I am sitting here watching it snow again (yes it is April, yes we should be enjoying some warm spring days and yes abnormal weather is the norm in Colorado). Someday here we will warm up and I will get to wear shorts (or at least short sleeves) as well as I will get to start using the bbq again. For now, I am spending another cold and snowy day inside making yummy soup for dinner. I have been on a veggie soup kick for quite some time now. Veggie soups make vegetable nutrition super easy for me, so today I decided to visit another one of my veggie soup staples: broccoli soup. This was a recipe we found in the newspaper when I was in elementary school (yes, the newspaper was that paper thing that showed up on your driveway every morning and it used to be the only way to see the daily comics☺). We found this recipe to be super yummy, and it was easy to make dairy free.
2 tbsp butter or margarine or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp basil
2 tsp thyme
6 cups chopped broccoli
4 cups vegetable stock or water (or you could probably use chicken stock)
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
In a 4-qt dutch oven add the butter or margarine and heat on medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions and cook a few minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic, basil and thyme. Allow to cook for a few minutes, then add the broccoli. Saute until the broccoli is tender. Mix in the vegetable stock or water and allow to heat. Using an immersion blender, mix the soup until smooth right in the pot. (The mixture can also be blended in a couple batches using a blender, then returned to the pot). Adjust the heat to low and add the salt and pepper. Allow the soup to heat again for several minutes before serving.
This soup is great because it is an easy do-ahead for dinner. The soup can remain on the stove over low heat while you finish the rest of dinner and it is not time sensitive. FYI, when I make this soup, I usually take out a few of the cooked broccoli florets and save them to garnish the soup bowls. A nice tip for this soup: it is wonderful with fresh broccoli when it is in season, or inexpensive. However, it is just as good with frozen broccoli in winter months. You can also use frozen chopped onions if you have those in your freezer. I kind of enjoy making this soup with sweet onions when I can find them. Of course, if you use olive oil and vegetable stock or water, this soup is an easy vegan recipe. My husband loves black pepper, so he always adds more to his soup, or sometimes he adds a little cayenne pepper to add some kick. I am sure there are several other spices that could be added to vary this soup, but I love the original recipe and rarely end up varying this soup!