This soup was incredible! So much flavor and so very simple. It was a very quick throw-it together meal after we got home from the studio. I came across a recipe in Whole Living Magazine’s January/February issue where they featured their “28-day Action Plan”, a sort of cleanse / detox and fitness plan for the New Year. Their plan isn’t as limiting as the cleanse I am on, so I took this recipe and altered it slightly to make it vegan/cleanse friendly. The original recipe calls for chicken stock and shavings of fresh parmesan cheese, both of which I am sure would be delicious. I substituted vegetable broth for the chicken stock and left off the cheese. I also had Great Northern beans on hand and the recipe called for Cannellini beans, these worked just as well. Since the recipe called for salt and pepper to taste on each serving it was nice as I could easily leave out the salt for mine and Mark could add a sprinkle to his, as he wanted.
The soup was so thick and hearty, the creaminess achieved from the beans made it impossible to believe there wasn’t a bit of dairy in there. The toasted pine nuts were the perfect addition to complete this soup, those little guys have so much flavor and when toasted they just explode with taste. To top it all off, this dish is loaded with fiber and is very low in fat and calories. It took about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. This soup is very thick, which I loved, I actually ended up adding in a bit more vegetable broth than the recipe called for, if you like a thinner soup you could certainly add more stock to get the consistency to your liking. This really was a complete meal in a bowl and not only cleanse friendly, but hubby approved, too. (Though he couldn’t resist putting a light sprinkle of shredded extra sharp cheddar on top) I am telling you, if you love broccoli, you absolutely need to make this soup.
Creamy Broccoli Soup (Vegan)
adapted from Whole Living Magazine, January/February 2011
1 head organic broccoli (1 pound), cut into florets, stems thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
One 15-ounce can organic Great Northern beans, drained (Cannellini beans would work here as well)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
Steam broccoli florets and stems until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup florets for garnish.
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add beans and broth and bring mixture to a simmer. Remove from heat and add broccoli; puree in batches in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each bowl with broccoli florets, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan or cheddar cheese, if you wish.