This No Waste Broccoli Avocado Soup is not only a delicious, hearty, colorful, nutrient-dense and comforting meal in a bowl, but it’s also an incredible way to limit waste in your kitchen!! Read on to learn how to make this thoughtful soup plus lots of variations for the recipe to make it suit your personal dietary preferences, from vegan to keto, paleo and Whole30, etc
This post and recipe were created in partnership with California Avocados. I am proud to work with brands that care about the health of their consumers and the planet. As always, all opinions, ideas and text are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Tasty Yummies.
In my opinion, as a self-proclaimed soup-a-holic, the secret to any good, comforting soup, is lots of flavor, the perfect texture, loads of color and tons of nutrients! This delicious No Waste Broccoli Avocado soup features all of that and more. It is reminiscent of a classic, creamy broccoli cheddar soup but without the dairy and this bonus we limit kitchen waste by utilizing the entire head of broccoli – yes the stems and all. Plus I share a few other tricks for making the most out of the food in your kitchen, to limit waste and limit your footprint!
How to Make a No Waste Soup
Did you know that the food in your kitchen that you throw into the garbage, whether uneaten, scraps, leftovers or spoiled, it goes directly to landfill and it doesn’t just compost down to nothingness with ease as you might assume it would as organic matter.
A really sad stat that I learned after watching the documentary Wasted! The Story of Food Waste probably over 2 years ago now: One third of all food that’s produced is never eaten. In the United States, that statistic jumps to 40% of all food—of which 90% will end up in landfills. That shouldn’t be so bad, it’s compostable, right? Think again. As the film points out, a head of lettuce, alone, which most people assume would decompose relatively quickly, will take 25 years to decompose in a landfill. Read that again, it takes 25 years for a head of lettuce to decompose when it’s trapped in a landfill.
Without access to oxygen, since it’s all piled on top and buried under other garbage, many of the most common foods like a head of lettuce or other random veggies can take upwards of 25 years or longer to decompose!
With so many people struggling with food scarcity and food accessibility, it’s down right angering to think about how much food is wasted in our country, let alone considering the people who dedicate their lives and all of their energy to growing that food, transporting that food and the energy and resources required to maintain the land to grow all that food and more.
How can you help? You can implement a composting system in your home or look into neighborhood or city composting in your community or even more importantly you can limit your food waste in your kitchen by utilizing as much of the food you but or grow that you can, from proper storage, to only buying what you need, to cooking from root to leaf and throwing out as little as possible!
I love finding unique ways to use typical parts of food that we often trash. Most people cut their broccoli florets from the bundle and toss the stems, but they can be quite amazing in recipes! You can saute them in a hash or add them to roasted veggies or in this case, a delicious soup I find the key is to take a vegetable peeler and peel off the outside layer of the stem that tends to be a bit tougher and more fibrous. Then cut the stems into thin rounds and boil it in the soup with the forest and voila, extra fiber and no waste.
My favorite part about any soup is the homemade broth, I typically make a homemade bone broth, usually with leftover chicken bones from a whole chicken I roast for the week. It’s such a budget saver, we eat the meat all week and then get many meals from the broth. The chicken broth brings so much flavor to this soup and it’s a great way to make the most out of a whole chicken. Plus the broth itself can be made using vegetable scraps, more on that here. If you prefer a vegetable broth, that’s another option to limit waste in your kitchen. Make your vegetable broth with leftover veggie scraps that you collect and freeze. You can save random veggies and veggie parts in the freezer, like onion, carrot and potato peels, the tops from fennel, the tough green parts from leeks, etc. Homemade broths are another great way to make use of what would otherwise get discarded.
Lastly, we always have random greens and herbs lingering around, a few handfuls of spinach or kale, Swiss chard, beet greens (the tops from beets). For herbs, it’s not uncommon for me to have bunches of parsley, basil or cilantro in the fridge, sometimes on their last days – you can use any of these alone or in combination in this soup and the herb oil on top. I typically use parsley in the soup and a blend of parsley and basil on top. Cilantro would be really nice in the soup and you can even swap in lime for the lemon to pair with the cilantro.
Avocado in Soup?
California Avocado is one of my favorite functional foods. It’s an incredible swap for dairy in recipes, including this soup. It blends up so creamy and rich. California Avocados are an incredible source of healthy fats, plus a wonderful opportunity to get more fiber in your diet. With nearly 20 essential vitamins and nutrients California Avocados are also a good source of folate, potassium, vitamin E and B vitamins. Along with being a source of healthful fats, avocados they play a vital role in a balanced, nutrient-dense diet and health fats essentially work as a nutrient-booster enabling fat soluble nutrients in foods eaten alongside the avocado, to become more assimilated and absorbed, nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K.
Don’t forget the cubed or sliced avocado on top, that plus the herby olive oil and a little lemon zest, oh wow :chef’s kiss:!
Got some avocados that are a tad browned or just a tad beyond ripe, maybe they aren’t the best for avocado toast, but DON’T THROW THEM OUT, toss them into this soup, they’ll get blended in and it’s a great way to avoid waste.
To ensure you’re enjoying locally grown California Avocados, be sure to check for California on the label.
Blending your Soup
You can ladle your soup and blend it in batches in a high speed blender, but please be careful, blending hot soup can be dangerous if not done carefully. Work in smaller amounts and leave the lid vented, but place a towel on top. It needs to be able to release the steam.
I prefer to use an immersion blender, right in the pot.
I hope you love this nutrient-rich No Waste Broccoli and Avocado soup as much as we do.
Additional Options for No Waste in your No Waste Broccoli Avocado Soup:
- vegetable broth made from veggie scraps – use this recipe here. You can save random veggies and veggie parts in the freezer, onion, carrot and potato peels, the tops from fennel, the tough green parts from leeks, etc and it’s great way to make use of what would otherwise get discarded.
- use any random lingering greens you have on hand, mix em up
- your herbs can vary based on what you have around too, this sound is great with a mix of parsley and basil, cilantro is lovely and so are chives.
- If you have some fresh leeks, fennel or celery hanging around in the fridge, saute that up with the onion.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, avocado oil, butter or ghee
- 1 medium sweet onion (roughly chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ lbs broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into rounds
- 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (water also works)
- juice from ½ lemon
- 2 cups baby spinach, kale, Swiss chard or other greens (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped, stems removed
- 2 California Avocados, reserve ½ avocado for serving
- fresh herbs or herb oil (see below)
- lemon zest
- avocado, diced or sliced
- red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup roughly chopped herbs, I use parsley and basil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Red pepper flakes
- Make the infused oil and set aside. Stir all the ingredients together well and set aside to use for serving the soup.
- In a large saucepan set over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion in oil, butter or other cooking fat just until it turns translucent and tender.
- Add chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook for another minute or two.
- Add the broccoli florets and stems along with chicken broth (veggie broth or water). Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with lid and allow to simmer until the broccoli florets and stems are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, greens, herbs and avocado. Stir.
- Turn off the heat and using a hand held immersion blender or working in batches in a high speed blender, puree the soup until creamy and smooth.
- Serve topped with fresh avocado, herb oil or fresh herbs, lemon zest and red pepper flakes, if you’d like.
To make vegan/vegetarian use vegetable broth or water
See notes above in post for additional options
This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission, as always, all opinions, ideas and text are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Tasty Yummies.