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 Japanese sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 6 cups broccoli, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 cup cashews
- 6 cups water
- Black pepper, to taste
- 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 (about 30 minutes). 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, and parsley. Sauté until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the cooked sweet potatoes.
- 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.
- Once the soup is ready, allow it to cool to desired temperature. Add black pepper to taste. Serve with roasted chickpeas for extra crunch and a protein-punch.
- Serves 4-6 people.
- *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.