You guys, if you’re wanting to get your kids into soup, this Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe is such a good one to try! It’s packed with plant-based protein and fiber, sure, but it’s so super delish and cheesy. Plus, it’s a great family meal alongside crackers or muffins AND it also freezes wonderfully. Win, win, win!
Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
I love broccoli cheddar soup but I always wish there was more protein and less cheese to fill me up. By adding split peas to the mix, but keeping the cheese, you get the best of all of the soup worlds! Each serving has almost 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and a solid dose of Vitamin C.
TIP: My kids love to dip their crackers into their bowl and skip the spoon all together!
Want to know where this healthy soup gets its’ protein? Split Peas!
Okay, maybe split peas aren’t so exciting as to deserve an exclamation point, but they are so often overlooked as an affordable source of vegetarian protein that blends in perfectly in this broccoli soup. They are also straightforward to cook, so simply letting them simmer in broth until soft does the trick.
TIP: Buying split peas from the bulk bin may result in a slightly lower total cost, though any will work in this recipe.
Ingredients in Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup
To make this soup, you’ll need just a handful of simple ingredients. Including the cheese you know the kids like and the protein and veggies you hope they do! Here’s a quick look at what you’ll want to have on hand.
- unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 large leek
- reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- salt, garlic powder, pepper
- green split peas
- broccoli florets
- whole milk
- grated cheddar cheese
TIP: You can use one medium onion, peeled and diced, in place of the leek if you’d like.
How to Make this Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe Step-by-Step
Here’s the process involved in making this easy soup recipe. It really comes down to adding the ingredients to the pot and simmering until tender! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.
- Chop, soak, and drain the leek to clean(photo 1)
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the leek, stir to coat, and cook. Stir in the split peas. (photo 2)
- Add the broth, salt, garlic powder, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 30 minutes. (photo 3)
- Add the broccoli and milk and cover. Turn the heat to low and cook until soft. (photo 4)
- Turn off the heat and remove the cover. Puree. Stir in the cheese and serve warm. (photo 5)
How to Make this Soup Ahead
This soup will stay fresh if stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Let thaw overnight in the fridge or use the defrost setting on the microwave. Heat it in a pot on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave, adding a little extra water if needed to thin to your desired consistency. (It will be thick when it’s cold, just so you know!)
What should I serve with this healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup?
We love this soup with Corn Muffins, crackers, bread, and/or fruit. Since it has protein, veggies, and cheese all in the pot, you really don’t need to serve much on the side! Many kids may want to dip or dunk something into this soup, so that’s why I try to include a carbohydrate side.
Best Tips for Helping Kids to Like Soup
I know that not all little kids like soup in theory, but there are a few ways you can make it more appealing to them.
- Serve small portions, which will be less intimidating especially the first time you serve the dish.
- Try serving soup in a small mug so they can sip it if they aren’t quite adept at using a spoon.
- Offer bread sticks for dipping.
- Try just a little soup over rice or pasta as a safer way to introduce it.
I’d love to hear your feedback if you make this recipe, so please comment below!
Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil)
- 1 large leek chopped and rinsed (or 1 large onion, peeled and chopped)
- 1 quart reduced-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup green split peas
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add the leek, stir to coat, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the split peas.
- Add the broth, salt, garlic powder, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and milk and cover. Turn the heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and remove the cover. Puree with an immersion blender (or let cool slightly and puree with a regular blender).
- Stir in the cheese and serve warm.
- Store leftovers, once cooled, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
- Add a little water if needed to thin slightly when reheating.
- Look for split peas in the bulk aisle or near the rice and beans in your store.
- You can use 2% milk if you prefer.
- Serve with bread or crackers so the kids can dip and dunk as needed—which may make them more interested in eating it!
- Adults may enjoy their servings topped with hot sauce.