Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup (It’s Low Carb + Gluten-Free!)
A delicious Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup! This recipe is naturally gluten-free, hearty, warm, and comforting! Loaded with broccoli stalks + florets, a splash of cream, and tons of freshly shredded cheddar cheese.
Is it even soup season if it doesn’t involved a big bowl of broccoli and cheddar?
This keto broccoli cheese soup checks the box for both my keto and gluten-free friends! And if you swap the chicken stock for vegetable broth, my vegetarian friends can get in on this keto broccoli cheese soup too. When I hit a goldmine of a recipe like this one, it makes me so happy! I’ve gotten tons of requests for soup and stews that fit a bunch of different types of diets, and by gosh golly, this one hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it?
Trigger warning: keto friends, avert your eyes for just a minute. I’m not keto, so I took a big hunk of seeded bread and went to town on this soup, and omg, it is so dang good.
Take it from someone who has shared a traditional version of this soup, I honestly prefer this one.
I’ve never been a huge fan of soups that contain both flour and cheese. Don’t get me wrong; I eat them. But I find the combination of the two gives soups a somewhat gritty texture. One that takes away from the natural flavors of the soup. So if you fall into that category too, you’ll be pleased to know that keto broccoli cheese soup solves that problem for us!
What do you need to make keto broccoli cheese soup?
- Broccoli: I like to buy broccoli heads for this recipe and break the broccoli down. First, I separate the florets into small pieces. Then I take the stalks and slice them or toss them in a food processor to break them down for me.
- Oil + Butter: A little bit of oil and butter are used to saute the onions and broccoli stalks and to saute the broccoli florets. Sauteeing the broccoli florets in butter adds tons of additional flavor to the soup.
- Onions: I use just a ½ cup of onions in this recipe to help flavor the soup. If you need to make this recipe even lower in carbs, you can replace the chopped onions with a teaspoon of onion powder (add it in with all the other seasonings.)
- Garlic: I don’t like my broccoli cheese soup to have too much garlic; shocking, I know. So I provide a range for this recipe. You can use as little as 3 cloves and up to 6!
- Seasonings: Most of the flavor comes from these seasonings. I’m using a dash of nutmeg, mustard powder, ground white pepper, dried thyme, and paprika. You can use smoked paprika or sweet paprika; either will work.
- Chicken stock: Make sure to use a good quality chicken stock for this recipe. If you find your chicken stock doesn’t taste great, you can add in ½ of a chicken bouillon cube to give this soup a bigger flavor boost.
- Carrot: I use one carrot in this recipe. However, carrots are to be consumed in moderation (or not at all) if you are strict keto. The ingredient is optional, and you can certainly leave it out if you wish!
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream gives this soup a deliciously rich and luxurious flavor. It also helps thicken up the soup a bit (along with the cheddar cheese.)
- Cheddar cheese: I used mild cheddar cheese for this recipe; however, whatever kind of cheddar you like will work here. I suggest shredding the cheese from a block for the best results – more on that below.
How to make the best keto broccoli cheese soup recipe:
- Break down the broccoli. For this recipe, I like to use the stalks as the base of this soup, and the florets are sautéed in butter and added in whole towards the end. Once you remove the florets, chop the stalks. You can use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer layer of the stalks if you find they are particularly fibrous.
- Saute and puree. Saute the onions and broccoli stalks in butter and olive oil until softened. Then, add the garlic along with all the seasoning. Pour in the chicken stock and allow the soup to reach a simmer. At this point, you can use an immersion blender or transfer the soup into a blender and puree. Once pureed, add it back to the soup pot, add the shredded carrots, and cook a bit in the soup.
- Saute and finish. While the soup is simmering, add the remaining butter to a skillet and allow it to melt over medium heat. When melted, add the broccoli florets and saute them until bright green and al-dente. Transfer the florets into the prepared soup. Kick the heat up to medium-high. Add the cream and stir to combine. Then, lower the heat to low, add in ½ cup of shredded cheese at a time as you stir. Allow the cheese to melt in completely before adding in the next ½ cup. Take your time here; don’t rush this part. Once combined, taste and adjust with additional seasonings as desired. Serve the soup while warm in your favorite bowl.
Tips to make keto broccoli cheese soup:
- Use a food processor to cut down on prep time. I hate cleaning extra dishes, but for this recipe, I find that my trusty food processor makes the prep work a cinch! I start by shredding the cheese. Then, I’ll shred the carrot as well and pop it into a separate container. Then breaking down and remove the florets and processing the stalks to make small pieces. I roughly dice the onion into large pieces and add it in next until they’re chopped. It won’t matter what they look like as the stalks and onions end up being pureed anyway!
- Shred your own cheese. Don’t buy pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store. Often, the cheese is coated in starches to keep it from clumping together. So when you add it to a soup, you’ll find that it sometimes leaves the soup grainy and just not a very pleasant texture.
Other soups you might like:
- Soul-warming Cauliflower Soup (also keto!)
- Secret Ingredient Tomato Basil Soup (No cream!)
- Luxurious Turkish Lentil Soup
- Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup
- Fire-Roasted Tortellini Minestrone Soup
- Spicy Thai Carrot Soup
- Comforting Red Lentil Soup
- Cuban Black Bean Soup
- 1 ¼ pounds broccoli, stalks + florets
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 tablespoons butter (ghee works too!)
- ½ cup onion, roughly chopped
- 3-6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon EACH: kosher salt, mustard powder, AND paprika
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: white pepper AND dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 carrot, finely grated (omit if you’re strict keto)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- BROCCOLI: Separate the broccoli florets from the stalk. If the stalk is particularly fibrous, peel the outer layer using a vegetable peeler and roughly chop the stalks into small pieces (you can also pop the stalks and onions in a food processor to make prep work faster.) Cut the florets down so they are bite-sized pieces.
- PUREE: Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat until melted. Add the onions and broccoli stalks (don’t add florets yet) and saute them until the onions soften and the stalks start browning, about 4-5 minutes. Season with garlic, salt, paprika, white pepper, thyme, mustard powder, and nutmeg. Give the ingredients 30 seconds to bloom, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring the soup to a boil. When boiling, allow the soup to reduce for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, be careful to lower the heat so it doesn't splatter. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the solid contents from the soup pot to a blender along with roughly 1 cup of liquid, and blend until smooth. Once pureed, add the puree back into the soup pot and stir to combine with the liquid in the pot.
- FINISH: Heat the soup on medium-low. Add the shredded carrots and allow the soup to gain a simmer and cook for 5 minutes so the carrots cook through and the soup concentrates a bit (if you used shredded carrots from the store, it will take them longer to soften.) While the soup is simmering, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When melted, add the broccoli florets and allow them to cook until they are bright green and al dente. This gives the soup an even better, roasted flavor! Transfer the florets to the soup pot. Kick the heat up to medium-high. Add the cream and stir to combine. Lower the heat to just above low, then slowly add about ½ cup of cheese and a time as you stir. Allow the cheese to melt before adding in the next ½ cup. Continue adding ½ cup until all the cheese is used. Once combined, taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper as desired.
- Nutrition information does include the carrot.
- If you find your chicken stock doesn’t taste great, you can add in ½ of a chicken bouillon cube to give this soup a bigger flavor boost. You may want to omit the kosher salt from the recipe or hold off on adding it till the end, if you do this.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 37.4gCarbohydrates: 14.7gProtein: 14.9g