How many calories is in cream of broccoli soup?

Cream of broccoli soup is a classic comfort food that can be found in many kitchens. It’s warm, creamy, and filled with chunks of broccoli florets. But like many creamy soups, it can also be high in calories. So how many calories are actually in a bowl of cream of broccoli soup?

What Is Cream of Broccoli Soup?

Cream of broccoli soup is a blended soup made with a creamy broth and pureed broccoli. The base of the soup is usually a chicken or vegetable broth that has been thickened with a roux made of butter and flour. Milk or cream is also stirred in to give it a creamy texture. The broccoli is blanched or cooked until tender before being pureed and added to the soup. Soups labeled “cream of broccoli” may use half & half or evaporated milk in place of heavier cream.

In addition to broth, cream or milk, and broccoli, recipes for cream of broccoli soup often include:

– Onion, garlic, and celery for aromatic flavor
– Spices like nutmeg, thyme, salt, and pepper
– A garnish of shredded cheddar cheese, croutons, or crispy bacon bits for extra flavor and crunch.

The end result is a velvety smooth, creamy soup with bright green broccoli flavor. It makes a comforting starter for dinner or a warming lunch on chilly days.

Nutritional Profile of Broccoli

To understand how many calories are in cream of broccoli soup, it helps to first look at the nutritional profile of broccoli on its own.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. A 1 cup serving (91g) of chopped raw broccoli contains (1):

– 31 calories
– 2.6 g protein
– 0.3 g fat
– 6 g carbs
– 2.3 g fiber
– Vitamins A, C, K
– Folate, potassium, manganese

So broccoli is very low in calories and high in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains beneficial plant compounds like sulforaphane that may help reduce inflammation and lower cancer risk (2).

When broccoli is cooked, it does lose some vitamin C, but retains many of its other nutrients and health benefits.

Calories in Cream and Butter

While broccoli itself is low calorie, the ingredients added to make a creamy soup significantly increase the total calories.

Here’s how many calories are in the main high-calorie ingredients in cream of broccoli soup:

Ingredient Calories per Tbsp
Heavy cream 51
Half & half 20
Butter 100
All-purpose flour 23

Heavy cream and butter are the biggest contributors of calories. Just 1 tablespoon of butter packs 100 calories, and heavy cream has 51 calories per tablespoon.

All those tablespoons can quickly add up when making a pot of creamy soup.

Calories in Broth

In addition to cream and butter, cream of broccoli soup is based on chicken or vegetable broth.

The calories in broth can vary based on the ingredients and sodium content. On average:

– 1 cup chicken broth: 46 calories
– 1 cup vegetable broth: 15 calories

Broth is mostly water so it’s low in calories, but those calories still count towards the total.

Typical Serving Size

When looking at calories in soup, the serving size matters too.

A typical serving size of cream soup is:

– 1 cup or 8 ounces (240 ml)

This is considered one serving size. But depending on your bowl size and appetite you may eat closer to 2 cups or 16 ounces (475 ml) per serving.

A larger portion size means more calories, even if it’s the same cream of broccoli recipe.

Calories in Cream of Broccoli Soup Recipes

Now let’s look at the calories in some popular cream of broccoli soup recipes.

Here are calories for 1 cup (240g) serving sizes of three different recipes:

Recipe Calories (Per 1 Cup Serving)
Classic Cream of Broccoli Soup 163
Lighter Cream of Broccoli Soup 125
Cheddar Broccoli Soup 185

As you can see, calories range from 125-185 per cup depending on the ingredients used. The lighter version cuts down on some of the cream and butter. While the cheddar version adds shredded cheese on top.

Below is a more detailed look at each recipe:

Classic Cream of Broccoli Soup

This richer cream of broccoli soup gets its velvety texture from using both heavy cream and butter.

Calories per 1 cup serving: 163

– 2 Tbsp butter (200 calories)
– 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (46 calories)
– 1 onion diced
– 2 cups chicken broth (92 calories)
– 2 cups broccoli florets (78 calories)
– 1 cup heavy cream (510 calories)
– Spices like nutmeg, salt, and pepper

To cut down the calories, you could use less butter and flour or substitute half & half for the heavy cream.

Lighter Cream of Broccoli Soup

This version uses low-fat milk and eliminates butter for fewer calories per serving.

Calories per 1 cup serving: 125

– 1 onion diced
– 1 tsp olive oil (40 calories)
– 3 cups vegetable broth (45 calories)
– 3 cups broccoli florets (117 calories)
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (58 calories)
– 2 cups skim milk (130 calories)
– Spices like garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper

With just a teaspoon of olive oil instead of butter this soup has about 40 fewer calories per serving.

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

The addition of cheddar cheese ups the calories and creaminess.

Calories per 1 cup serving: 185

– 1 onion diced
– 1 Tbsp butter (100 calories)
– 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour (69 calories)
– 2 cups vegetable broth (30 calories)
– 2 cups broccoli florets (78 calories)
– 1/2 cup heavy cream (255 calories)
– 1/2 cup whole milk (61 calories)
– 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (228 calories)
– Spices like dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper

Using reduced-fat milk and limiting the cheese could reduce the calories per serving.

Low Calorie Cream of Broccoli Soup

To make a lighter cream of broccoli soup, there are a few simple substitutions you can make:

– Use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead of heavy cream or milk.

– Skip the butter and flour roux. Thicken the soup with a spoonful of flour or cornstarch instead.

– Lighten up the creaminess with nut milk like almond milk or oat milk.

– Garnish with herbs rather than cheese or croutons.

– Blend in cauliflower, which gives a creamy texture.

– Amp up flavor with garlic, spices, lemon juice or hot sauce instead of fat and salt.

Following a lower calorie recipe or making a few simple swaps lets you enjoy warm, comforting cream of broccoli soup without all the extra calories.

Cream of Broccoli Soup Calories in Restaurants

If ordering cream of broccoli soup at a restaurant, the calorie count can vary widely depending on the preparation.

Here are some examples from popular chain restaurants (3):

Restaurant Calories (Per 1 Cup Serving)
Panera Bread 100
Jason’s Deli 205
McAlister’s Deli 290
The Cheesecake Factory 400

As you can see, calories range from 100 to 400+ per serving depending on the amount of cream and oil used. Some lighter options are available at places like Panera Bread. But at most restaurants cream-based soups skew higher in calories, sodium, and saturated fat.

Check the menu nutrition facts and ask how the soup is prepared if you are limiting calories. Or opt for broth-based soups with lots of veggies for a lighter option when dining out.

Calculating Calories When Making Cream of Broccoli Soup

When making homemade cream of broccoli soup, you can calculate approximate calories per serving using a few simple guidelines:

– Count 25 calories per tablespoon of cream, whole milk, or half & half used
– Count 100 calories per tablespoon of butter
– Count 23 calories per tablespoon of all-purpose flour
– Count 45 calories for each cup of chicken or vegetable broth used
– Look up calories for any additional ingredients like cheese or oils.

Then divide the total calories by the number of servings to get calories per serving.

For example, for a recipe using:

– 2 Tbsp butter (200 calories)
– 2 Tbsp flour (46 calories)
– 4 cups broth (180 calories)
– 1 cup milk (103 calories)

That’s 529 total calories. If recipe makes 4 servings, then each 1 cup serving would have about 132 calories.

You can also enter all the ingredients into a recipe calculator tool to get an analysis of nutrients including calories per serving.

Tips for Lightening Up Cream of Broccoli Soup

Here are some easy tips for lightening up creamy broccoli soup:

– Use reduced-fat milk or reduced-sodium broth.
– Cut back on butter and flour.
– Skip heavy cream and use low-fat milk instead.
– Increase broccoli and cut back on cream.
– Add pureed cauliflower or potatoes to thicken instead of flour.
– Use one cup pureed white beans for creaminess.
– Season generously with herbs, spices, garlic, lemon, and hot sauce.
– Garnish with a sprinkle of cheese rather than mixing it in.
– Blend in plain Greek yogurt for a protein boost.
– For serving, stick to 1 cup portions in smaller bowls.

With just a few simple substitutions and changes in ingredients, you can still enjoy the classic flavor of cream of broccoli soup for fewer calories per serving.

Healthier Cream of Broccoli Soup Recipe

Here is a healthier recipe for cream of broccoli soup that cuts calories without sacrificing flavor:

Calories per 1 cup serving: 120

– 1 onion, diced
– 1 Tbsp olive oil (120 calories)
– 1 lb broccoli florets (210 calories)
– 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (60 calories)
– 1 medium potato, peeled and diced (160 calories)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/4 cup flour (116 calories)
– 1 cup fat-free milk (90 calories)
– 1/4 tsp nutmeg
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes until translucent.
2. Add broccoli and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add potato and garlic. Cook until broccoli and potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Carefully transfer broccoli and potato to a blender, reserving cooking liquid. Puree until smooth.
5. Return pureed soup to pot. Whisk in flour and nutmeg until smooth.
6. Gradually stir in milk. Heat through but do not boil.
7. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

At just 120 calories per serving, this healthier version cuts the calories nearly in half compared to a classic cream soup recipe.


Cream of broccoli soup can range widely in calories depending on ingredients and portion size. On average, a 1 cup serving of a cream-based broccoli soup contains 125-185 calories. This comes mostly from the cream, milk, butter, and flour used to thicken and add richness to the broth and vegetables.

To lighten it up, use reduced-fat dairy products, skip the roux, increase the broccoli ratio, and season generously with herbs and spices instead of fat and salt. Choosing lower calorie cooking methods and sticking to 1 cup serving sizes can also help decrease calories in this comforting classic soup.

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