" Justin to eat a soup for dinner). What you need is:
* 3-4 cups broccoli florets
* 5 cups fat-free milk
* 1 large onions (chopped)
* 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
* pinch of nutmeg
* salt and pepper
* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 cup cubed reduced-fat ham (optional)
Don't be afraid of a little bit of butter, 1 tbsp won't kill you and there is absolutely nothing that can give you this specific taste. Melt the butter in the pan, add chopped onions, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add broccoli florets, nutmeg, salt and pepper, pour the milk (enough to cover the vegetables), and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the broccoli is nice and tender. Blend everything with a hand blender, add cheese and ham, bring it to a boil, and you are ready to enjoy it.
Like I said before, ham is totally optional and the soup is super delicious even without it, but it definitely adds an interesting bite to it. Even though it's called broccoli and cheddar soup you don't have to go crazy on the cheese (unless you absolutely want to!) and use much more broccoli which will make the soup thick and flavorful without adding all the calories.