Cream of Broccoli Soup, when done just right really does it for me. Anytime I can make something delish that’s super fast, fresh & healthy-ish, I’m all over it. And if it’s a meal that can come in at a budget – well, even better.
This is an old family recipe for sure and one I’ve riffed on a lot. Sometimes I go with a skinny version – I just make the soup with a tablespoon of butter, leave out the flour and cream and add yogurt at the end, off heat. Sometimes I add shredded cheese when the soup’s finished. 8 ounces or so, off heat. Just add a small handful at a time and stir until it’s melted in, then another, and so on.
What I really like to tinker with, though, are the flavors. Both marjoram and tarragon have an affinity for broccoli, and so do lemon, white pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. I mean, don’t use them all at once, but keep it in mind if you’d like to play around with the flavors. A little Sherry is magical in this soup, too.
I’ll also play around sometimes with the texture of the soup. I might just leave it chunky, or I might blend all or part of the soup. Really, play with your food. 🙂 And garnish how you’d like. Go as simple as a few green onions, try some croutons or maybe some cheesy croutons or toast.
Broccoli is one of those veggies that’s almost always available and almost always inexpensive. I’ve noticed it’s packaged up in a pound at Aldi, while at the regular grocery, it seems to vary. This recipe calls for pound and a half, but it’s so forgiving you can use a pound; just reduce the stock to 3 1/4 cups or so – it will just make a little less.
Did you know that frozen broccoli usually isn’t really a substitute for fresh? A pound of frozen (16 ounce) package doesn’t contain 16 ounces of broccoli. You’re looking at about 10 ounces of broccoli and 6 ounces of water. That’s going to affect your recipe. You’ll want two packages (1 1/4 pounds of broccoli) and you’ll want to thaw and drain it. Since it’s already mostly cooked, you’ll need to shorten the cooking time, too.
Interesting, isn’t it, that so many seem to have the idea that frozen veggies always cost less than fresh? While there may be some variances in season or sales (or coupons) it’s always worthwhile to compare. It’s also worthwhile to compare taste and consider “value.”
Cream of Broccoli Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 carrot, sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, florets chopped and set aside, stems sliced thinly and kept separate
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and either white or black pepper to taste, a pinch of cayenne or a pinch of nutmeg, if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/2 to one cup cream
Melt butter in medium pan over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot and broccoli stems and saute, partially covered, stirring now and then until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the flour and cook for two to three minutes, stirring, until the flour is slightly cooked and reaches a light blonde color. Add stock. a bit at a time at first, stirring to dissolve flour. Once the flour is smoothed out, add the rest of the stock and bring to boil. Add broccoli florets, turn down to a simmer. Cook, uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Blend soup, all or partially, working in batches. When blending hot liquids, loosen the pour spout of the blender, place a cloth over the lid and blend as desired.
Add salt and pepper, to taste, herbs and seasoning if using. Add cream. If soup needs to be reheated, do not boil after adding cream.
Note: this soup will be much thicker the next day; thin with additional milk, stock or water.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings!
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Put Your own Spin on It:
- Vary this recipe with different vegetables – it is a good, basic recipe to have on hand.
- Try different combinations of spices & herbs – curried broccoli soup is wonderful.
- Cheese is great in this soup. Add, off heat, after blending, a small handful at a time. Stir until melted after each addition. Do not simmer or boil after adding cheese.
Kitchen & Cooking Hack:
Save any leftover veggies in a Ziploc bag in your freezer until a quantity large enough for this soup is accumulated. Either save like vegetables or combinations that would be great together. Broccoli and Cauliflower for instance. Carrot goes great with almost anything. Asparagus is wonderful on it’s own or in combination with Cauliflower or Carrot.
Save the parings from the carrot, onion and broccoli – the parings and tips of carrots can be saved for stock, and the broccoli and carrot can also go in your morning Green Smoothies. For stock, I save up in a large ziploc bag until I get enough, and if I won’t use it in time, it goes in the freezer.
Without Cream and made with olive oil: calories 132; Total Fat 2 g, 3 %; Saturated Fat 0 g, 1 %; Monounsaturated Fat 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %; Sodium 207 mg 9 %; Potassium 889 mg 25 %; Total Carbohydrate 21 g 7 %; Dietary Fiber 5 g 21 %; Sugars 5 g; Protein 11 g 22 %; Vitamin A 39 %; Vitamin C 260 %; Calcium11 % Iron 9 %