So, in light of the icky weather, I made a big ol' pot of soup last night. Creamy Broccoli White Bean Soup to be exact. I found the recipe on Pinterest (surprise surprise...) and thought it looked like a healthy, comforting meal. I'm not crazy about soups that have tomato chunks in them, which actually cuts out a TON of them. I like to make soup to have around for the week; it's a pretty easy way to guarantee that I'll pack my lunch. I mean, how easy could it be, all I have to do is open the fridge and pour some into a container.
Creamy Broccoli White Bean Soup:
1 Head Broccoli, cut into pieces (the soup gets blended, so nothing has to be chopped too specifically)
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic
2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 15 Oz Can of Cannelloni Beans (also called white beans or white kidney beans)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, etc for topping
First, cook the broccoli. You could use frozen if you like, just make sure to heat it through some before adding it to the pot or else it will be a cold soup. You could steam it, but I just threw mine into boiling water for a few min. It doesn't matter terribly how cooked it gets, as this is a blended soup, but I like mine to be on the crisp side, so I did about 3 minutes. I want the soup to retain some texture, even after blending.
While you're waiting on the water to boil and the broccoli to cook, chop up the onion and the garlic. Again, it's blended, so don't worry too much about having perfect pieces.
After you drain the broccoli, add some olive oil to the pot. I didn't measure, I just poured a little bit in there, and I probably only used about a tablespoon. It's just to cook the onions and garlic in a little flavor, they don't need to be swimming. Since I used the same pot that I used for the broccoli, it was already hot when I added the oil, but if you're using a different pot, it should be over medium heat. When it's hot, add in the onions and garlic, then season with salt and pepper.
Let them cook until they smell all nice and the onion is fairly see through, around 5 minutes. If you're planning to toast up some nuts to top this with, you could do that while you're waiting. Just don't burn the mess out of them like I did.
When the onion and garlic is done, add in the beans and the vegetable stock. Don't forget to drain the beans first.
Throw a lid on it and let it come up to a simmer. Mine seemed to take forever, likely because my stock had been in the fridge. But I did get most of the dishes done, so that was time well spent.
After the soup is simmering, add in the broccoli.
Now, if you wanted to, you could be done now and have a chunky soup. However, I like my soup a little bit creamy, so I blended it. I used an immersion blender, but if you don't have one, a regular blender would be fine. Just make sure that you only fill it halfway, or else you might end up with soup everywhere. Not that I have first hand experience with such a thing, it's just word on the street.
I blended mine until it was almost completely smooth, but it would also be great if you did half blended and half chunky.
Add toppings, like toasted pine nuts, crutons, cheese, a dollop of yogurt, etc, and serve.
I had an egg on the side. Overall, this is a solid, healthy meal. Next time, I think I'd add in some red pepper flakes or a squeeze of citrus to give a bit more pizzaz, but it's tasty on its own.