Lighter Ham & Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Every season is soup season! I love all soups, but especially creamy soups loaded with yummy toppings! This may be a lightened up version of the classic broccoli cheddar soup we love, but it definitely isn’t skimping on the flavor. Loaded with fresh veggies, ham, herbs, and lots of cheese – you won’t miss a thing! Making some simple swaps like milk or half & half instead of traditional heavy cream, choosing a sharper cheddar cheese so you don’t need to use as much, and blending a portion of the soup for a creamier texture, are all ways to lighten up without losing flavor.

Better yet, this is a one-pot soup! It come together quickly in under and hour and will hold up in the fridge for 3-4 days, perfect for leftovers so make a big batch! This can also be a vegan or vegetarian recipe – omit the ham, substitute the milk for a non-dairy alternative, and use a vegan cheese in replacement of traditionally dairy cheese!

We topped our soup with some remaining ham that we crisped up, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and some scallions. Serve with a slice of warm bread and you have a delicious, hearty bowl of soup that you can feel confident having seconds of!

Some of my other favorite soups!

Roasted Squash Soup with Herbed Croutons & Toasted Pepitas

One-Pot Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Oil and Herb Croutons

One Pot Tortellini Soup

Instructions

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once warm add in the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the flour and stir until everything is coated.

Add in the broth, whisk well to eliminate lumps! Add in the milk or cream, broccoli, cauliflower, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, the broccoli and cauliflower should be tender but not mushy. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese. Stir until melted.

Depending on how creamy you want your soup, transfer about half of the soup to a blender. Blend until creamy, careful not to fill the blender to full with hot soup. Blend in batches if needed. Once smooth and creamy, return the blended soup to the pot.

In a small sauté pan, sauté the diced ham over medium-high heat, for about 4-5 minutes. Add into the soup, reserving some for a garnish if desired. Stir in the diced ham, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve garnished with extra cheese, ham, and green onions is desired. Soup is best enjoyed immediately, but will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days!

Notes

**If you substitute water instead of broth you will need to adjust the seasoning to taste.

Lighter Ham & Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Course: Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Cost: $

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 White or yellow onion, small dice
  • 8 oz Diced Ham, could substitute bacon
  • 2 Celery stalks, small dice
  • 2-3 Large carrots, small dice
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 32 oz. Vegetable broth or water
  • ½ cup Milk or half and half, can substitute a non-dairy milk
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups Cauliflower florets, chopped into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsps Garlic powder
  • 2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Extra shredded cheese, crispy ham or bacon, and green onions, optional for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once warm add in the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the flour and stir until everything is coated.
  • Add in the broth, whisk well to eliminate lumps! Add in the milk or cream, broccoli, cauliflower, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, the broccoli and cauliflower should be tender but not mushy. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the shredded cheese. Stir until melted.
  • Depending on how creamy you want your soup, transfer about half of the soup to a blender. Blend until creamy, careful not to fill the blender to full with hot soup. Blend in batches if needed. Once smooth and creamy, return the blended soup to the pot.
  • In a small sauté pan, sauté the diced ham over medium-high heat, for about 4-5 minutes. Add into the soup, reserving some for a garnish if desired. Stir in the diced ham, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve garnished with extra cheese, ham, and green onions is desired. Soup is best enjoyed immediately, but will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days!

Notes

**If you substitute water instead of broth you will need to adjust the seasoning

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