Why broccoli soup? Well, one reason is the two full bunches of broccoli (read: over three pounds) that Steve brought home instead of the 2-3 broccoli crowns I requested…They say necessity is the mother of invention but, in this case, too much of a good thing ended up inspiring a wonderful new favorite way to get our vegetables.
Soup was the logical way to use up that much fresh broccoli when the household is comprised of just two people, even two who love their veggies. I have recently been making a lovely roasted cauliflower soup (I’ll post the recipe soon, I promise!) that is basically just roasted cauliflower and onion with stock and seasoning, so I was wondering if I could do something similar with the broccoli. So…off to the Internet went I.
The short story is that, at least during my hasty search, I did not find any broccoli soup recipes that did not use something to thicken it, whether it be a flour roux, dairy, nuts, or soy or rice milk. I did, however, find one that added carrot and another that included apples. Well….since I had plenty of broccoli to spare, I decided to just go with no thickener as see how it would turn out. Of course, I knew I had the option of adding a roux or cream at the end if the texture was to0 thin for the taste.
Here is what I used:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1/2 or a bit more dried thyme
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 smallish apple, peeled and chopped
- about one pound or 8 cups of broccoli florets
- 4 cups stock – I used chicken*
First, I melted the butter and olive oil and added just the onions, cooking on low until starting to soften, and then added the diced carrot and the dried thyme and ground pepper and continued cooking, now over medium, for a few more minutes.
I then added the chopped apple, stirring for a bit to coat it in the oil and seasoning, then stirred the broccoli to coat as well. Next, I added the 4 cups of stock, brought it all to just a boil and then simmered for about 15 minutes or so, until the broccoli was fork-soft.
*A Note about stock: I used chicken stock, but if you want a totally vegetarian version, I am sure veggie stock, or even plain water will work, albeit you might want to add some tamari or better yet, miso, and/or other seasonings to give a bit more depth to the flavor. OR, keep it light and punch up the brightness with a dash of rice vinegar or lemon juice.
The last step was to blend. I used an immersion blender, but a regular blender would work, as well, as would just using a potato masher or food mill – whatever you have available.
It sure looked tasty, although it was not as thick as the typical “Cream of whatever” soup. But the taste was superb and Steve and I both agreed that the texture was perfect as is – no additional thickening needed. In fact, I think any thickener would reduce the brightness of the flavor…hmmm, I bet a squeeze of lemon would be a nice touch, albeit perhaps not on a cold winter day…
I will add that I don’t think using a thickener would hurt the recipe – but the change in texture would probably inspire, and possibly necessitate, some additional seasoning. But, it is all a matter of taste. Adding a 1/2 cup of cream at the end, or adding a few tablespoons flour and cooking with the veggies before adding the stock are two options, as is adding a roux at the end.
But honestly this is great as is – and note that I added no salt. AND, Steve didn’t even add any! THAT’S saying something. 🙂
And that’s that! I suspect Steve and I will eat this batch of soup in a day or so, but I’ll make another batch with my OTHER big bunch of broccoli and see how it freezes. I’ll report back when I do. In the meantime – take this recipe out for a spin and make it your own. I will again say: YUM!
I froze some of the first batch and defrosted it the next day. Still fabulous! Make a big batch when you find nice fresh broccoli on sale. 🙂