Thursday, September 24, 2009

Creamy Broccoli and White Bean Soup

Lunch today was leftover ravioli and raw veggies with an apple and walnut butter. While the ravioli is tasty, it isn’t exactly nutrient dense. I decided a pureed soup, and green salad would be the perfect nutrient dense high volume meal we needed for dinner.

This soup is a healthy version of traditional cream of broccoli soup. I used white beans to create the creamy texture and they worked extremely well. The final texture of soup is like velvet. My husband was huge fan of “cream” soups so I try to accommodate him whenever I can and this soup works beautifully as a cream soup substitute.

Broccoli was chosen because it is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and known to both promote suicide of cancer cells (apoptosis) and block new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) to the cancer. Boiling broccoli destroys the sulforaphane and indole 3 so I use it straight from the freezer to the blender to maximize the nutrition. Tomato was included as a garnish for color and textural contrast and because tomato and broccoli have a synergy that makes them more effective together than apart.

The primary flavor in this soup is broccoli and there is a slight bean background. After that the individual flavors are difficult to identify. I really liked this soup and it was quick to make. I used the blender to process the soup so it would do the work of breaking down the cell walls of the vegetables to maximize the nutrition we got from the vegetables.

Creamy Broccoli and White Bean Soup
Makes 4 – 2 cup servings


1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
½ tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (allow to stand 10 minutes before heating so the allicin can develop)
8 cups broccoli florets, raw or blanched and frozen
2 cups cooked great northern beans (no salt added)
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
2 cups water
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 cup raw tomato, finely diced – for garnish
flaked sea salt, to taste


Sauté the onions, garlic and salt in the canola oil until soft and translucent. Add everything (except tomato) to your blender and process until completely smooth. If you have a small blender make the soup in two batches. Add additional water to reach the consistency you desire. If you have a Vitamix blender you will not need to heat the soup, the friction from the blender will do it for you. Otherwise heat the soup gently on low heat for as short a time as possible to minimize the loss of sulforaphane and indole 3 that occurs when broccoli is boiled.

Season the soup with sea salt to taste. Garnish each serving with tomato and serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 214.19
Calories From Fat (16%) - 33.7

Total Fat - 3.54g
Saturated Fat - 0.36g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 555.4mg
Potassium - 1025.54mg
Total Carbohydrates - 32.71g
Fiber - 7.6g
Sugar - 2.52g
Protein - 12.87g


Texturally this soup is so close to a cream soup that it is scary. If you like cream soups I hope you try the cooked beans in the blender method.

We enjoy broccoli at our house, so this soup is one that we love. If you want to take the flavor up a notch you can drizzle this soup with a fresh herb infused oil, or unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. A few crispy whole grain croutons would also be good on top of this soup. Tofu sour cream would also make a great garnish for this soup. You can in add raw spinach to this soup (add it to the blender) to increase the nutrition if you choose.

Each serving of this soup has over 4600 IU’s of Vitamin A, 140 mg’s of Vitamin C, 150 mg’s of calcium, 200 mcg’s of folate, and 260 mg’s of phosphorus.

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