A staunch vegetable skeptic for much of my childhood, I was eventually convinced of broccoli’s appeal via cheesy soups like this Broccoli Cauliflower Soup.
The bread bowl my mom let me order the soup in probably helped too (thank you, Panera!).
Now that I’m the one doing the cooking, healthy soup recipes appeal to me more than ever before. Soup tastes great leftover for lunches and dinners, and it stores and reheats like a dream. Be sure to indulge in some well-deserved back patting when you pull a container of this broccoli cauliflower soup from the freezer (assuming you have any leftover to freeze that is).
You’ll also feel accomplished knowing that the rich, comforting meal you are enjoying is primarily composed of vegetables, with some wisely selected additions (ahem, CHEESE!).
This hearty soup stars broccoli and cauliflower, along with a handful of carrots. It tastes wonderfully rich and creamy and is made of simple, wholesome ingredients. (Spoiler: if you are looking for a broccoli cauliflower cheese soup Velveeta recipe, this is not the one.)
If, however, you are looking for a homemade, healthy broccoli cauliflower soup that tastes like the real deal, this recipe has you covered! A few simple swaps keep it on the lighter side, and it doesn’t skip an ounce of flavor.
Like those two soup recipes, it’s a super satisfying vegetarian meal that you’ll devour by the spoonful. The difference here is that I’ve upped the cauliflower ratio, which makes it even thicker and creamier, and this recipe cooks directly on the stovetop, no special appliances required.
How to Make Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
This lighter soup tastes anything but low-fat! The keys are using one fully flavored cheese (I like extra sharp white cheddar) to give yourself max flavor bang, then reinforcing it with a rich salty element, like Parmesan or nutritional yeast.
- Broccoli. The heart and soul of this easy, cheesy soup. Broccoli is a wonderful addition to soup because it’s rich in Vitamin-C, Vitamin-K, and fiber.
- Cauliflower. Cauliflower adds delicious body and creaminess to the soup, but its flavor is almost imperceptible. Similarly to broccoli, it’s packed with fiber, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-K, and folate.
- Carrots. I love sneaking additional veggies into my recipes, and carrots are the perfect fit here. They bring a lovely flavor and tons of Vitamin-A and potassium.
- Onion. Sautéing the onion until it’s nice and caramelized gives the soup a richer flavor; this is a tip I picked up from my Instant Pot Lentil Soup.
- Milk. To help create a creamy, rich, and thick soup. If you want a more indulgent taste, you can use 2% or whole milk.
- Thyme. The earthy flavor of thyme pairs nicely with the other ingredients in this soup.
- Dijon Mustard. It wakes up and intensifies the cheesy flavors of the soup.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Hello, gooey cheesy wonderfulness! Sharp cheddar is flavorful enough to shine through in this soup.
- Parmesan or Nutritional Yeast. Either of these gives the soup a bit of saltiness and more dimension. Nutritional yeast is a great vegan substitution for Parmesan, as it has a similar nutty and “cheesy” flavor. If you’re looking for more ways to use this versatile ingredient, check out all my nutritional yeast recipes.
- Melt the butter in a large pot. Brown the onions with the carrots and seasoning, then stir in the flour.
- Once the flour disappears, stir in the broth, milk, broccoli, and cauliflower. Let simmer until tender.
- Stir in the Dijon. Blend to your desired consistency, and stir in the cheese. Serve warm with desired toppings, and DIG IN!
- Roasted Broccoli Cauliflower Soup. Follow the recipe for my Cauliflower Chowder, swapping half of the cauliflower for broccoli.
- Potato Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup. Add 1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced, to the recipe with the carrots.
- Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Soup. Use almond milk, non-dairy butter, and nutritional yeast; omit the cheddar. The soup won’t have as rich of a flavor. To thicken it up more, you could add a potato, following the suggestion above, or add raw cashews as in this vegan Instant Pot Carrot Soup and this vegan Potato Leek Soup.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- Make Ahead. Chop all the veggies ahead of time, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in advance.
- To Refrigerate. Store leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
- To Freeze. To freeze cheesy broccoli cauliflower soup, place it in an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Immersion Blender. The easiest and least messy way to create creamy soups.
- Classic Dutch Oven. If you love making homemade soups on the stove, this is a worthy investment piece.
- Ladle. An essential tool for transferring soups to bowls and storage containers.
Cheesy broccoli cauliflower soup for the healthy meal win! If you try this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you!
Broccoli Cauliflower Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk for a richer soup, use whole milk
- 1 medium head broccoli chopped into small florets
- 1 medium head cauliflower chopped into small florets
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or finely grated Parmesan I love the nutritional yeast for its extra health benefits. You can also omit this and add an additional 1/2 cup shredded cheddar instead.
- In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and cook until it is very brown and soft, about 8 minutes (this develops big flavor so be patient). Increase the heat to medium. Add the carrots, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix to combine.
- Cook until the flour disappears, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the broth. Add the milk, broccoli and cauliflower. Bring to a simmer. Place a lid over the pot, leaving it partially uncovered, and let simmer until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the Dijon. With an immersion blender puree the soup until it is thick and creamy but still has some texture to it. (Alternatively, you can ladle a few scoops into a blender and puree a few batches. Be careful not to fill your blender more than halfway, as hot liquids like to splatter). Stir in the cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls, and serve warm, sprinkled with additional cheddar as desired.
- TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Place soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE VEGAN: Use almond milk and a vegan butter. Omit the cheddar cheese, use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice with the almond milk.
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