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.
- 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
- 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.