I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, she hasn't posted a single recipe in two months, and the first one she gives us is a bowl of green? Where's the pasta? Where's the butter? Seriously, where?
You see, I'm bringing you this bowl of green because it's miraculous. Because this is one of those recipes that I made once, and have been trying to find reasons to make it again and again ever since. It's a recipe that stays with you.
Adding to its allure, this soup is really good, and really good for you. I care about you, and while I believe that everyone should indulge in a giant bowl of pumpkin mac and cheese whenever you please, and should do so with a smile on your face, the name of the game is balance. After your cheesy bowl of delicious carbs, choose this.
It all starts with broccoli, and lots of it.
In a large pot of boiling water, add the broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes until it becomes nice and golden.
Perfect. This, by the way, is the best way to cook broccoli ever. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top and grate some Parmesan and you've got yourself a top notch side dish.
But we're here for soup.
Drizzle some olive oil to that same large pot in which you boiled your broccoli. Add minced garlic and saute for about a minute.
Throw your roasted broccoli in with the garlic and toss to combine.
Add four cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Season with salt and pepper, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The deep flavor really comes from the roasted broccoli, so the liquid doesn't need to reduce much.
Remove from heat and blend soup using either an immersion blender, which I truly believe is the best kitchen appliance there is, and that you should all be asking for one for the upcoming Holidays, or use a conventional blender, blending the soup in batches. I didn't blend it until completely smooth because I wanted some larger pieces of broccoli, but you can do what your heart tells you to do.
Meanwhile, grate some Parmesan and zest a lemon.
Throw that into the soup and stir. Squeeze the juice from that now bald lemon and stir again. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary, keeping in mind that Parmesan is a pretty salty cheese.
Serve with some toasted cheesy garlic bread for dunking. It is my lot in life to forget about bread toasting in the oven, so mine was a little dark. You wouldn't do that, though, unless your last name is the same as mine, in which case you definitely will. Burnt bread runs in the family.
This soup is everything. The flavor is incredible, it's hearty and soothing as a good winter soup should be, but the bright lemon and deep, roasted flavor are absolutely reminiscent of warmer seasons. It's complex and savory and you'll finish a whole bowl just trying to wrap your brain around why something so simple can taste so good.
Like most soups, this gets better with age, and holy leftovers did I have an amazing week of lunches. If you wanted to dunk some cheez-its into it, you would be in good company. Add a dollop of sour cream! Why the heck not? With an entire bowl clocking in at under 200 calories (I think!), you can do whatever you want.
And I happen to like the color. I'd like to wear it to a Holiday party. Speaking of the holidays. This soup will help you fit into that adorable bridesmaid dress that you can't wait to wear to your brother's New Year's Eve wedding, even though you have to get through 10 days of all-you-can-eat-and-drink-because-it's-Christmas-and-INDULGE-already! that are leading up to said day. This soup is the answer to adorable dresses on New Year's Eve.
Here's the recipe!
Roasted Broccoli Soup with Lemon and Parmesan (Adapted from Food 52)
- 2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- Crusty bread for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for 3 minutes, until broccoli is bright green. Drain well and add to a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until broccoli is nice and golden brown.
- When broccoli is nice and golden, add remaining olive oil to the large pot and heat over medium. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add roasted broccoli and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, then add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend, either using an immersion blender or a conventional blender, working in batches. Blend to desired consistency--I left some chunks for texture. Once blended, add grated Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir to combine, then taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- Serve with some nice crusty bread or garlic toast.