The temperature has really dropped and so I felt like a nice, comforting soup was in order for lunch. I wanted to keep it fresh and healthy so I used broccoli but I really wanted to make this a cream-free soup and I think it worked out really well.
The main base of the soup is basically just broccoli, and when seasoned properly and blended nicely you can get a creamy texture without adding the cream.
To make this is look a little bit special, for example if you wanted to serve it at a dinner party, I’ve added some croutons and some Parmesan shavings. I am trying to eat more healthy food but one thing I could never give up is cheese. When I’m looking for a cheese fix I stick to really strong, flavourful cheeses (such as Parmesan, goats cheese, extra strong cheddar etc.) so that I only need to use a little but I still get the cheese fix.
This one is so easy to make, so healthy and yet it can really wow!
- 500 grams broccoli florets
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 spring onions, chopped into large pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Vegetable or chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Stale bread
- Chop the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces - they will be blended later but this helps them cook quicker and helps the blender out a little! Add to a pot with the chopped spring onions, minced garlic and fennel seeds.
- Pour in enough stock to cover the broccoli (we will adjust the amount of liquid later) and add some salt. Bring to a boil and leave for about 4-5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- Turn off the heat and add the broccoli and spring onions with about a cup full of the liquid to a blender. Blend until smooth, adding more of the stock if you prefer a thinner soup. Season to taste before serving.
- The soup looks great dressed with some croutons and Parmesan shavings.
- Chop some stale bread into cubes. Fresh bread will work too you may just need to bake it at a lower temperate for longer to dry it out. Any type of bread will work, I love to use granary bread or here I have used soya and linseed bread by Burgen - it just adds a little extra flavour. Toss the bread in some oil, I like using the spray kind so I can limit the amount that is used, and add to an oven heated to 160 degrees Celsius. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, checking and turning every couple of minutes. The croutons should have a nice couple and be very dry and hard.
- Using a vegetable peeler, careful peel strips down the side of a block of Parmesan.
- To serve the soup, pile on some croutons in the middle then top with the Parmesan shavings. For an extra special touch add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.