Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of ____ [fill in the blank] soups are always buttery and high in fat because besides whatever vegetables is featured — asparagus, mushroom or broccoli — the other main ingredients are cream and butter. The richness of these soups is typically overpowering for me, which is why I rarely order a cream-based soup or make them at home.

Recently I had a cooking adventure with a dear friend of mine who is a health foodie and nutrition maven (check out her recipes at Naturally Wholesome Life). It was a chilly, raining night so we knew we wanted to make a soup, but beyond that, the world was our oyster. That’s how this broccoli soup came about. It’s a culmination of friendship, creativity and love, all packed in one.

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

> 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
> 1 1/2 cups boiling water
> 4 teaspoons lemon juice
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 1 onion, chopped
> salt and pepper
> 3 cloves garlic, chopped
> 2 medium heads broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
> 4 cups vegetable broth
> 1 green chili, chopped
> 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

Place macadamia nuts in a large bowl and submerge in boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook onions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable both and broccoli and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, or until broccoli is al dente.

Place macadamia nuts, water and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Remove half of the macadamia nut cream from the blender and set aside in a small bowl. Add the saucepan mixture, parsley and 2 teaspoons lemon juice to the blender, and blend on high until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls with a few spoonfuls of macadamia nut cream on top. Garnish with a few parsley leaves and macadamia nuts.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from My New Roots.

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Curry Broccoli Soup

When it’s rainy outside and all you want to do is stay in, the perfect food to fill your body and soul is soup. About a month ago, I made a creamy cauliflower soup and used that recipe as inspiration for this one, made with broccoli instead. Once you have the basics down of the ratio of ingredients, making soup is much easier than it looks.

Curry Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
> 3 teaspoons mild curry powder
> 1 yellow onion, chopped
> 3 cloves garlic, chopped
> 5 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces

Instructions:

Heat 1/2 cup almond milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, curry powder and remaining almond milk. Cover and simmer until broccoli is very tender, about 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning with more curry powder or salt, if desired. Puree in a blender until smooth. Transfer to bowls and garnish with roasted sunflower seeds.

Makes 4 servings.