I wasn’t really planning on posting this soup recipe. I’d found some amazingly fresh and bright broccoli at the farmer’s market, gotten a little carried away, and come home with three pounds, which was a whole lot more than I needed for steaming and for salads and sides.
So, soup it was, and since I love to add whole grains to my soups for satiety and texture, I decided to throw some quinoa into the mix. After all, quinoa and broccoli is a favorite combination of mine (see: cheesy quinoa and broccoli bake).
What a difference that addition made! It immediately transformed a humble bowl of broccoli soup into something a lot more memorable and hearty. This soup is delightfully creamy, in spite of the fact that there’s no dairy and no non-dairy milk, either (cashew cream is a wonderful, yet optional addition). This is all thanks to the addition of russet potatoes and the quinoa itself, which adds texture as well as creaminess. I added the cooked grain to the soup, and I also topped all of my bowls with a heaping spoonful.
In addition to the quinoa and broccoli combo, this soup has it all: some cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast, tons of nutrition, plant protein, staying power. It’s also really easy to make, especially if you prepare the quinoa in advance. You can use frozen or fresh broccoli, and you can stir in some kale or spinach before blending if you want to add an extra boost of leafy greens. If you prefer, try it with cauliflower instead of broccoli. The possibilities abound. And that’s before we even get to the toppings.
- 2 teaspoons olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound roughly chopped broccoli (florets and stems are fine)
- 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (about ¾ pound)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf, fresh or dry (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½-2 cups cooked quinoa (or another whole grain of choice)
- Optional toppings: coconut bacon, cashew cream, extra nutritional yeast, tempeh bacon, toasted pumpkin seeds, extra broccoli florets, hot sauce, etc.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot or a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions. Saut for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Add the garlic. Saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, potatoes, broth, salt, black pepper, the bay leaf, paprika, and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the bay leaf, if using. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and quinoa. If you like, stir in a few tablespoons cashew cream.
- Divide the soup into bowls. Add any toppings you like. Serve. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to four days, and can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Yeah, I thought this soup was sort of perfect until I added the coconut bacon — which I had at home because I’d demo’ed it for a nutrition client as part of a home cooking lesson on Friday night.
I had been wrong. It took things to a new level.
Whether you make a fully loaded version of this soup with all the fixings, or you simply stick to a bare bones version, you’ll love the simple-yet-satisfying flavors. It’s really great comfort food, especially as we move into the colder months. Hope you enjoy it.
Before I go today, a big announcement. Starting on November 1, I’ll be joining the Spright team as a coach for their November vegan challenge! If you don’t know Spright, it’s an awesome, San Fran-based company that serves as a friendly, accessible resource for all things healthy living. The site offers online, interactive courses, product guides, recipes, and more, and all of the courses are led by awesome health professionals (including my friend Heather)!
The November vegan challenge is a fun, low-stress, and supportive way to explore veganism for 30 days. Whether you’re eager to dive into veganism full-time or just dipping your toes into the meatless world, this is a cool opportunity to challenge yourself, explore new recipes, give the lifestyle a chance, and get the support of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic coach–me! Signing up will give you a chance to ask questions, set goals each week, connect with other awesome folks around the country, post and share the recipes you make at home, and get some guidance and pointers. The curriculum will include:
•Overview of vegan diet and nutrition
•Sourcing protein in a vegan diet
•Planning ahead for meals/snacks
•Cookbook & website resources
•Eating in restaurants and eating socially
Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be daunting, and this challenge will make it easy. Plus, if you’ve been curious about my nutrition counseling (especially with the goal of transitioning to more plant-based foods) but aren’t ready to make the commitment, this is an easy way to test the waters. You can read more here, and you can also email me with questions ([email protected]).
OK folks! That’s it for today. Have a fabulous Tuesday.