Broccoli cheddar zucchini soup is a hearty, comforting soup recipe that's filled with nutritious veggies. All you need is 30 minutes to have a bowl of this creamy, cheesy soup on the table.
There's nothing like a warm, comforting bowl of soup when it's cold outside. Like my potato zucchini soup, this broccoli zucchini soup is filled with simple, nutritious ingredients and mild flavors. The perfect soup for any time of year.
If you love a chunky soup, blend this broccoli zucchini soup just enough to leave a little texture. Or, blend it completely smooth - your choice. Bonus - it's filled with plenty of nutritious veggies like broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and onion. Plenty of melty cheddar cheese makes this soup creamy, smooth, and hearty.
Broccoli zucchini soup is hearty enough to serve as a meal with some crusty bread or a side salad. Or, serve this soup as a side dish alongside your favorite main course.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Unsalted butter - Can be substituted with olive oil if desired.
- Onion and garlic - Adds depth of flavor to your soup. Onion can be substituted with sliced leek if desired.
- Broth - Vegetable broth or chicken broth are ideal for this recipe. Low sodium broth will reduce the flavor of your soup. If you need to use low sodium broth for health reasons, I recommend adding extra herbs and spices (check out the section below on adding flavor to your soup).
- Broccoli - One large head of broccoli, cut into small, bite size florets. Frozen broccoli will work as long as it's thawed first.
- Zucchini - You'll need about two medium zucchini for this recipe, cut into small cubes.
- Carrot - Adds a hint of sweetness and color to your soup.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika add depth of flavor to your soup. Thyme can be substituted with your favorite herb, like basil, oregano, and rosemary.
- Cheese - I recommend using sharp cheddar for this recipe - it adds a nice flavor and pairs well with broccoli. I highly recommend freshly grating your cheese from a block. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-clumping powders that get grainy when melted. Pepper jack, monterey jack, and parmesan cheese are also great options.
- Milk - Whole milk adds the best texture to your soup, but lower fat milks or unsweetened, unflavored nut milks also work as substitutes. For an even creamier, richer soup, use half & half or heavy cream instead.
Do I need to peel my zucchini?
No, there's no need to peel your zucchini before adding it to your soup. The skin of the zucchini contains the bulk of the nutrients, like fiber, Vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.
How to add flavor to soup
Broccoli cheddar zucchini soup has a mild flavor, perfect for adding your favorite flavor enhancements. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use regular broth for your soup, rather than a low-sodium broth. Salt enhances the flavor of your soup, so reducing the salt reduces the flavor. If you're using low-sodium ingredients for health reasons, I'd recommend following a few of the tips below to add extra flavor to your soup.
- Don't skip sautéing your onions and garlic at the beginning - this adds flavor to your soup.
- Add more dried herbs to your soup. I kept this recipe simple with dried thyme, a classic, comforting flavor. However, you're welcome to add other herbs, like basil, rosemary, or an Italian seasoning blend.
- Add fresh herbs like basil or dill, especially if you're looking to use up more of your summer garden harvest. Toss in a handful just before blending.
- For a similar basil flavor, add a spoonful of pesto just before blending.
- If you enjoy spicy foods, add a dash of hot sauce for depth of flavor and a kick of heat.
- Add a few additional cloves of garlic if you love big garlic flavor.
- Add a variety of melty cheeses to your soup for more depth of flavor, like pepper jack cheese, monterey jack, and parmesan (freshly grated from a block for a smooth texture).
- Top your soup with garlic croutons.
Leftovers and reheating
This broccoli zucchini soup keeps well as a leftover. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Your soup can be reheated over medium heat on the stovetop, or lightly covered with a paper towel in the microwave.
Cream/cheese based soups generally do not freeze and thaw well, so I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Broccoli Cheddar Zucchini Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 24 ounces broth, vegetable or chicken
- 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 2 medium zucchini, cubed
- 1 carrot, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces whole milk
- In a stock pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until edges begin to lightly brown. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
- Add broccoli, zucchini, carrots, broth, salt, thyme, paprika, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 12 minutes, or until broccoli is fork tender (this will depend on the size of your broccoli pieces).
- Remove from heat, allow to cool for a minute, then carefully blend (either using a stand blender with the center cap removed, or an immersion blender) to desired texture (soup can be slightly chunky or completely smooth - your choice).
- Return soup to pot and turn heat to medium-low. Add milk, then add shredded cheese slowly in handfuls (to prevent clumping), stirring until melted.
- Remove from heat and serve warm.
- Recipes serves four as a main course, or six as a side dish.
- Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Leftovers reheat well on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave.
- 1 large head of broccoli = about 3.5 to 4 cups of small florets