I have definitely been under the weather these last couple of days, but I managed to drag myself out of bed long enough to make a lovely belly-warming soup for myself to get me through the day. I never used to make my own soups at all but I’ve really gotten into it this last year with soups like butternut squash & carrot, spicy tomato soup, cauliflower soup and before that with my beetroot soup, white asparagus soup and parsnip soup.
But this week I wanted to go for another great Autumn and Winter veg: Broccoli! For a while I was torn between adding celery or leek to it, to give it more depth but I ended up going for leek cause it gives off that lovely onion-like flavour rather than celery.
Another reason I went for broccoli, is that it comes with quite a lot of health benefits, as it’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family (same as cauliflower Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, ..) and this family of vegetables is known to be good for fighting cancer, decreasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and they increase your energy and improve your bone health. It contains vitamin C, which is great for your skin but also vitamin K & A as well as folate and potassium.
Last but not least, as a finishing touch for this recipe I’ve gone for something a bit more unusual: goat cheese. I got a few raised eyebrows when I first mentioned it, but after they tried it they absolutely loved it. The soup itself is completely dairy-free and vegan, but keep in mind of course that adding the goat cheese will not make it suitable for vegans or people with an allergy/intolerance to goat milk. Same goes for the croutons, unless you make them from spelt/gluten-free bread they will not be suitable for people with wheat or gluten allergy/intolerance.
Makes: about 2l of soup
- 1kg broccoli (+- 2 heads)
- 1 leek
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1,25l – 1,5l of water
- 2 cubes of vegetable stock
- 125ml cream or soy cream
- pepper & Irish sea salt
- Optional: 150g goat cheese (not a log, but rather a tub of spreadable cheese)
- Optional: parsley and red onion
- Optional: handful of croutons (can be made from spelt/gluten-free bread
Cut the broccoli florets and part of the stem. Wash thoroughly and set aside.
Remove the bottom and darker leaves of the leek and chop up everything else in rings. There is no need to make this very thin as we’ll be mixing it later, but try to go for rings of about 0,5-1cm wide. Now leeks tend to have quite a lot of sand stuck between them so make sure to wash this very thoroughly by using your hands to wash out as much of the sand stuck in between those rings and leaves.
Now heat up some olive oil in a deep pot. Slice up garlic and add it to the pot. Cook for about a minute, then add leek and stir well. Let the leek soften for 3-4 minutes before adding the broccoli.
Add the 1l of water on top of the broccoli along with the stock cubes. Bring to a boil and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Pour the cream in and add a generous amount of pepper and sea salt and blend the soup until there are not bits or chunks left. Add more water if you want the soup to be a bit thinner. In my case I added about 200ml extra as I don’t like my soups to be too thick.
Serve with some freshly baked croutons (or from the store but avoid getting ones with more garlic) and a dollop of goat cheese if you’re not vegan or allergic/intolerant to goat milk. You can also add just a tiny bit of parsley and red onion, but don’t go overboard with the onion.