Thursday, February 16, 2012

Creamy Broccoli Soup

I first made this soup a few weeks ago when a girlfriend unexpectedly came by at lunchtime.  It was one of those days when I was in between grocery shopping trips and most of the good stuff in my fridge and pantry had been used up.  But I couldn't just let her come over and not feed her lunch, so I did a quick scan of what I had and when I spied my garden through my kitchen window I had one of those "light bulb moments".

You know the ones I'm talking about- when all of a sudden the idea hits you like the light bulb going on over the cartoon character's head.  Aha!  That's what I had at that moment.
 My first successful gardening attempt (that I started from seeds!)  had resulted in some giant broccoli plants which were just ready for picking.  I cut a few big stalks off the plant, came back inside and in a matter of minutes had a soup bubbling away on the stove.  My girlfriend and I were both impressed by the freshness of the soup and how clearly the broccoli flavor stood out.  She liked it so much she took the recipe home with her that afternoon.  Success!

So when my hubby asked me to make some broccoli soup this past week, I knew just what to do.  A quick trip to the garden and through the pantry and soup was served.  I love that kind of meal- little effort and maximum satisfaction.  What more could a girl ask for?
Creamy Broccoli Soup
Adapted from Food and Wine

This soup is unbelievably simple and is ready in half an hour.  It's perfect for a light lunch or a first course for a nice dinner.   And if you were so inclined, you could make it vegetarian by swapping out the chicken broth for water.

1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup celery (2 small ribs), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chopped broccoli (I used mostly the florets with some of the more tender stems)
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups low-sodium or home made chicken broth
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne or piment d'epsalette

In a large stockpot, heat 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until they have softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the broccoli, potatoes, chicken broth and milk to the pot.  Season to taste.  Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  Puree the soup to your liking in a blender or using an immersion blender.  We liked the soup nice and smooth, but if you like a bit of chunks, go for it.

Serve warm with a slice of crusty bread for dipping.


  1. Oooh. One of my faves! I have a good Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe, but, alas, no one in my family likes it but me.

    1. I'll happily share it with you Lisa! It turns out that my son (who usually loves everything I make) wasn't a big fan either. But I loved it, so I guess it's all mine for lunch!