Broccoli feta soup is a Mediterranean twist on broccoli cheddar soup that utilizes the distinct flavor profile of feta cheese. With soup season officially upon us, try this one the next time you need something to warm your belly.
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Is Broccoli Feta Soup Healthy?
Absolutely! Broccoli feta soup is a healthy option for those looking for something that will provide an abundance of nutrients without adding a significant amount of calories or saturated fat.
There’s no doubt that broccoli is a healthy vegetable. It’s green. It’s cruciferous. And it provides a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Half a cup of cooked broccoli is one vegetable serving. This half-cup serving will provide (based on a 2,000-calorie diet):
- 27 calories
- Zero grams of fat
- 6 grams of carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber (10% Daily Value)
- 30 mg of calcium (2% Daily Value)
- 50 mg of phosphorus (4% Daily Value)
- 230 mg of potassium (5% Daily Value)
- 110 mcg of vitamin K (92% Daily Value)
- 51 mg of vitamin C (56% Daily Value)
- 360 mcg of vitamin A (40% Daily Value)
Now, let’s talk feta. In comparison with cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese, feta is lower in calories and fat. Take a peak at the comparison table below.
|Nutrient||Feta Cheese||Cheddar Cheese||Parmesan Cheese|
In addition, feta also provides calcium for strong bones and B vitamins which are needed for a wide range of cellular functions.
One downside to feta cheese is that it is high in sodium. However, in this broccoli feta soup, I use unsalted chicken broth to cut back on the overall sodium content.
Expert Tip: If you want to make this soup even lower in sodium, you can omit the salt and decrease how much feta you use.
This broccoli feta soup doesn’t have any complicated or hard-to-find ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make it.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil– I love using good quality extra virgin olive oil at all times. For some sensational recommendations and more information on the benefits of olive oil, check out my recipe post Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Light & Healthy).
Garlic– Minced garlic is also a great starting point for soups or when sautéing any veggies.
Onion– This aromatic vegetable is a staple in our home and helps add more flavor to this broccoli feta soup.
Celery– Another aromatic and foundational veggie for this soup.
Salt and Pepper– Just a bit of each to season up this soup.
Broccoli– A whole head of broccoli is enough for this recipe. This ends up being around 5 cups of broccoli.
Unsalted Chicken Broth– I ALWAYS cook with low sodium or unsalted chicken broth. Canned soups are bad enough when it comes to sodium content. So, when I’m cooking from scratch, my aim is to lower the sodium significantly.
Orzo Pasta– Adding orzo as a starchy portion of this soup will help thicken it as well. If you’re eating this soup as leftovers, you may need to add more liquid or eat it as is, which will be the consistency of a stew.
Red Pepper Flakes– The red pepper flakes are completely optional. If you’re not a fan of heat, leave this spice out.
Feta Cheese– And lastly, you need feta. I chose to manually crumble a block of feta although you can purchase feta crumbles for more convenience.
How To Make Broccoli Feta Soup
This broccoli feta soup is fairly straightforward. Add each ingredient in the sequence listed in the recipe card below and in about 30 minutes, you’ve got yourself a satisfying bowl of soup ready to devour! Here are the step-by-step instructions.
Step 1: Sauté the Aromatics
Start by adding the olive oil, onion, garlic, and celery to a large soup pot. Sauté this mixture until the onion becomes translucent. Then add your salt (if using) and pepper to season.
Step 2: Add the Broth
Next, add the broccoli, orzo, and chicken broth. Now this is starting to look like a soup! Bring this mixture to a boil and once the broccoli is tender and the orzo is cooked, turn the heat off.
Step 3: Blend or Mash
Next, to thicken the soup a bit and make the broccoli pieces even smaller, I use an immersion blender. It’s a hand-held blender that looks like a wand which is great for blending soup while it’s still in the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a potato masher or a regular blender. I recommend mashing/blending about half of the soup and leaving some larger chunks of broccoli for texture.
Step 4: Cheese Please
After you’ve got the consistency where you want it, it’s finally time to add the feta. Crumble it into your soup pot and give it a good stir to incorporate. Then serve it with an optional sprinkle of red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some freshly sliced Italian bread. Enjoy!
Expert Tip: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a potato masher or regular blender. If using a blender, let the soup cool for about 10 minutes first. Blending hot liquids can be DANGEROUS so to prevent splattering, blend small amounts at a time, blend at a low speed, and open the lid with a kitchen towel or mitt.
Boiling broccoli in liquid does lead to some nutrient loss as the nutrients leach into the surrounding liquid. But the good thing about soup recipes is that we will be consuming the liquid as well. So no need to worry about nutrients being lost!
I have personally not attempted to use any other types of cheese in this recipe. Although I do think cheddar cheese would taste great. With whichever cheese you use, make sure to choose one that melts well like Smoked Gouda or Colby jack.
Yes, you can make this broccoli feta soup in a slow cooker or crock pot. Just add all ingredients up to the orzo and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Add the feta cheese right before serving and give the whole pot a stir to incorporate the feta cheese.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
Do you need more warm and cozy soup recipe ideas? Try some of these!
- Tuscan White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup Recipe
- Unexpectedly Good Dilly Bean Stew with Cabbage
- One-Pot Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew
- Chicken, Kale, and Potato Soup
Easy Broccoli Feta Soup
- 1 immersion blender, blender, or potato masher
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth unsalted
- 5 cups broccoli crowns ~1 head of broccoli
- ¾ cup orzo pasta
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
- red pepper flakes optional, to taste
- lemon juice optional, to taste
- Optional serving suggestions include a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice, and/or some parsley flakes.
- This soup will keep well in your fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
- If eating leftovers, the soup will thicken due to the orzo pasta.
- Feta cheese is a high-sodium food. If you need to limit your sodium due to high blood pressure or kidney disease, omit the salt in this recipe and/or reduce the amount of feta used.
- When it’s time to blend half of your soup and you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a potato masher or regular blender- just be careful of splatters when blending hot liquid!
- Try other types of cheeses in this soup to switch things up, like cheddar or gouda.
💬 Share with me: Did you try this Broccoli Feta Soup? How did you like it? Did you make any changes? Let me know in the comments!
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Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience. She has a degree in psychology as well as dietetics. She is also a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ and its Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group among others. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.