Creamy broccoli soup

creamy broccoli soup When I was growing up my mom used to make this soup creamy broccoli soup that actually made vegetables enjoyable. It reminds me a little bit of pot pie, which is probably because the base is a creamy white sauce made with a roux. It’s enough to make me want to start all my soups from roux and caramelized onions.

roux, milk, broth and veggies

I made this for my boyfriend for the first time this week and he loved it. He especially liked that the vegetables weren’t pureed into the soup like some green soups are. This soup is so good and I know I’ll make it again soon. But I also know these photos aren’t the best. I took them at night and I’m getting harsh shadows from the kettle and the bowl. If you have any advice for avoiding shadows, feel free to share in the comments below.

broccoli soup simmering away

I’m sharing  the recipe my mom shared with me, but cut in half and with a few slight changes. The soup can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re serving more people.

creamy broccoli soup

Creamy Broccoli Soup

1 cup water
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli (about 1-½ pounds)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon rosemary
1/8 teaspoon thyme

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, bring water to a boil. Add broccoli, celery and carrots; boil 2 to 3 minutes. Drain; set vegetables aside. In the same kettle, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour to form a paste. Gradually add the broth and milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 1 minute. Add vegetables and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings (1 quart).

Note: You can use 1 tablespoon minced fresh carrot tops in place of the parsley as a cheap yet flavorful alternative.

This recipe can easily be made vegetarian or vegan. My mom’s recipe called for chicken broth, but it tastes great with vegetable broth instead. You can substitute a neutral vegetable oil or vegan butter for the butter.

If you forget to buy broth and don’t have any in your pantry, do what I did. Make your own vegetable broth. I’m sure there are better recipes out there, but the great thing about this one is, I’m using all leftover bits from the vegetables I chopped for the creamy broccoli soup and nothing extra.

Homemade vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Leftover broccoli stalks, about 1/2 cup chopped
3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 1/2 cups water

In a small pot, place broccoli, celery, carrot, and onions. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add cold water. The vegetables should be barely covered. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is reduced by half. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

Stock can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool completely, then cover and chill, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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