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This Creamy Broccoli Bacon Chowder has a lot of things going for it:
- Smart use of fats. It’s creamy, but not because it has an overabundance of cream in it. In fact, it doesn’t have any heavy whipping cream in it! Pureed cauliflower (one of my favorite “secret” creamifying ingredients), cottage cheese, reduced-fat cream cheese, and a moderate amount of mozzarella come together in a perfect creamy, cheesy balance without breaking the calorie bank.
- Lots of veggies. Like, 4 pounds of veggies!
- It makes a big pot of deliciousness. Because there is never anything wrong with leftover soup for lunch the next day. Oh no, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!
- It doesn’t take any special ingredients.
- Protein. Not only does it have bacon for protein, but the cheese and cottage cheese add an extra boost in that department.
- BACON. Did I mention bacon? Bacon covers a multitude of
I happen to love pureed soups. After serving this to my family, I realized that not everyone does. To me, pureed soups mean dignified special-occasion lunches at Panera Bread, but apparently some little children relive baby food memories when confronted with such sophisticated yumminess. They loved the flavor – weren’t fans of the texture. In this case, I decided to pull rank and post it as-is anyway because I liked it, and I’m the blogger. However, I did include a suggestion in the Notes section of the recipe for how you can leave some texture in the soup if that’s your preference.
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As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission to help defray the costs of running this blog (at no extra charge to you). Thanks for your help!
- 2-3 lb. fresh bacon
- 2 T. salted butter
- 1 med. onion (chopped)
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 lb. cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
- 2 lb. broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 3 c. water
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1½ c. cottage cheese
- 8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
- I like to fry the bacon while I make the soup. However you decide to do it, fry, drain, and crumble the bacon before serving the soup. The bacon will be added as a garnish on top. (See Notes section for an alternate method.)
- To make the soup, sauté the garlic and onion in the butter in a large soup kettle until nice and brown.
- Add the cauliflower, broccoli, chicken broth, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat until the soup is lightly bubbling and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- When the vegetables are tender, turn the heat down to low, wait until the soup stops bubbling (you may want to take it off the heat for a bit to expedite the process), and add the cheese, cottage cheese, and cream cheese. Let them melt for a bit, then use an immersion blender to puree everything to a smooth consistency. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes, taste and add more salt if necessary, then serve with bacon bits and additional shredded cheese as a garnish.
If your family wants a little texture in the soup, you could remove some (not all) of the broccoli and cauliflower from the pot right before melting the cheeses in the broth and pureeing everything smooth, then add them back in at the end.
I used an immersion blender so I wouldn't have to worry about the pressure buildup that can happen when blending hot liquids in a regular blender, but you can use a regular blender if that's what you have. You'll probably have to blend the soup in several batches. Be sure to vent the blender as necessary to relieve pressure.