Lightened up Cheddar-Broccoli Soup (Secret Recipe Club)

February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 24 comments

I’ve been anticipating this day for a month now — it’s my first post from the Secret Recipe Club. When I first started blogging, I came across the Secret Recipe Club but wasn’t able to join because of the requirements (new blog, not enough posts etc). Last September, I met all the requirements and applied but there was a long waiting list. I hadn’t heard back until early last month with the news — I was finally accepted!

For those of you who are not familiar with the Secret Recipe Club, it’s a great way to learn about other blogs, connect with other bloggers and share recipes. Each month you are “assigned” a participating food blogger to make a recipe from. It’s a secret, you cannot tell them you are making something from their blog! You simply choose any recipe from the blog you are assigned, make or bake it, and blog about it on the date specified.

For February and my first assignment, I was given Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee. Looking through her recipe archive I was really excited, and I many several recipes that I wanted to try – Green Tomato Bread was among my picks. I searched for green tomatoes and they were no where to be found in Helena (I’ll have to save this one for another day and de-glutenize it!) so Chris and I voted for my second delicious option – Light Cheddar-Broccoli Soup. Not only had I eaten a creamy broccoli soup several weeks before that I was still thinking about, this was perfect dish when the -2F weather hit and I wanted something warm and comforting!

I put my spin on Nicole’s yummy soup using brown rice flour for the whole wheat, subbed whole grain brown rice milk for the cow’s milk, cut back on the cheese and added some nutritional yeast, used olive oil in place of butter/ghee (I was out of ghee) and added a couple shakes of cayenne pepper. I prefer my soup on the thick and chunky side so I decreased the amount of broth slightly and blended half of the soup. I will definitely be making this again!

Lightened up Broccoli-Cheddar Soup (Vegan Option) (adapted from I am a Honey Bee)


2 heads of broccoli with stems, chopped fine or very fine (depending on what texture you prefer your soup)
3 cups unsweetened plain rice milk (I used Good Karma Whole Grain Brown Rice)
1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter, ghee, olive oil or Earth Balance (use oil or earth balance for vegan)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 – 3 cups chicken broth or homemade stock or vegetable broth (use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian)
2 shakes of cayenne pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. shredded (or use non-dairy Daiya cheddar shreds for vegan or dairy free)
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt and pepper to taste


1. Finely chop 2 heads of broccoli, including stems. In a large pot, combine the rice milk and broccoli, then bring to a simmer until broccoli is tender (mine took about 7 minutes).
2. In a skillet, saute the onions with butter/oil/Earth Balance. Once the onions are translucent, sprinkle the flour in the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour has evenly coated the onions.
3. Add the broth slowly and mix until all lumps of flour are broken down. (For a thicker soup, use 2 cups and for a thinner soup use 3 cups of broth).
4. Add the onion-broth mixture to the broccoli-milk mixture in the large pot. Blend or puree part of all of the soup to your desired texture (I used a stick blender and partial blended the soup to maintain some texture). Then add the shredded cheese, cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and completely incorporated. Serve immediately, enjoy!

Entry filed under: Gluten Free, Lunch, Main Dish, Refined Sugar Free, Soups and Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Home Cook  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I love broccoli cheddar soup! Looks great. 🙂

  • 2. Sarah E.  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I love broccoli cheese soup – it’s one of my family’s favorites too. This one looks fantastic!

    • 3. naturalnoshing  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah, this one was exactly what I needed!

  • 4. iamahoneybee  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • 6. Jenni  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    This looks great! I love broccoli cheese soup, but only when the cheese doesn’t steal the show! Your version looks amazing!

    • 7. naturalnoshing  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      This soup would be the one for you then! The cheese plays the supporting role and lets the veggies shine 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • 8. Lisa~~  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Welcome to the SRC and I’m so happy to have found your blog and can’t wait to check out your recipes especially to find some for my daughter who is allergic to wheat, egg & dairy and we’re now experimenting with removing refined sugar, I hope to find much inspiration on your blog.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A’ SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites and my Group ‘D’ entry: Health(ier) Peanut Brittle

    Cook Lisa Cook

    • 9. naturalnoshing  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      thanks so much Lisa! I checked out your site and can’t wait to try some of your recipes, yum yum! I am glad we found each other through SRC 🙂

  • 10. kirstin  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    sounds so yummy! I’m always on the lookout for a healthier version of some old favorites

    • 11. naturalnoshing  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      thanks Kirstin! I love healthifying classic recipes to fit my tastes 🙂

  • 12. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather  |  February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Yum this looks perfect for a chilly day! Love how you changed it up and made it work for you. Welcome to the secret recipe club, it’s so much fun huh?! 🙂

    • 13. naturalnoshing  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      I am lovin’ it! I am really thankful to be a part of the club 🙂

  • 14. Casey  |  February 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Mmm I love broccoli cheddar soup, yours looks delicious!

    • 15. naturalnoshing  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks Casey! It’s cheesy while still being able to taste the broccoli, which is the best of both worlds in my opinion 🙂

  • 16. Erin  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I love broccoli cheddar soup. I have to try this lightened up version!

  • 18. Angel's Homestead  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I love broccoli cheese soup, there’s something so comforting about eating a bowl of it on a cold day. You did a great job with it. 🙂

  • 20. Melanie  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    It looks so tasty! I love a chunky soup, too. I also love that you put in all the ways to modify it for those with diet restrictions!

    • 21. naturalnoshing  |  March 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks so much Melanie! 🙂 I love adapting recipes so I can still enjoy the flavors I love, I find it a fun challenge!

  • 22. Veronica  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Glad to have you in the club! 🙂 Love that you lightened up this classic recipe-it sounds great!

  • 23. Homemade Broccoli Soup Recipes - MotivaNova - MotivaNova  |  January 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    […] Recipe at […]

  • 24. Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken (SRC) | Natural Noshing  |  April 24, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    […] Secret Recipe Club assignment. I was already familiar with Nic’s blog when I made her Lightened-up Broccoli Cheddar Soup awhile back so I was excited to have her site again! Her Payday Pie looks and sounds absolutely […]


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