Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Soup – 154

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It seems like everyone I talk to lately says a variation of  “I’m sick of this snow and cold weather!”. I know that those of you in the northeast have gotten more than your share so far this year. For me, living in Tennessee but having grown up in the northeast, I’m loving it 🙂 We have had six snow “storms” since winter officially began, none of which produced more than a few inches at a time. Our most recent “storm” was Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and although it was beautiful; it did result in my having to postpone the appointment I had scheduled with the surgeon. I will have to wait one more week to find out what’s up. Those of you who have grown up with real snowstorms will laugh at the photos below and the fact that our town (actually our state) basically shuts down over anything more than a half inch or so.

Anyway, all of this cold, snowy weather makes me want to cook hot soup! So here is – a really yummy, creamy, good-for-you, easy to make soup 😉

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Soup

 

1 Tablespoon olive oil
12 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cups broccoli florets
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups skim milk
1/3 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup low-fat blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup low-fat Swiss cheese, shredded

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven. Add chicken, season with pepper, garlic powder, basil, sage and saute until the golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and keep warm.  Spray the same pan with fat free butter flavor cooking spray; add garlic and onion to the pan and cook until the onions are just slightly soft. Add broccoli and saute for 2 – 3  more minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 – 8 minutes (until broccoli is done). Remove 2 cups of broccoli mixture and place in a bowl to cool (I like to pop the bowl into the freezer to speed up this process). Add the milk to the pan; when the milk is hot (do not boil) whisk in the cheeses and continue stirring until melted. Take the reserved  broccoli mixture from the freezer and place into a blender or food processor; process until smooth and then add back into soup. Mix in the cooked chicken and cook for a few minutes to heat everything and blend the flavors. That’s it!

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