20-Minute Cream of Broccoli Soup

 

Let’s be honest: broccoli is a stinky vegetable. When you cook broccoli the whole house smells. That’s because broccoli releases sulfur as it cooks, a smell that spreads quickly. Still, this veggie is a powerhouse of nutrients and, to reap these benefits, you can put up with the smell for a while.

I make soup with frozen broccoli–small cuts or the chopped variety–to reduce the prep time. Of course, you can use fresh if you have time to cut and chop it. You need a hand-held immersion blender for this recipe. If you don’t have one, use a stand blender. Whir the soup in small batches and make sure the cover is on tight. The last thing you need is a broccoli “decorated” kitchen!

According to the Nutrition and You website, this vegetable from the cruciferous family (cabbage, cauliflower) is low-calorie and has only 34 calories per 100 grams. It is a source of many vitamins and packed with fiber and minerals. The Fit Day website, in an article titled “The Nutritional Food Value of Broccoli,” says the vegetable provides the body with a plethora of vitamins and nutrients. The article goes on to say that broccoli can help fight breast cancer and help the body “battle deadly carcinogens.”

These are just a few reasons for adding more broccoli to your diet. “Don’t be scared off by the sulfur smell that broccoli releases when you cook it,” the Fit Day article advises. Instead, focus on the health benefits of this vegetable. People who don’t like to eat it as a side dish may enjoy it in soup.

Many restaurants serve broccoli-cheese soup that’s so delicious you could swoon. But broccoli-cheese soup is really caloric. My recipe doesn’t contain cheese, which cuts the calories significantly, and I use salt-free chicken broth. However, I add real butter for flavor. Soup cools off quickly in the winter, so I warm the bowls. You may garnish the soup with a tablespoon of Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, or a few tiny pretzels.

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cups salt-free chicken broth

14.4-ounce package frozen broccoli cuts

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Dash freshly ground black pepper

8-ounce carton fat-free sour cream

Garnish: 1 tablespoon Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, or a few tiny pretzels (optional)

METHOD

1. Melt butter in soup pot. Add chopped onion and saute 5 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth, broccoli cuts, celery salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

3. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.

4. Whir soup with the hand blender to remove lumps.

5. Stir sour cream with the spoon to loosen. Whisk sour cream into soup mixture. Cover and heat 5 more minutes.

6. Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired. Makes 6 servings. This recipe freezes well.