Sunday, November 15, 2009
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetables. I buy it almost every time I got to the farmers market or the grocery store. We like broccoli both raw and cooked. Before I found out that it is healthier the less it is cooked we also loved it roasted. Now that I know that sulphorane and indole 3 found in broccoli isn’t heat stable I try to find ways to enjoy broccoli without cooking the nutrition out of it.
I like to make soup in my Vitamix for a number of reasons. The Vitamix makes quick work of soup. If you like creamy soups, like I do, the texture of soup that comes out the Vitamix is like velvet. Using the Vitamix you can stop processing before the soup is blazing hot and retain more nutrition, if you like.
Raw cashews make a fabulous cream substitute. I have been using a lot of raw cashews lately as a cream, mayo and sour cream substitute. They work well to make non-dairy cream soup.
Tonight’s soup was ready in less than 20 minutes and I was taking my time prepping the ingredients. This would make a great weeknight meal on those nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Here is what I did.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
5 cups of broccoli, chopped
2 cups of broccoli florets, chopped into pieces no larger than will fit in a soup spoon
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ cup water to sauté vegetables
2 cups of water to puree soup (or substitute non-dairy milk for a richer soup)
½ cup raw cashews
1 pinch salt, or to taste
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
flaked sea salt to garnish - optional
Place the 5 cups of chopped broccoli in the blender.
Toss the finely cut 2 cups of broccoli florets with the olive oil and broil until lightly brown. I used my broiler on high and the florets were lightly browned in about 3 minutes. Remove the florets from the oven and save to garnish the soup.
Water sauté the onions, celery and garlic until soft. Add the softened vegetables and raw cashews to the blender with the raw broccoli. You will need to add water or non-dairy milk to come half way up the vegetables in the blender. This amount of liquid is necessary to get a nice smooth puree. Puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If you aren’t using a Vitamix you will need to heat the soup to serve.
Taste for salt and pepper and adjust before serving. Top the soup with the broccoli florets. I topped the soup with a pinch of flaked sea salt.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 126.22
Calories From Fat (46%) - 57.73
Total Fat - 6.85g
Saturated Fat - 1.17g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 130.56mg
Potassium - 581.77mg
Total Carbohydrates - 13.56g
Fiber - 1.14g
Sugar - 1.8g
Protein - 6.45g
This soup tastes much richer than the calorie count would lead you to imagine. When I asked my husband what he thought of the soup tonight he said he liked the contrast of the creamy soup with the roasted broccoli. He also thought the flaked sea salt was a nice textural contrast. Additionally he liked the strength of the broccoli flavor that came through in the soup. I think this was because the creamy portion of the soup was raw. Overall we both liked it, and my parents also finished their respective bowls of soup so I think we can say this was enjoyed by the vegans and omnivores a like.
Nutritionally each serving of this soup contained more than 3,800IU of vitamin A, 110mg of vitamin C, 80mg of calcium, 100mcg of folate, and 160mg of phosphorus. That is quite a lot of nutrition for so few calories.
If you wanted to make this soup more decadent you could stir the roasted broccoli into the creamy mixture and then top the soup with tofu sour cream. Dill is a nice flavor with broccoli so that would work well in the soup, or the sour cream if you like.