Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Quick easy meal of a slow cooker or crock pot broccoli cheddar soup with added chicken for protein.
It has been a beautiful snowy day here in Maine.  I’m lucky that I have this week off for Christmas break and have been able to spend some really good quality time with my boys. They have been waiting for snow for a while now.  My little one even woke up on Christmas very angry at Santa for the lack of snow!  

We tried to build a snow fort but the snow was a little too fluffy.  We settled on going on a mini adventure looking for animal paw prints in the snow instead.  We didn’t see very many interesting things.  Hopefully, later in the winter, we will get to see a lot more.  
Last year we had a huge bobcat footprint in our snow that appeared to be tracking our little dog.  Thank goodness we never let her go outside alone!  We all still keep hoping to catch a glimpse of that bobcat.


After a long, cold day playing in the snow, there is nothing my boys want more for dinner than a homemade soup.  They have been asking to have a broccoli cheddar soup for quite some time – I’ve been reluctant due to the fact that it can be very heavy in calories due to the cheese and cream added.  This will satisfy any cheese craving while still being incredibly filling and healthy!

Feel free to make adaptations to the spices to suit your tastes.  I find that the mustard really helps bring out the cheese flavor.  It is also a lot better if you use cheese that you need to grate.  I like the Cabot 50% cheese and use it in most of my cooking.  The last time-saving step I have been using crockpot liners that I found on Amazon.com.  They are around $10 for 25 and make cleaning up a breeze.  They are also BPA free which is always something to check.

Hope you are enjoying your winter day.  Let me know what you think of the recipe and don’t forget to follow me on your favorite social media!

Slow Cooker Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Servings: 6     Size: 1 1/2 Cups and 1 Tbs Greek Yoghurt  ★   Points Plus 6    Smart Points 7    Calories: 282  Total Fat: 10 g     Saturated Fat:  6 g      Protein:  20 g      Carbohydrates: 16 g     Fiber:  2 g      Sugars: 9 g     Sodium: 644 mg     Cholesterol:  59 mg

Ingredients:

·       2 cups broccoli, roughly chopped
·       3 carrots, shredded
·       1 large onion, diced
·       1 tablespoon garlic, minced
·       3 tablespoons flour
·       3 tablespoons light butter (I use Brummel and Brown)  

·       6 cups low-sodium and fat-free chicken stock
·       1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning
·       1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
·       1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard  (can be omitted)
·       1 cup fat-free half and half

·       8 ounces half-fat cheddar, shredded (I use Cabot 50% and love it!)
·       8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, fully cooked and shredded
·       6 tablespoons 0% fat Greek Yogurt

Directions:
1. Place the broccoli, carrots, onion, and garlic into the slow cooker.  (I really do love my liners that make cleaning up a matter of minutes.  The one thing I truly hate about a slow cooker is cleaning it!)
Healthy vegetables prepared to go into the slow cooker/crock pot.
2. Place a saucepan or deep sided skillet on medium-high heat.  Put in the light butter and flour.  Stir constantly until it forms what appears to be a soft dough.  This is the roux that you are making to thicken the soup.  Cook it for one additional minute.
Condensed soup free and all natural broccoli cheddar soup mixture that is Weight Watcher's friendly.
3. Slowly.  Very Slowly.  Add in the chicken stock.  Make sure that you are whisking it constantly to remove any lumps.  I find that it also easier to make it smooth when the broth is warm. Continue to whisk until all the stock is incorporated.     
Homemade condensed soup for a quick slow cooker/ crock pot dinner of Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes.  It only needs enough time to boil.  (If you're in a rush this can always be done ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated until needed.)       
4. Pour the stock mixture into the slow cooker and add in the steak seasoning, Italian seasoning, and dijon mustard (if using) and mix well.
All natural and filling broccoli cheddar soup that is smart point friendly.
5. Set the slow cooker to 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.  10 minutes before serving add in the half and half, cheddar and shredded chicken.  Allow the half and half, chicken, and cheddar time to warm.    
High protein chicken and broccoli cheddar soup that is healthy, all-natural and delicious.
6. Serve with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt in each bowl.  I often serve these with a side of healthy homemade corn bread (recipe to come).  
Perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken and ensure that the kids and family are eating their servings of vegetables.

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