Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup, with bacon bits

Can’t quite believe I’ve never posted this Broccoli Soup recipe that used to be a go-to soup of mine whilst still living in Central London. This was made several times and taken up to the flat directly above mine as a starter when my neighbours friends (mostly actors) were over for dindins. This was always well received, even gaining compliments of best broccoli soup ever tasted. Well, I wouldn’t go that far! It is good, though. And relatively healthy. With a lightly toasted onion and herb (I think) ciabatta roll with melted Brie and bacon on top this is good.

Broccoli Soup, with bacon bits

INGREDIENTS:

  • olive oil
  • 100g (3.52 oz) x onions, peeled and chopped (use double if not using leek)
  • 150g (5.29 oz) x celery, washed and chopped OR 150g (5.29 oz) x leek, mostly white and pale green, sliced into discs and thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 – 3 x medium garlic cloves, trimmed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • 1 – 1½ x organic vegetable stock cubes (use one, then taste after puréeing the soup before adding extra)
  • 500 – 700ml (1.05 – 1.47 US pt lqd) x water, use 500 and add more if necessary
  • scant 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x broccoli florets including stems, split in half or smaller and soaked for 15 – 30 minutes
  • 1 x broccoli stalk or stem, well trimmed and split in half lengthways
  • single/light cream, for serving – optional
  • streaky bacon bits, pan-fried separately and broken into bits when cool
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to serve

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Sweat the onions, celery, leek and bay leaf in enough olive oil to coat the base of a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6), reducing heat to No 2 after about 15 minutes. In my original notes I used to sweat the veg for 20 minutes using gas. On electric this took twice as long to do so. Add the garlic and allow about 5 minutes for it too cook out its rawness. Sprinkle over a little cayenne pepper.
  • Pour in the water along with the one stock cube. Add the drained broccoli florets and up the heat to No 4 and plonk on a lid. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to No 2. Simmer until the broccoli stems are soft. Take off heat and allow to cool before adding to a blender. Remove the bay leaf before doing so. When cool enough blend until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and put back on heat. Taste for any extra needed stock and add enough water to get the consistency wanted.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


29 comments

    • Last night I added bacon crumbs straight into the soup and didn’t care much for the texture. I was out of bread though, so bought a roll today. One of the joys of cooking for one – everything has to be two portions or less!

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    • Like I commented with Gemma I like to play around with the ratios here. As I didn’t have leek I just upped the onions, especially as I’m not overly keen on using too many alliums in one dish. Next time, as I love pan-fried broccoli, I’m going to add the florets with the other veg and sweat – for as long as it takes!

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  1. I love broccoli and I pretty much live on soup so this will be a delicious no-brainer for to make. My mouth salivates at the thought of this with bread and melted brie. Do you think it’ll go with sundried tomatoes as topping instead of bacon bits?

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    • If possible try and buy ciabatta with sun-dried tomatoes in it. It’s just fab! Especially with melted cheese. I’d be nervous of the skins of sun-dried tomatoes turning out too tough if grilled/broiled. Perhaps keep them under the cheese.

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  2. Johnny, I love broccoli soup and this screams healthy. I love the bacon bits and cayenne addition! Looks delicious 🙂

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    • I only use a large pinch of cayenne. When I was able to buy red pepper flakes (without seeds) I would’ve used half a teaspoon instead. I guess as soups go it is fairly healthy. I do sweat the other veg in olive oil, though. Some might sneer because of that!

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      • I love the red pepper flakes too. Some family and friends don’t like the cayenne or pepper flakes. But I love the change up. No sneer from me on the olive oil!! Love it. Soup is one of my favorite comfort meals!

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  3. I always love the photos that accompany your recipes! You really have such talent for the visual. I have some broccoli to use (and bacon), and I think this soup fits our cold, snowy and icy weather perfectly. No leeks on hand, but the extra onion will be fine. I’ve never soaked my broccoli florets before, does it make a difference? Sometimes I will cook the bacon first and set it aside, then use the bacon grease to cook the veggies (not because I don’t care for olive oil, but because I like the flavor and being thrifty 😉 ) Looking forward to this in the next few days!

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    • Soaking the florets only helps to clean them. Years ago I thoroughly washed and soaked cauliflower florets to make soup only to find a large beastie floating on top! Put me off eating it and broccoli for years. Now, I make sure that the florets are sliced small enough to check each piece thoroughly. Never likely to find anything unwanted in my food any more!
      Thank you for your really nice compliment. Means even more to me coming from an artist.

      As for the bacon grease or fat as we call it, go for it. I’ve been cooking my Brussels sprouts and green beans in exactly that. Delish!

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  4. I’ve been looking for a straightforward broccoli soup recipe. This one looks great.

    Question: Is there another veggie I could sub for the celery? I’m not a fan of it.

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    • Have you tried celery soup? The reason I ask is simple – I don’t like raw celery. Not even the smell! Yet, in a soup or stock it’s just amazing. If not then use more onion like I did and use leek as well. The predominant flavour should be broccoli, of course. Oh, try using the trimmed stalk of the broccoli, like I do with my quick parsley sauce. It’s a shame to waste it after all. That would help to give a more overall broccoli taste.

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      • Sorry, wasn’t thinking before. If you want to use the broccoli stalk then trim, rinse, split in half and add that after the water and stock cube have been added. Cook with the soup, then remove and discard. It should give a wonderful flavour. I use mine for my quick parsley sauce and it works wonders every time.

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  5. Pingback: Italian Spring Soups | jovinacooksitalian


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