I was asked by my good friend Sandra if I had a healthy version of a cream of broccoli soup. It took me a while to respond to her because I had to make one at home to be sure I was giving the proper ingredients and direction. I am an ingredient “tosser” and seldom follow recipes for soups… A traditional cream of broccoli soup would require butter, cream and potatoes. I swapped with avocado oil, organic sour cream and 1% milk. Eliminating the starchy vegetable provides a bit of wiggle room for those who count points and calories. I like the use of good oil and organic dairy as they each add a bit more nutrition to this soup. It is a complete meal in one bowl. If you prefer not to add dairy, you may consider adding a creamy substitute of your own such as silken tofu but it does change the flavour profile and I would recommend using a non GMO tofu. But that is my opinion and not meant to dictate what foods you like to include in your personal diet.
So while I was waiting for my squash to roast yesterday, I made this soup using the «romanesco» thingy I got in my farmer’s basket. I hear it is a cross between a cauliflower and a broccoli but my twisted mind gave me a visual of one of those pointy, bad ass bras Madonna used to wear on stage way back in the 80’s! Ok, weirdness aside, the romanesco is actually a very pretty vegetable: it is a beautiful shade of lime green with very intricate pattern of 3D triangular shaped florets. I munched on a few raw pieces and I thought it was even better than cauliflower. I should have taken a picture but I was too busy singing «Like a Virgin» at the top of my lungs! Well anyhow, since I already mentioned in my previous post that I was making this soup while my squash was roasting, I thought it would be no more than fair to throw in the recipe. Maybe the romanesco version should be renaimed La Isla Bonita Soup hahaha…
Cream of Broccoli (or cauliflower or romanesco)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 leeks, white and light green parts only. (Leeks can be gigantic so this is roughly 2 cups of chopped leeks)
2 large garlic cloves
Avocado oil, about 2 tbsp
2 heads of broccoli, stems included but peel them first, coarsly chopped
2 regular size zucchinis, coarsly chopped
8 cups of vegetable broth: the trick is to use a very flavourful broth. Avoid low sodium commercial broths (if you can)
2 tbsp tarragon (if you like it)
2/3 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
- In large pot, heat oil and sauté onions then add leeks and garlic.
- When the onions and garlic have softened, add the broccoli and zucchinis. Stir for several minutes until the vegetables start to soften
- Add broth: just enough to cover the vegetables. Broccolis also come in different sizes so you may need to adjust the liquid content
- Bring to a rolling boil then turn down heat and leave at a soft boil with a lid until the vegetables are all extremely tender.
- Turn heat off
- Using an immersion blender (or a counter top blender), whiz until the soup is silky smooth. Add sour cream and tarragon and blend again. Add enough milk to make it the consistency you like. Some like thicker soups and others like them thinner. Adjust your seasoning with salt and pepper.
This soup freezes well. If you keep it fairly thick, you can also toss it with pasta, vegetables, fresh tarragon, even cooked chicken for a healthier mock «alfredo» sauce