Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Lightened Up) | What to Eat Wednesday

I’ve talked about this before, but if you didn’t already know, I went to college for Hotel, Restaurant Management. We had a BUTT LOAD of coursework spent in a student run restaurant on campus. That doesn’t make it sound very fancy, it was. It was legit! Complete with a super intimidating German-accented front of the house manager, table side homemade Caesar salad dressing making, and a wine sommelier position (which I killed at, except for pouring neatly…).

I much preferred back of the house, but I wasn’t the best student in the class. I always told myself I would go into event management anyways, not restaurants, which I did. I am a messier cook. I would forget my mis en place or get nervous with my knife skills. I’m much better at going with the flow in my own kitchen.

There was a bit of a “competition” of who would (or well, wouldn’t) be the first to hurt themselves in the kitchen. You had to report it and of course, our scary front of the house manager might make you cry, so nobody wanted to do it.

One day, little old me was cutting up some broccoli for Broccoli Cheddar soup and low and behold… I cut my thumb. I wasn’t tucking my damn fingers! I didn’t need stitches, but my friend did walk me to get a butterfly bandage at the doctor’s on campus.

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I was a bit mortified, but the worst part was, for at least a year after that I wouldn’t set foot near my beloved Broccoli Cheddar soup.

I’m totally over it now, though, thank God, and I am back on the broccoli cheddar train…

But it can be so unhealthy! That’s why I was determined to create a lighter version at home with real ingredients that I got to choose to put in my belly- and my son’s belly.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • celery ribs, diced
  • 2-3 heads broccoli florets, chopped (depending on size)
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (chop squash, boil until soft and puree or mash)
  • 4.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cup skim milk
  • 1.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 3 minutes until tender.
  2. Add the broccoli. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, and garlic. Cook a few minutes until broccoli is partially cooked.
  3. Add vegetable broth and butternut squash puree. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the milk and cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, based on preference. I added a dash of each.


I swear, guys, this one is really a winner! My brain was completely fooled. I thought I was in Panera, minus the bread bowl, of course. 

Please let me know if you try this and, of course, share your favorite soup recipes with me!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristin says:

    I’m going to try this!

    1. Sarah Mears says:

      You should! It was really easy!

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