I’m always looking for quick and easy ways to add more green to my life, including broccoli. Broccoli is great way to get some fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium in your body, and has more protein than most vegetables.
I often steam broccoli and drizzle some lemon juice over it, or sprinkle a bit of grated Parmesan on top. Another variation is roasted, slightly charred broccoli. When my kids were little, we’d play the “don’t eat the trees” game until they had devoured all the broccoli.
Here’s a quick and easy take on a creamy broccoli soup with the added flavor of basil, onion, lemon juice, and garlic. And add more greens by making pesto with the extra basil. Place some pesto on top of your bowl of soup along with Parmesan crisps (from my SCD cookbook) for an added salty crunch.
This soup recipe is dairy free using cashews and the stems of the broccoli to give the soup a thick, creamy base. You can replace the cashews with yogurt, dairy-free yogurt, or soft goat cheese or crème fraîche. See the recipe and notes for more details.
Here are some pesto recipes, dairy and dairy free:
The Parmesan crisp recipe is in my cookbook, Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It’s very easy to make crisps: Sprinkle grated Parmesan across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees F for about 6 minutes or so. Enjoy!
Creamy Broccoli Basil Soup
- 2 broccoli heads florets separated from stems, stems diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow or white onion peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and diced
- 3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 8 basil leaves medium size
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large stock pot on a low to medium heat. Add the olive oil.
- Add onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the onions.
- Add the broccoli stems, water (or stock) and salt, and bring to a low boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes to soften stems.
- Place broccoli florets on top of the soup mixture, and cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Cook the florets just enough to make them bend but keep them bright green.
- Turn off the heat, add the cashews and soak them in the soup for 10 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and basil leaves.
- Blend the soup in batches until it's as creamy as you like it. Leave it a bit chunky or blend until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with pesto and Parmesan crisps.