Cream of Broccoli Soup
Cream of Broccoli Soup is winter comfort food. It’s creamy, savory, and oh so delicious. This variation is packed with wholesome plant-based ingredients: cashews, sweet potatoes, onions, celery, broccoli, garlic, parsley, and pepper. Top the soup with roasted chickpeas for a crunchy, protein-packed addition.
Broccoli is one of those veggies I would consider a “superfood.” Though it’s nothing exotic or out of the ordinary, I think it would be safe to say broccoli is a pretty well-known veggie in most US households. What makes it so super? Well, let’s start with calcium. One cup of raw chopped broccoli has about 4% of the RDA for calcium. The calcium in broccoli (and a few other nutrition powerhouses like kale and collards) is more bioavailable than the calcium in a glass of milk! The bioavailability (meaning how much is absorbed in the body) of calcium in 1 cup of milk is only 32.1%, whereas the calcium in 1 cup of broccoli is 61.3%. So broccoli is a great choice for boosting calcium intake. There are other excellent nutrients you can get from broccoli, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber. You can even get some protein from broccoli (1 cup has about 2.6 g of protein).
Beyond just the nutrients of broccoli, it’s a superfood because it’s part of the cruciferous vegetables family (other veggies in this family include cabbage, collards, and kale). Cruciferous veggies contain sulforaphane, a phytonutrient that may have a number of health benefits.
- 3 cups diced Japanese sweet potatoes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 6 cups chopped broccoli
- ½ -1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 cup raw cashews*
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- Black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast, optional
- Roasted chickpeas, optional
- Wash and chop all the veggies.
- Options for the sweet potatoes: 1. Preheat the oven to 425F and roast the cubed sweet potatoes until soft. Or 2. Dice the sweet potatoes small and sauté until soft.
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and celery with a few tablespoons of water (add more as needed). Once the onions are translucent, add the broccoli, garlic powder, and parsley. Sauté until the broccoli is tender.
- In a high speed blender, combine the cashews with 4 cups of water. Blend until smooth and then add 4 cups of the cooked veggies to the blender. Blend again until smooth.
- Pour the cashew mixture over the veggies and add the remaining 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring often to prevent burning. Once boiling, reduce to a medium-high heat and cook for several minutes, stirring often. After about 5-8 minutes, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Place a lid on the pot, and allow the soup to simmer for about 15-20 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, combine the miso paste with ¼ cup of the soup broth. Mix well and then stir into the soup.
- Once the soup is ready, allow it to cool to desired temperature. Add black pepper to taste. Optional to add in nutritional yeast. Serve with roasted chickpeas for extra crunch.
- Serves 4-6
- *To make roasted chickpeas at home, preheat the oven to 350F. Take 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse off the liquid) and place them on a pan. Place the chickpeas in the oven for about 30 minutes, stir the chickpeas at about 10-15 minutes to keep from burning. Cook until chickpeas reach desired texture.
- *For a nut-free option, omit the cashews. In a high speed blender, combine 1 cup of great northern beans (or other white beans) with 1-2 cups unsweetened plain soy milk (optional for extra creamy soup or just use water) and 1-2 cups of water. Blend until smooth and then add 4 cups of the cooked veggies to the blender. Blend again until smooth. Add additional water to the soup to bring it to desired texture and consistency. I’d recommend using the nutritional yeast in this version, but feel free to adjust flavors to your liking.
- Updated February 1, 2020