Broccoli Basil Soup
Broccoli is probably my favorite green vegetable and comes home with me every week, second only to greens for salad, The versatility of this beautiful, anti-oxidant super healthy vegetable is unsurpassed for many reasons.
Broccoli is the star here, but there are handfuls of basil and fresh spinach, which, of course, makes me grin from ear to ear.
I set out to show you a way to love vegetables, and while we are eating them here at home, I’m not reporting them back to you on a frequent enough basis. But, I guarantee you that if you like broccoli, you will love this soup, and if you don’t like broccoli, maybe you just haven’t had it prepared properly.
If the only kind of broccoli soup you’ve experienced is that thick, gooey broccoli cheese soup that restaurants purchase in large plastic buckets, then you haven’t had good broccoli soup.
Broccoli Comes to America Via Italy
My love affair with broccoli is probably genetic. Did you know that it was the Italians who brought this beautiful cruciferous to America? The D’Arrigo Brothers weren’t the first to plant it, but they popularized broccoli in the 1920’s, first in San Jose, California, then in Boston, under the name Andy Boy.
Broccoli was meant to be married with olive oil, salt and lemon, served at room temperature, after being cooked quickly so that it would remain bright green, or placed inside a frittata, or tossed with pasta. That is how I remember broccoli.
Broccoli Basil Soup Ingredients
- Olive Oil
- Organic Chicken Broth (or broccoli broth)
- Pine Nuts (optional pistachios or sliced almonds)
If broccoli is cooked too long, it will release a sulfur smell that makes it unappetizing. After being assaulted with overcooked broccoli that stuffed into too many casseroles, mashed beyond identity, it’s no wonder people sometimes mistake broccoli for a vegetable they don’t like.
This soup just might turn a hater around.
Broccoli Basil Soup, Clean Eating, Paleo
This soup can be made with organic chicken broth or it can be made with the broccoli water it is cooked in. I’ve done it both ways. I used handfuls of basil and spinach, olive oil, lemon and pecorino romano cheese. This really gives it the Italian flavors I was looking for and feels heartier than it really is.
By this time the broccoli was cooked and ready to drain. I kept the broccoili water and began to blend about 1 cup of water to 2 cups of broccoli to this mixture. You can use a Vitamix, blender, or immersion blender. Add a few toasted pine nuts or almonds for garnish.
You can use Frozen Broccoli
Some people enjoy a soup that you can drink. Sometimes I do too, but sometimes I want more tooth to my soup. I only blended it to a point where you can still have texture. For me this is like porridge and it’s just right.
Taste along the way, and feel free to add your own touch to your broccoli basil soup. I drizzled olive oil into the soup and placed a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.
Broccoli Basil Soup
- 6 large broccoli flowers See Instructions for either fresh or frozen
- juice of half lemon
- 1 large pot of boiling water with sea salt
- 3 handfuls fresh spinach leaves washed
- 1 handful basil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and some for drizzling into soup
- 1/2 cup pecorino romano grated
- 1/4 cup pine nuts optional (can use Pistachios or toasted almonds)
- olive oil for finishing off
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth (optional) You may use the broccoli broth.
Using Fresh Broccoli
- Cut about 2 inches of stems off the broccoli and throw in a large pot of boiling water, with sea salt. Use a lot of water so there is so much heat that the broccoli will cook very quickly.
- Once broccoli is cooked, drain in colander. Save the broth or use added chicken broth.
- You can use frozen broccoli. Use chicken broth for broth.
- Squeeze lemon all over the broccoli.
- (Should be able to put a fork into easily enough, but don’t overcook)
- Put the broccoli in the Vitamix or blender with spinach, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper.
- Blend to your liking. I don't puree, but blend enough to have some heft remain I in the soup. Taste test to get the soup the way you like it.
- Add the broth or water 1/2 cup at a time, so as not to make too watery.
- Taste for seasoning.
- You may want to add more lemon, cheese, etc.
- Finish off with drizzle of olive oil, toasted pine nuts.
You will be able to taste everything, so be sure you use FRESH spinach, FRESH garlic and very good extra virgin olive oil.
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