I often enjoy having soup and salad for dinner. I usually make a few modifications to the usual cream soup to make healthier but I don’t like to skimp on flavor. Many recipes for broccoli soup suggest that you puree the soup. I’m not opposed to this idea, but when soup is the main portion of the meal I’m less inclined to serve a pureed soup rather than a heartier soup that requires a bit of chewing. So, I do puree the soup but also reserve some broccoli so that you get the best of both worlds, flavor and texture! I like to add potatoes to soups like this and puree them with the broth to give some richness to the soup and then I think you don’t miss the heavy cream that I’m not going to add. Feel free to peel the stem of the broccoli, chop it and include that in the soup too. Don’t be afraid to use frozen broccoli, it works great.
1 head of broccoli, chopped (about 6 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced (is there anything that I don’t add 2 cloves of garlic to?)
1 carrot diced
1 stalk of celery diced
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1 fat free half and half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
bacon for garnish
Garnish each bowl of soup with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese and if you are a carnivore, crumble a strip of bacon into each bowl too.
In large stock pot, sauté onion, olive oil, carrots and celery over medium high heat until onions are beginning to soften. Add ½ the broccoli, potato, rosemary, thyme, parsley and chicken broth to the pan. Simmer until broccoli and potatoes are soft. Puree the soup in batches in blender or use an immersion blender and puree in the pan. Add reserved broccoli to pan and simmer until tender (if you want to make this a 30 minute meal, take the reserved broccoli and microwave in a covered dish with a few tablespoons of water for 2 minutes, then add to pan). Add fat free half and half, simmer for several more minutes, avoid having the soup boil once the half and half has been added.
On another note…Gina from The Fitnessista is hosting a really cool auction to raise money for Red Cross for Japan. She is auctioning off both new and gently used Lululemon items and all of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross (the donator will pay for shipping too!). If you aren’t in the market for new clothes, she is also holding a giveaway for her famous Macaroons (3 full batches!!). All you need to do for one entry is donate 10 dollars to the Red Cross and forward your receipt to her. Check out the details here for where to send your receipt as well as to see the products being auctioned. This is such a great idea and a great way to raise money for those who desperately need it. Check it out if you can!