Cream of Broccoli Soup
Broccoli. So much broccoli. I know I shouldn’t complain but broccoli is just about the only vegetable the girls will reliably eat. And when I say eat I mainly mean the “leaves” of the “broccoli trees.” The trunks? Nooooo, they won’t touch that part. This means there are an awful lot of stalks left over when we buy a bunch of broccoli. So, if Beyonce can make Lemonade out of lemons, Ima make some broccoli soup.
This is a minimalist, quick, workhorse soup recipe, and the only thickeners involved are the vegetables. We usually make it for every two bunches of broccoli we buy—reserve the stalks each time, and set aside about a cup of crowns (or use the unserved leftovers from dinners) to give it that vibrant burst of green. There is some heavy cream involved but not a whole lot—you could even skip it entirely and make this recipe vegan. Like the rug in The Big Lewbowski, the cream just ties the soup together. The soup freezes well and makes a great quick lunch on a weekend or a nice side or starter for dinner.
- 1 to 2 c. broccoli crowns—the more you have, the greener the soup
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 4 to 8 stalks of broccoli, cut into 1/4" coins (about 3 to 4 cups)
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt (or 1 tsp. table salt)
- Ground white pepper to taste
- A few gratings of fresh nutmeg, or a dash of ground nutmeg
- 4 c. vegetable (or chicken) stock or broth
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
- For the croutons (optional)
- 2 slices of hearty pumpernickel or other whole-grain bread, like those from Mestemacher, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter (or olive oil if going vegan)
- Kosher salt to taste
- In a small pot with salted water, steam off the broccoli crowns until they turn just tender, around five minutes. Quickly shock the crowns in a pot of ice water, or under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté five minutes until translucent. Add the broccoli coins from the stalks and sauté for a few more minutes, then add the stock or broth. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the broccoli is tender, 10–15 minutes once you've reached a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once the soup base can be safely handled, pour it into blender.* Add the reserved broccoli crowns back in along with the heavy cream, and purée on the highest speed for at least three minutes. Taste the soup—it should be silky smooth. If it isn't, purée for a bit longer. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- If making the croutons: melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the cubed bread, quickly tossing to coat the bread evenly. Toast over medium-low heat until the bread becomes crisp, tossing occasionally, around 5–10 minutes.
- Like just about all homemade soups, this one tastes even better after a day in the fridge. Just reheat and top with the croutons or serve with crackers.
- * There is a bit of artistry here: you may not need to add all the broth to the blender, otherwise the soup will be too thin. Remember, you can always add a bit more broth to the blender, but you can't take it back out.