Creamy Broccoli Soup
One of the weird packaged foods like I absolutely loved as a kid was Lipton Cup-a-Soup in the Broccoli Cheddar flavor. Basically it’s a “food” powder that you rehydrate in hot water and that should only be served to monkeys in space. Somehow we thought that feeding this to a sick person would make them healthy again. So I decided to create a healthy, vegan version of broccoli cheddar soup with–gasp!–real food. Onions and garlic give a solid flavor base, and cannellini beans create that creamy texture and pack the protein, while lightly cooked broccoli adds vitamins C, K, and A, folate, and a brilliant green color. The nutritional yeast adds an optional "cheesy" flavor and Vitamin B12.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups of water
2 heads of broccoli, broken into small florets (about 1 lb)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
juice of half lemon
salt, pepper, and chili flake to taste
1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot and add onions. Saute until they soften but don’t brown, about 5 – 7 minutes.
2. Add garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and add salt and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets and let sit until they turn bright green, about 30 – 60 seconds. Remove a few florets and set aside for garnish. Blend the soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, adding lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili flake to taste.
3. Serve immediately, garnished with broccoli florets and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Note: The lemon juice will turn the broccoli an olive green as it sits. If you aren’t serving the soup until later, add the lemon juice and re-season right before serving if you want to keep it bright green.