To me, homemade soup is one the best things ever, especially in the winter and especially at lunch time. The only negative is that it can be somewhat time consuming to prepare. But if I can carve out one morning to spend putting together a fresh pot of soup, it can be divided up into freezer bags or containers and taken out as needed to defrost on days when I’m pressed for time.
This Broccoli and White Bean Soup is an example of one that really doesn’t take a lot of time to make, and the reward is three-fold: warm, comforting, and so good for you. The beans are what I call a ‘secret ingredient’ because at the same time they thicken the soup and make it incredibly creamy when you blend everything together. The recipe calls for fresh broccoli, but frozen works too – just skip the steaming step and add it in along with the beans.
Broccoli and White Bean Soup
adapted from Whole Living Magazine
makes 8-10 servings
- 2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
- 5 cups chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted, for serving
- 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat water to simmering in a pot with a steamer basket or insert. Add broccoli florets and steam until tender
and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Set aside 1 cup of the florets to stir in at the end.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Saute onion until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add beans and stock and turn up heat to medium until it simmers.
- Remove pot from the heat and stir in broccoli. Let cool slightly, then puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a stand blender until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in reserved florets.
- When ready to serve, garnish each bowl with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan.