Every winter I find myself returning to some version of a creamy puréed broccoli soup. This time around I’ve gotten the making of it down to a very simple formula. In fact it’s a formula that I’ve used successfully for making a roasted butternut squash soup and a roasted cauliflower soup. I think it’s a formula you can use to make other roasted vegetables into soups as well, without overthinking it, adding different spices or herbs to bring an individual flavor to each soup.
The formula is this: Prep two pounds of vegetables by cutting them into equal size pieces, add one whole onion, sliced into large sections, and toss in two to four cloves of garlic. Then it’s pretty much as simple as tossing the vegetables with oil and seasonings, roasting them, pureeing them with stock, adding a little coconut milk and a splash of lemon juice. Add the spice or herb you like, adjust the amount of salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go.
Depending on the vegetable, you might use more or less stock to get the desired consistency you like. It’s about as straight-forward as you can get, and you end up with lots of soup that you can store as individual portions in pint-size mason jars, ready to be used for a warm lunch.
Other suggestions for vegetables would be carrots or parsnips, squash such as pumpkin or kabocha, and root vegetables such as sweet potato or yam. If you like greens such as kale or spinach or chard in your soup, I’d try spreading a cup or two over the roasted vegetables during the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting.
The more I cook, the more I efficient I try to be in the kitchen. I really don’t want to work harder than I have to for a healthy homemade lunch everyday. This soup formula is my ticket to a simple, tasty, nutrient-dense soup.
- 2 lbs. broccoli florets
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thickly and broken up
- 4 cloves garlic, cut in half
- 2-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon real salt or sea salt
- 6 cups chicken stock or bone broth
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (optional, but a really nice accent)
- More salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 half-size sheet pans
- parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC)
- Put broccoli, onion and garlic in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt to coat vegetables evenly.
- Spread evenly over both parchment-lined sheet pans.
- Put pan on racks in upper ⅓ and lower ⅓ of oven and roast for 40 minutes, rotating 180 degrees and switching positions halfway through cooking time.
- Remove and let cool slightly.
- Place in high-powered blender with 4 cups of the chicken stock and blend at least 30 seconds or until desired smoothness is reached.
- Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add remaining chicken stock.
- Stir in coconut milk and lemon juice.
- Add smoked paprika if desired.
- Adjust salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Re-heat and serve, or package as desired and store in refrigerator for up to three days or in freezer for up to one month.
•If you're needing some suggestions for spices or herbs to add, check out "The Flavor Bible" by Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page. It's an encyclopedic list of foods and their ideal flavor combinations. Simply look up the main vegetable you're using for suggestions. It's a great resource and I love to use it when I get stuck for ideas. The other thing I do is to go through the spices and herbs I already have on hand, open them up and smell them, and see what appeals to me as a flavor complement to the vegetable I'm using.
•Some other vegetable/spice combinations I like:
butternut squash & fresh ginger (for simplicity I like to use my homemade ginger juice; see recipe on my blog)
cauliflower & ground turmeric powder