Lightened-up cream of broccoli soup

A healthy, delicious meal ready in just 15 minutes!

I am such a huge fan of broccoli that people are often surprised to find me turning up my nose at cream of broccoli soup. It’s not just the canned stuff – don’t even get me started on that – it’s more that I find most cream of broccoli soups lacking in flavour, too heavy or rich because of the cream, and with the star ingredient – broccoli – often overcooked, pale and slightly bitter-tasting. I decided to switch things up by blanching the broccoli ahead of time then adding it to a lighter soup base (broth + milk, not heaps of cream, thank you very much) at the very end and wow….what a difference it makes. The finely grated carrot also adds nice colour and texture. Note that the soup base can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time and refrigerated; when reheating, if possible, wait to add the blanched broccoli just before serving.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 mL) small broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (250 mL) finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 teaspoon each pepper, dried thyme leaves, smoked paprika
  • Pinch each cayenne and salt
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated sharp cheddar or non-dairy cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional grated cheddar, to garnish

Method

  • Bring approximately 4 cups (1 L) of water to a boil in a medium-sized, covered pot placed over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add broccoli florets and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and run broccoli under very cold water until completely cooled. Pat dry with a towel and set aside while you prepare the soup.
  • While water is coming to a boil, place butter in a large pot placed over medium heat. When it has melted, add diced onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle flour over the onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add chicken or vegetable stock, 1/4 cup (60 mL) at a time, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  • After adding all the stock, add grated carrot and the seasonings to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute.
  • Reduce heat to medium and stir in milk and grated cheddar. When cheese has melted, add lemon juice and blanched broccoli florets. Heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes to warm the broccoli.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if needed; ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of cheddar.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

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