Saturday, March 27, 2010

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup
adapted from Mark Bittman via Serious Eats


3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound broccoli, preferably twice as many stems as florets, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/2 to 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Romano and/or Asiago, whatever is on hand
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper


1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, broccoli, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional minute, then add the stock. Simmer until the broccoli is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.

2. Purée the soup using a stick or regular blender, or let it cool somewhat and pass it through a food mill.

3. Stir in the cheese (or you can puree it in the soup in the step above), season to taste, and serve.


The original version was a "creamy" broccoli soup, with sour cream stirred in at the end. However, the first time I made it, I didn't have sour cream in the house. I figured "what the heck" and went for it anyway, thickening it at the end with the tiny remains of three shredded Italian cheeses I had on hand (about half a cup total). It worked beautifully. I ended up with a soup that was earthy yet somehow tangy, and it didn't even need additional salt.  And I was even happier because I made the recipe my own.

I know most people love the heftier versions, but I think this recipe is perfect because when I crave broccoli soup what I am really craving is the broccoli itself. So in the end, I don't need cream, milk, sour cream or handfuls of cheese. I just want to taste the pure vegetable, with supporting flavors, and that's what this gives me.

One note - the white wine really makes a difference here. I made it once without it and it was definitely missing it.


Julia said...

mmm. broccoli cheese soup! That does sound delicious... I agree with you about leaving out the cream -- it seems to take away from the virtue of having the broccoli soup.

katie said...

I love the texture of pureed soups but for some reason they never fill me up the way a chunky soup does-obviously its in my head. I love broccoli soup but it's always such a heavy, cheesy soup, this is so much better!

Jewlie said...

I do believe I might have to make a batch of this soup during the week. :)

Melissa said...

Julie, I know you would love it. But you heard me rave about it after, so... :)

Cali said...

hmm... the kidlets are obsessed with broccoli, so i wonder... i may give this a try this coming weekend with the girl and see how she likes it.

Pam said...

It's cold and rainy today (again), this soup would be perfect for lunch.

LilSis said...

I'm actually about to start chopping my broccoli for dinner and if I had some white wine, I would make this tonight! I LOVE broccoli soup and can't wait to try this recipe without all the cream or sour cream.

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Melissa said...

LS, I think you would especially enjoy it considering you're trying to eat a bit healthier! I love broccoli soup too and this really is right up a broccoli-lover's alley.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I just made a really nice broccoli soup this week too. Spring onions are here so I sauteed them with broccoli in butter and added the broth and pureed away. Then in went some cream. I'm trying to decide if it's worthy of a blog.

Melissa said...

Any good recipe is blogworthy, methinks. Of course, I wasn't always of that thinking... but now I just post what I want to save for my long-term database. :)

Jewlie said...

People of Melissa's blog...You MUST try this soup. Made and tested by both of us (Guy-my husband helped with the cooking). It was PERFECT for me. Guy said it was delicious. :)

Elana said...

I had never made soup until last night. I just bought an immersion blender and I made some french onion soup. This is like a broccoli cheese soup. looks delicious

Spryte said...

My daughter loves broccoli soup... and I love that this is totally lightened up! She had her wisdom teeth pulled yesterday and I think this is the perfect thing to go down easy for her tonight!! It looks awesome!!

Melissa said...

That's wonderful Spryte, I hope it works for her as something painlessly tasty. :) Thanks for coming by, it's been a while!