Cream of Broccoli Soup

cream of broccoli soup

When it comes to the cold, I’m a pansy. Any time it gets below 50°F here in Los Angeles, I grab my heavy throw blanket and a bowl of soup and snuggle up on the couch. (I was born and raised in Southern California, OK? I get cold really easily!)

When I’m not super lazy or time crunched, I love making this cream of broccoli soup. My mom made it for the family all the time when I was growing up (and still does occasionally when all four of us are back under one roof). The original recipe is from the A La Aspen cookbook, which according to eBay, is from 1977. A vintage cookbook–I love it!

And while it does take a bit more time to prepare than pouring a can of soup into a saucepan to heat it, and yes, it’s cream-based and a bit higher in calories, it’s so worth it. Plus, this recipe is fairly large, so you’ll have plenty of yummy leftovers (or enough to have friends over for dinner).

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb butter (or margarine)
  • 6 tbsp. flour
  • 1 qt. vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 lbs. broccoli (chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion (sauteed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion salt
  • Pinch garlic puree
  • Pinch basil, sage, thyme
  • Dash Tabasco
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk (1 cup low-fat milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsp. low-fat sour cream

Equipment

  • Small saucepan
  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Medium saucepan
  • Ladle
  • Bowls and spoons

Time and Servings

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4 to 6 generous-sized bowls

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter or margarine in a small saucepan and add flour to make a thick, but still pourable, roux (the base of the soup).
  2. In a large pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil then add the broccoli and simmer until the broccoli is a little bit tender.
  3. Add the sauteed onion and seasonings and simmer until all the vegetables are tender but not mushy. The onion will be translucent and the broccoli tops may separate.
  4. Thicken the soup by slowly adding the roux you made at the beginning, making sure you stir the entire mixture constantly. The soup should be on the thicker side.
  5. Heat the milk, cream, and buttermilk in a separate saucepan and slowly add it to the soup, stirring constantly. It should be hot but not boiling. Be careful not to scorch the bottom. (You can always turn the heat down a little if it starts to boil or get too hot.)
  6. Turn heat off and stir in the sour cream and butter.
  7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional seasonings, Tabasco, or grated cheddar cheese.
  8. Enjoy!

Hints and Tips

  • I like using low-fat or 2% milk in the soup, which has fewer calories and fat than whole milk but more flavor and substance than non-fat. Non-fat milk will also make the soup more watery.
  • Leftovers? The soup keeps really well for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can make it over the weekend and enjoy a bowl after work.
  • If the recipe is too large (because you’re cooking for one like me), feel free to cut the recipe in half.
  • If you’re not a vegetarian like me, you can substitute the vegetable broth for chicken stock (which is what’s in the original recipe anyway).
  • Pop some biscuits into the oven so you can dip them in the soup. Mmm! Carbs and warm soup. Who needs anything else on a cold LA night?
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