This thick and creamy, comforting, soul-warming soup is loaded with wholesome veggies and flavor from Herbs de Provence, garlic, sharp cheddar, and smoky bacon. (And you’d never believe it’s light on calories.)
Yes, I do realize it’s pushing June with temps in the 90s and I’m posting a hot cozy soup recipe. But you know it must be good when I walk in the house dripping with sweat and THIS is exactly what I want for dinner.
It’s unbelievably rich and creamy without making you feel like you’ve eaten a brick after just a tiny portion–like you’re floating on a cloud of velvety, voluminous, cheesy comfort.
The load of veggies (especially the potatoes!) blend to give this soup restaurant-style thickness without any cream or butter. Plus, the flavor is superior to any I’ve tried at the most noteworthy of cafés. Lean smoky bacon and savory herbs add unbeatable depth, and utilizing the bacon residue works wonders on already-aromatic onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.
For the best smooth texture and ultimate ease, I love my Cuisinart immersion blender! But a food processor, magic bullet, or traditional blender will also do the trick. Make it as smooth or lumpy as you like (I like about 2/3 blended).
And the best part…
Toast up some bread, and dinner is done! Loaded with fiber-rich vegetables and light yet hearty ingredients, a bowl of this soup with a whole grain roll or slice of this cornbread is a perfectly filling lunch or dinner! (Unless you’re like someone I know and feel the need to tack on a t-bone, cheesy 2-egg omelet, huge hunk of bread, and about 4 glasses of milk. But that’s fine too 😉 )
- 4 slices turkey bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 320g golden baby potatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried fennel seed
- 2 tsp dried herbs de provence
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1.5 cups 1% milk
- 3 cups + 2 Tbsp chicken broth*
- 8 oz broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 2 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- Cook bacon over medium heat in a large pot. (If not nonstick, first coat with about 1/2 tsp olive oil.) Cook on both sides until crisp, then remove. Meanwhile, chop veggies.
- Add 2 Tbsp broth to the pot along with onion, celery, carrot, and potatoes, and stir to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in garlic, fennel, herbs de provence, and black pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes, adding a little more broth as needed.
- Whisk together milk and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Reduce heat, then gradually stir milk/cornstarch mixture into soup.
- Add broth and salt to taste*. Bring to a light boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer about 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- Add chopped broccoli and cook, covered, about 5 minutes longer.
- Blend half to all of the soup with an immersion blender (or in a food processor, depending on desired consistency.
- Add cheddar and stir to incorporate. Divide soup between bowls, and top with bacon pieces and extra cheddar, if desired.
- *If using low/no-sodium broth, add salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).