Served with a sandwich or salad as a casual supper or as a starter to a more elegant meal, homemade soup is a satisfying dish that can be prepared easily with ingredients you may already have on hand.
Makes 4 large or 6-8 small servings
1 large, sweet onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
Approximately ¼ Cup Olive oil
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped. Set aside about 2 cups of florets cut small enough to fit on a spoon.
1 medium Russet potato, peeled and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 32 ounce carton of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
¼ - ½ cup of heavy cream (optional)
Method: In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, sauté onion in olive oil. Slowly cooking the onion provides important depth of flavor to this dish; let the onion sauté for at least 5 minutes. Add lemon zest, and chopped broccoli (reserving about 2 cups of florets to add later) and potato. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken or vegetable stock and cook until broccoli and potato have softened (15 – 20 minutes.) Puree with a hand blender (for an easy clean up, one pot dish) or very carefully (take note of the ‘max fill’ line) by small batches in food processor or blender. Add in reserved florets and cook an additional 10 or so minutes until tender. If using, add heavy cream to taste. Add lemon juice just before serving.
Note: Because the soup is pureed, the broccoli and potato need not be carefully chopped; but keeping them the same size will mean they cook at the same pace, and smaller pieces will cook faster. Using low-sodium stock allows the cook to better control the amount of salt in the dish. Heavy cream will not curdle when boiled or when lemon juice is added; but if substituting milk, light cream or half & half avoid rapid boiling of the soup and omit lemon juice. Made with vegetable stock, this soup is vegan.
When asparagus is in season, it can be used in a similar way. Following the method for broccoli soup, substitute a bunch of asparagus for the broccoli. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus, and then chop, reserving the tips to add at the end. Cauliflower also works well in this soup.