Do you want a delicious, easy-to-make soup that also uses up broccoli stems (I mean, what do you do with those, right?) and is healthy?
Yes. Yes, and Yes!
Here is one of my favorite go-to soup recipes. You can dress it up with some parmesean cheese sprinkled on top and enjoy with a warm, crunchy baguette on the side. Or, pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich for a truly delicious meal. Alone, it is great as an appetizer for a larger meal (and a great way to pack in an extra serving of veggies!). And it is a dish that can meet all sorts of diet requirements (Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Paleo, Whole 30, Kosher) depending on what ingredients you use, so this is also a great dish for hosting dinner parties.
In California, both broccoli and leeks are “in season” year round; however, I have found that they are especially cheap and plentiful in the winter (a.k.a. prime soup eating season). So, if you cannot get yourself to shell out $3 per can of so-so tasting
salt mush soup, double or triple this recipe and freeze it in portion-sized amounts for later. Or just eat the whole thing (No judgement, my friend).
Time to Tastiness: 5 minutes prep; 20-30 minutes total
Special Equipment: Bender or food processor
- 1-1.5 pounds of leeks
- 2-3 pounds of broccoli
- 3-4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- Olive oil (1-2 TBS or enough to coat the bottom of your pot)
- Salt (Optional, to taste. I use 1/8 tsp)
- Pepper (Optional, to taste. I throw in a couple pinches)
Directions to Deliciousness:
- Trim the green part of the leaves off the leeks so that the white and mostly-white part remains. Cut this part in half lengthwise and then slice horizontally into rounds so that you end up with pieces of leek in a “C” shape. Note that you do not need to cut the leeks to scientific precision here – you will end up pureeing the soup so the goal here is to just get them into manageable chunks. Separate the leeks and wash them well (Dirt can sometimes get trapped in leeks. And despite what your 1 your old angel might believe, dirt soup is not-so-tasty.)
- Warm a large soup pot on the stove on medium heat and add the oil to the bottom of the pot to coat it. When the oil has warmed up, add the leeks. Sauté the leaks for several minutes until they begin to soften. In the meantime, you can prep the broccoli (detailed in next step).
- While the leeks are cooking, wash and chop the broccoli. Once again, we will be blending the soup, so the size of the broccoli doesn’t matter but it is a good idea to be consistent so that you don’t have crunchy and overcooked broccoli in the same soup. That would also be not-so-tasty.
Note: If you are using broccoli stems, here is how to prep them: Remove any remaining leaves and use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer skin off of the broccoli stems. Alternatively, you can slice the outer skin off the broccoli with your chef knife, but note that this is the more daring, I-laugh-in-the-face-of-an-ER-visit way to do it.
Remove any especially durable stem on the bottom of the broccoli stalk – I define “durable” here as any part of the stem that can’t be easily cut with your chef knife. If it’s hard to cut with your chef’s knife, it will take a long time to cook. Slice the cleaned up stems width-wise (like you would a carrot).
- Add the broccoli to the leeks and sauté for a couple more minutes.
- Pour enough vegetable or chicken stock into the pot to so that it just barely covers the top of the broccoli in the pot.
- Cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes or until the broccoli can be easily pierced with a fork. Do not overcook the broccoli – there is a reason “mushy broccoli” is almost never the featured “Specialty of the Day” at Michelin rated restaurants.
- When the broccoli has cooked, let the soup cool slightly. Then puree it with a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust with salt and/or pepper as needed.
- Serve with your choice of accouterments and a smile.