Food & Cooking Recipes Special of the Week

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cream Soup


My all-time favorite soul-satisfying first-course dish is Broccoli Cheese Soup! Yep, even above Loaded Potato Soup.  As you know, I am on a bariatric diet; therefore, I made my alterations to my recipe listed below.  The bariatric diet involves low carbs, low fat, and high protein; however, legumes are acceptable.  Thank goodness, since chickpea pasta has been my saving grace.  My goto brand is Banza, anyway more on that coming soon.

For this soup squeeze into the guidelines of the bariatric diet, I made a change to the milk, half & hand, and cheese.  I used a reduced-fat cheddar cheese, fat-free half & half, and 2% milk. There are tradeoffs in using lower fat products, which come in the form of texture.  Fat is part of the reason; this soup usually is so silky.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I only notice the difference in texture because I have had the other very often.  One of the ways to get around the texture difference is to ensure you blend the soup very well.

Furthermore, using a mixture of 2% milk and whole milk can do the trick.  Lastly, using half reduced-fat cheese and regular cheese will alleviate most differences. After getting used to low-fat eating, these changes will not be as noticeable. There are other ways to combat it, such as using zucchini or cauliflower.  Depending on the application, they work out perfectly for you. 

In the recipe, I use xanthan gum to thicken the soup.  That is just my preference, feel free to use a roux.  To use a roux, sprinkle two tablespoons of all-purpose (or gluten-free) flour over the onions, carrots, and garlic.  All this to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe as written, omitting the xanthan gum.

broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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I like my soup with small pieces of broccoli.
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli, cheese, soup
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 429kcal


  • Cheese Grater
  • 2-3 qt pot
  • Blender (immersion or stand)



  • Melt the butter in a 2-3 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and ¼ tsp salt. Saute until onions are translucent, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 to minutes more
  • Adding vegetable stock, half and half, and milk. Be sure to stir to keep the milk from scorching
  • Add the broccoli, mustard powder, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, cover, stirring occasionally until tender, about 20-30 minutes. If using frozen broccoli, check to see if it's tender after 10 minutes. Add xanthan gum.
  • Remove from heat. Puree the soup to the desired consistency. Remove some pieces of broccoli and carrot before pureeing if you want a chunkier soup.
  • Place the soup back on the heat, turned to low. Slowly whisk in the cheese a ¼ cup at a time, letting each addition melt completely before moving to the next.
  • Taste the soup add the remaining ¼ of salt if needed, as well as pepper.
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Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 965mg | Potassium: 494mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4186IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 560mg | Iron: 1mg
Food & Cooking Mental Health

Chicken Soup and Netflix’s Altered Carbon

The second season of Netflix’s Altered Carbon is here!  I stumbled upon season one quite some time ago. Instantly, I was in love with the concept. The visuals, ideas, and acting were fantastic to me.  After I watched the last episode, I wanted more.  It took a while, but more is finally here! 

The timing could not have been better. It is a cold and rainy day here in Trotwood, Ohio.  Only one more thing could make this day perfect: homemade chicken soup.  Luckily for me, I had everything I needed to make this soup on hand.  I used both bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and breasts with the skin removed. Using bone-in chicken gives the soup a particular body and mouthfeel.  It is collagen in the bones, which makes the broth soups feel so hearty. I tend always to use bone-in chicken when using a box stock as well. I cook the chicken with the skin on because that is where the fat is stored. It also helps keep the chicken moist. The stock, sauteed mirepoix (which is the flavor base in a lot of cooking styles, consisting of onion, carrots, and celery) dried herbs (bay leaf, parsley, and thyme) simmer with the chicken. 

At the very moment the chicken was done, I removed it from the stock, pulled the meat off the bones and skin, and shredded it before returning it to the pot. Soup is ready.

Tonight was a night of self-care with chicken soup and Netflix’s Altered Carbon. Something delicious in my bowl and something fun on casting on my TV. I must take time out for myself. To remember to breathe, push my worries aside, and enjoy myself.  Cooking for myself is one of several ways I practice self-care.  What are your favorite methods of self-care?

Food & Cooking Personal Experiences

Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

This Sweet Potato and Lentil soup was surprisingly delicious to me. I am not a big sweet potato fan. My feelings for them are quite ambivalent. Nonetheless, I settled upon this recipe since I was not making the dish for myself.
Since moving in with a vegan, the Minimalist Baker has been my top source for many easy vegan meal ideas. This soup one-pot soup did not disappoint. Click here for the original recipe. I have to make a few alterations for the ingredients I did not have on hand, and to utilize the ones I did.

For example, I did not have cilantro or green beans. Instead, I used baby spinach and omitted the optional cilantro. The spices used in this soup give such warmth and depth: coriander, cinnamon, cumin, and pair wonderfully with the sweet potato. A little cayenne pepper for heat would be enjoyable as well, with this sweet potato and lentil soup.

Cooking with Love

Often, I find myself making meals for people to help them feel better. In this instance, it was my roommate, who was down with a cold. My love of cooking is rooted in serving others. When my grandmother was teaching me to cook, it was usually during a big family meal. In my childhood, I must have grated 20 pounds of cheese and peel 60 pounds of potatoes.
At the time, I was resentful because I wanted to stir the food in the pots or flip something in the pan. Unbeknownst to me, those acts were the foundation on which I continued to build for years to come. When I think back on it, I realize I was her 11-year-old prep cook.

My grandmother died before she could see me cooking professionally. I took up her mantle of feeding people with love and caring in the form of food. She is part of the reason I started this blog. I have no children to pass the serving spoon to continue the tradition. Therefore, I pass down my passion to all of you.