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.
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.
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 is not made with chicken or vegetable broth. This broccoli basil soup is made with the broth the broccoli is cooked in. I mixed in a pesto sort of mixture, using handfuls of basil and spinach, garlic, 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. You can a lot of this soup with no worries about weight.
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 or a blender, or immersion blender. Add a few toasted pinenuts or almonds for garnish.
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.
- 6 large broccoli flowers
- juice of half lemon
- large pot of boiling water with sea salt
- 3 handfuls fresh spinach leaves, washed
- 1 handful basil
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and some for drizzling into soup
- ½ cup pecorino romano grated
- ¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
- olive oil for finishing off
- sea salt, freshly ground pepper
- 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.
- Save the broth!
- Once broccoli is cooked, drain in colander.
- Squeeze lemon all over the broccoli.
- (Should be able to put a fork into easily enough, but don’t overcook)
- Put the following into food processor:
- garlic cloves
- pecorino cheese
- toasted pine nuts
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
- Drain water into a bowl. Reserve. Add broccoli back in. Add basil/spinach mixture in, and then add broth one ladle at a time, using an emulsion blender to blend. You will use approximately one cup of broth two cups of broccoli, but add water a cup at a time so as to not make it too watery.
- You may want to add more lemon, cheese, etc.
- Finish off with olive oil,
You will be able to taste everything, so be sure you use FRESH spinach, FRESH garlic and very good extra virgin olive oil.