After recently reading another food blogger’s post about Homemade Broccoli and Cheese Soup, I was inspired to make myself a similar batch – being a lover of the stuff myself.
I was in the mood for some Broccoli and Cheese Soup with a bit of a kick to it, and followed the lead by selecting a lower-calorie version than say, the traditional, and found this recipe at the Taste of Home site for Southwestern Broccoli Cheese Soup.
First things first, I prepped a huge bowl of veggies for the soup – VEGtastic! TONS of veggies = lots of soup volume + few calories. Load up on the veggies.
I simmered the above veggies (broccoli, carrots, celery) plus 3 cups of frozen cubed hash browns in 4 cups water + 4 tsp. bouillon, covered, until soft. I am becoming a huge fan of bouillon, especially the sodium-free version, as it delivers a punch of flavor with ZERO sodium (unlike most sodium-laden canned broths) and only around 10 calories per teaspoon.
Next up – this ingredient is basically the REASON I make Broccoli & Cheese Soup – Velveeta! I’ve always been a huge lover of Velveeta. Even if it is a “processed cheese product.” Nothing you could ever say about this stuff could turn me away from it. :) But let’s not forget – this is a healthy recipe! So yes, we used the tasty ingredient – Velveeta – but we used it in moderation. Six ounces were used (about 3/8 of the “small brick” size – rather than 32 gluttonous ounces that are used in my Cheese Dip – as shown in my first ever MegGoesNomNom blog posting. Why yes, my eating habits have changed! But I will admit that my (well, I guess it was originally Tom’s recipe – and I don’t know where he got it from…) Cheese Dip is a treat worthy of eating as a splurge at least once yearly. Definitely didn’t snack on any of these Velveeta cubes as I was cooking. ;)
To the veggies + water + bouillon mixture, I slowly added milk that had been whisked into a few tablespoons of flour, and brought the mixture to a boil, until thickened. Next it was time for the cubed Velveeta to do its thanggg – melt and create cheesy deliciousness! And oh yeah, there was a generous grind of fresh black pepper in there too. You can never O.D. on pepper, in my book. Something about creamy soups and sauces + black pepper is magical to me.
So, the ingredient that took this soup to a whole ‘nother level was: …SALSA! I used 1 cup of a medium chunky salsa and it totally gave the soup a great spicy KICK!
Oh. Vel(vetta). Yes. I’m pretty sure I would like to bathe in a bowl of this stuff. Yeah, I’m kind of weird like that. Oh, and did I mention that 1 cup of this soup only has 143 calories. You can thank me later. I also served this with some Take & Bake Paesano cheese bread from Meijer, which was pretty legit. Orrrr… if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could also make homemade beer bread, like this blogger.
♪♫ Currently listening to: Hear Me Now – Framing Hanley.