Lightened Up Broccoli Cheese Soup

When I am looking for inspiration, I turn to a few sites online for recipes. Why reinvent the wheel if someone has figured out and done the leg work for the recipe I was thinking of? I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com for Broccoli Cheese Soup, and I thought this would be the perfect recipe to modify to reduce the calories. Its lighter on calories and fat, but not light on taste!

Ingredients:

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, diced

1/4 cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1, but regular flour works too!)

4 tablespoons butter (yes, I realize this is listed twice, trust me)

16 oz Fat Free Half and Half

3 cups chicken stock or broth

3 cups broccoli, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

7 oz reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (1 3/4 cup package)

Salt/Pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, soup kettle, or dutch oven melt the 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat, and add the diced onion. Cook until the onion is transparent and slightly browned/caramelized. Add the flour and the 4 tablespoons of butter, and stir to combine. This should make a loose paste, meaning, it should be stirred easily, but not be too watery. The onions will continue to cook in this paste, and continue to cook until its light brown and bubbly.

Once the flour/onion/butter mixture is light brown, add the chicken stock and cream. Bring to a boil. Then add the broccoli, carrots, and celery. Bring to a boil again, and then simmer for 20 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through, yet, still slightly crunchy.

Stir in cheese until its all melted and incorporated, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

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