I really want to share this recipe because it’s become a staple in my house. It’s great on so many levels: it’s quick and simple to make, super healthy because of all the green veg, the kids love it, and it’s a great way of using up broccoli stalks which would otherwise go in the bin.
I tend to use what’s in the fridge so I can’t be too specific with the measurements, but here are the basics:
About a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil
1 large onion
1 leftover broccoli stalk (florets used in something else) and one full head of broccoli
vegetable stock (gluten free, of course)
optional extras: spinach, frozen peas, cream, loads of black pepper, parmesan, ham, prawns…
Roughly chop the onion and soften in the oil and butter in a large pan.
Remove and chop the florets from the full head of broccoli. Chop the dry bit off the bottom of the broccoli stalks then slice them into quarters, lengthways and chop into approximately 2cm pieces. Add these to the pan and fry for a few minutes.
Add hot vegetable stock to just under the top of the broccoli, and simmer with a lid on until the broccoli is cooked. This is about 7-10 mins depending on the size of the broccoli. Don’t overcook it as the broccoli will lose its vibrant colour.
When the broccoli is cooked through, blitz into smooth soup with a hand blender in the pan. That’s it! I don’t usually add salt as there’s generally enough in the stock.
There are some variations you can do. If I have any in the fridge, I add a generous splash of cream to make it a bit more indulgent.
Spinach can be added immediately before blending, and will give the soup a silky texture. It’s good to add spinach if you only have broccoli stalks and no florets, because it adds some more colour.
You can add frozen peas a few minutes before the broccoli is cooked, then whizz them into the soup. Or for the kids, I sometimes add them frozen to the finished soup, to cool it down.
Their favourite is when I put in peas and prawns and we call it Octonauts’ soup – they’re easily pleased!
Tonight we had it with peas and spinach, and lots of parmesan and black pepper, with a gluten free bagel from Udis. And I’ll be taking the leftovers to work tomorrow.