Like many modern girls and women, I began dieting almost as soon as I realized that my weight had an impact on the way the world treated me. (Sad, but true). Before I even cared about, let alone studied, nutrition I gleaned information from readily available resources like television, gossip magazines and chats with friends and fellow dieters. I did a lot of guessing. I think it was about the time of the high protein, high fat, low carb diet (e.g. Atkins) boom when I convinced myself that I could probably lose weight if I ate a ton of cheese and skipped the crackers. (I did lose weight. But I was incredibly unhealthy.) Now, after many many years, I know that high fat dairy wasn’t necessarily the best way in which to reach optimal health. I also now know that a balanced diet is key and that dairy is venom…but that’s a conversation for another day…
What I clearly remember about this healthy unhealthy dieting period is that one of my favorite meals was broccoli cheddar soup. The way I made it was more like melted cheddar soup with a little bit of broccoli mixed in, but that too is besides the point. There is nothing better than a big bowl of creamy, tasty, hot soup and a good movie on a cold winter’s evening. Therefore, I made it my mission this winter to find a healthy replacement to my original broccoli cheddar soup and after about four or five attempts, I think I finally found the perfect alternative. One of my favorite food bloggers and recipe inventors, Angela Liddon (Oh She Glows), hit the nail on the head. Below, is an adaptation from her original recipe which can be found here: Oh She Glows Broccoli Cheeze Soup
Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup:
Broccoli Soup Ingredients:
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 3 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 medium heads of broccoli chopped (remove the stems)
- 2 peeled and chopped potatoes
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ tbsp herbamare (if you don’t have herbamare, use vegetable broth instead of water)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste
- Parsley and Paprika for Garnish
- Extra virgin olive oil
“Cheddar” Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cup almond milk (unsweetened. I use homemade)
- ¾ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp non-dairy margarine/butter
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- ground pepper to taste
- In a medium pot, heat about ½ tbsp. olive oil and sauté the onions for about a minute. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, celery and broccoli and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the water, Herbamare, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper and simmer until the potatoes are soft and you can easily stab them with a fork (it took me about 20 minutes).
- Transfer the mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and place back in the pot.
- In a small-medium pot melt the dairy free margarine over medium heat.
- In another bowl, whisk the arrowroot powder and ¼ of the milk together
- Whisk the remaining milk as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot (with the heat still on).
- Whisk in the nutritional yeast and reduce to low heat.
- Add the mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, turmeric, salt and pepper and whisk frequesntly over low heat until the sauce thickens (about 3-5 minutes).
- Remove from heat once thick.
- Pour the “cheddar” sauce into the broccoli soup (leaving a few tablespoons for garnishing apart).
- Mix well and divide into bowls
- Garnish with chopped parsley, paprika and more cheese sauce (or whatever you like) and serve.