Lighter Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serve up comfort and joy with a lighter version of broccoli cheddar soup.LIGHTER Broccoli Cheddar SoupDisclosure: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and receive free Cabot cheese mentioned in this post. I was not compensated for writing this post. Opinions are my own.

I will survive, has become a familiar holiday mantra! It’s one I personally like because it implies lower expectations.  I know it sounds cynical.. bleak.. and gloomy, but when does anything ever work out exactly as planned? If you’re hoping for it, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.   My friend and colleague wrote about this in her healthy aperture blog post where she describes how she makes memories during the weekly grind. Regan makes a good point about being flexible with  your expectations.

So taking Regan’s theme of making the most out of ordinary days, I am sharing a recipe that will bring comfort and joy to any day of the week. My lighter broccoli and cheddar soup is  lactose friendly, lighter than the traditional version, and is a source of fiber important for filling you up, not out.  I served it with a salad for an easy ‘Panera’ night in. May your days be merry and bright and your expectations be spot on!

LIGHTER Broccoli Cheddar SoupLighter Broccoli Cheddar Soup

serves 6

by Diane Boyd


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup nonfat Lactaid milk
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, whites only, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheese, grated


1. Add cooked rice and lactaid milk to blender and process until smooth.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add leeks, saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook additional minute. Add broccoli ; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Add rice mixture; simmer 2 minutes. stirring occasionally.

3. Place 2 cups of soup in blender, process until smooth. Return to pan. Add pepper to taste and slowly add cheese, stirring until it melts. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat for later.

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Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines

Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines

Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese TartinesA hot bowl of cream of tomato soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping was the first meal I ever made, and it’s one of my fondest food memories. November marks the Thanksgiving holiday and calls us to give thanks. Commensurate with the holiday, the Recipe Redux is challenging us  to share a food memory along with a healthier ‘redo’.

I was in my preteen years, and  I felt pretty acomplished when I sat down to this comforting meal I had mastered. The way I remember it,  I used whole milk, added to a can of  Campbell’s cream of tomato soup. Grilling the sandwich in a small fry pan was almost as simple, with margarine  first  spread on two slices of  white Wonder  bread and  a slice of American cheese  in between.

 mmm… mmm…good!

Today my grilled cheese and tomato soup is just as comforting as  it was back then, but it has evolved into a lighter, less processed meal. Fresh vegetables, canned tomatoes, chicken stock and basil are the start of this nutrient rich soup. It’s good with or without the  addition of  low fat cream cheese. Because I’m a sucker for thick  crusty breads,  my cheese sandwich is now  made with a whole wheat baguette cut in triangles ( my preference for cutting a grilled cheese sandwich) topped with  Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar (via the Cabot Cheese Board). Popping a tray of these darlings under the broiler eliminates the need for any extra fat.  Final touches? More basil please! Now, don’t let the fact I am calling my cheese sandwich a tartine throw you. That’s a fancy word for open faced sandwich. But pleassse.. feel free to eat with your fingers! And don’t forget to check to  see what food memories my colleagues are sharing in the links below. Happy Thanksgiving!

 What was the first meal you ever made?

Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines

Cream of Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartines

by Diane Boyd


    for the tomato soup

    • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 sweet onion, chopped
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil +2 Tablespoons
    • 3 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth
    • fresh black pepper to taste
    • 6 Tablespoons of 1/3 less fat cream cheese

    for the cheese tartines

    • 1 baguettee
    • 8 ounces cheddar cheese


    1.Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one additional minute.

    2. Add tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, 1/4 cup basil, chicken broth and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

    2. Allow to cool and puree in a blended or process through a food mill,discarding any dry pulp. Return to pot over low heat. Stir in reduced fat cream cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. Makes 8 appetizer servings or 6 meal servings.

    for the cheese tartines (makes 16)

    1. Slice baguette into 4- 2 inch pieces. Half each piece, as if to create a top and bottom. Cut each squre in half along the diagonal to create a triangle. (Each 2 inch piece will create 4 triangle pieces.)

    2. Top each piece with sliced cheddar cheese.

    3. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted, watching carefully so as not to burn. Top with remaining thinnly sliced basil.

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