It is that time of the year again when soups become essential not only to boost immunity but also to get the comfort that only a bowl of hot soup can offer on a cold, snowy day.
A creamy texture sends the comfort quotient of a soup even higher. This cream of broccoli soup is ultra creamy without adding any dairy or loads of nuts. This soup not only tastes great but also is a health elixir and may help unblock energy due to its high alkalizing factor. I often make it to last for two meals and finish within three days to enjoy its nutritional benefits.
Why green soups are good for your health?
Most green vegetables including celery, broccoli, and green onions produce alkalizing effect (as opposed to acidic) in your body. This in turn reduces a number of inflammatory markers and offers you extra bounty of physical energy. The topic of alkalizing foods will be unraveled on the TLC, but for now its sufficient to know that green soups like this cream of broccoli soup is a great energy-enhancing food. Broccoli is also a great anti-aging food, especially for maintaining healthy skin (ladies please pay attention, especially if you are over 40).
Make cream of broccoli soup–Step-by-Step
Step 1: Wash and finely chop all the vegetables and break or cut broccoli into small florets. It is super important to cut all the vegetables before getting to the step 2. Speaking from my own experience, I have burned onion a number of times because I wanted to cut vegetables (other than onions) in parallel to cooking onions. (Total Time: 10 minutes)
Step 2: Warm oil in a heavy-bottom soup pot (or any other deep and wide-mouth pot) over medium heat. To make it heart healthy and diabetes friendly, replace oil with ditch-the-oil cooking method. Add onions and let them cook till softened. It is good to add salt at this stage as it helps with sweating the onions and other veggies. You may also need to add a teaspoon or two of water should the onions start sticking to the bottom of the pan. (Total Time: 2-3 minutes)
Step 3: Add and sweat the veggies starting with carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, till the veggies become soft (for about 5 minutes). Add the broccoli florets and continue to cook. If the veggies start sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a couple of teaspoons of water. The veggies should be al dente (soft but not completely mushed) at this point. (Total time-6-8 minutes)
Step 4: Add homemade vegetable broth, homemade almond milk (no-waste recipe), shredded coconut (fresh or unsweetened dried), green onions, ground black pepper, and cooked brown rice. The combination of creamy no-waste almond milk and brown rice adds to the rich texture of the soup. If you don’t have homemade almond milk you can replace with two tbsp of blanched, de-skinned almonds and one cup of extra broth or plain, filtered water (See here: How to blanch and de-skin almonds). You can also use 2 tbsp pre-soaked cashews or pumpkins seeds in place of almonds or 2 tbsp of brown rice with 1 cup of filtered water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. (Total time: 22 minutes)
Step 5: Cool the cooked veggie mixture for at least 20 minutes and blend till well-mixed. (Total inactive time: 20 minutes; Total active time: 5 minutes)
Step 6: Make broccoli croutons by adding garlic and small broccoli florets to pre-heated oil over medium heat. Add a couple of teaspoons of water and cover till broccoli becomes soft. Alternatively, you can use toasted pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds or toasted sunflower seeds as the soup garnish. (Total time: 3-5 minutes to make broccoli croutons, less around 2 minutes to toast sunflower seeds).
Meal plan cream of broccoli soup for lunch/dinner
The total time outlay for making this cream of broccoli soup is less than an hour. You can store this soup in an airtight container for about three days to enjoy the nutritional benefits of all the veggies in the soup. Although the soup would last in refrigerator for about five days and in the freezer for about four weeks. I rarely freeze vegetable-only soups as the nutrition quotient declines. To incorporate this recipe into your meal plan, the following tips and tricks would be helpful.
- Make a thorough grocery list for your weekly meals and include the ingredients for this cream of broccoli soup. The biggest time and energy waster in planning meals is not having an ingredient at hand and making a last-minute trip to the store.
- Make this soup on a weekend and make enough for at least two meals.
- If planning to make this soup later in the week, decrease the prep time by chopping vegetables on the weekend before. It should be noted that the nutritional value of chopped vegetables declines slightly compared to the whole. I usually put all the veggies (whole) needed for this soup recipe in a bag and do the chopping right before making the soup. This saves time on fishing the vegetables out of different boxes in the refrigerator.
I often serve this soup with beans and rice combo or pasta with no-meat balls. If you make this soup, please let me know how you served it.
You may also like other winter soup that taste great and help boost immunity:
This vegan, gluten-free cream of broccoli soup has a very creamy and velvety texture with faint notes of broccoli, green onion, and coconut--an immunity-boosting treat with any meal, especially on a cold winter night.
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 1 onion (white, big, ~1-1/4 cups finely chopped)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 stalks celery (~1 cup finely chopped)
- 1 big carrot (~1 cup finely chopped)
- 1 lb broccoli (including stems, broken into florets, ~4 cups)
- 3 cups Homemade Vegetable Broth (or sub with store-bought low-sodium broth)
- 2 tbsp brown rice* (cooked, can sub with white rice)
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut (dried unsweetened or fresh)
- 2 stems green onions
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 cup Homemade almond milk** (no-waste recipe)
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds (toasted or raw)
- 1 cup broccoli (broken or cut into small florets)
- 1/2 tsp avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tsp water
Finely chop onions, celery, carrot, broccoli stems, and green onions; cut or break broccoli into smaller chunks.
Warm the oil in a heavy-bottom soup pot. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes till the onions become soft. Add carrots, celery, and broccoli stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli florets and cook for about another 3 minutes. At this point the veggies should be soft. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of water if the veggies start sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add brown rice, homemade almond milk (no-waste recipe), vegetable broth, chopped green onions, and shredded coconut. Bring it to a boil and simmer to medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Cool the soup and add blend till well mixed.
You can top the soup with toasted pumpkins soup or garlicky broccoli croutons.
Warm oil in a skillet and add minced garlic and broccoli florets with a pinch of salt. Add water and cook covered for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli becomes soft. Use as a soup topper.
*if the cooked rice is not handy, add 2 tbsp of cashews, or sunflower seeds, or cooked white beans, or almonds (blanched and de-skinned). For best results, soak these substitutes at least for 2 hours in warm water.
**If Homemade almond milk (no-waste recipe) is not available, add two tbsp of blanched, de-skinned almonds with one cup of extra broth or plain, filtered water (See here: How to blanch and de-skin almonds). You can also use 2 tbsp pre-soaked cashews in place of almonds with 1 cup of water.
Make it heart-healthy and diabetes friendly