Now, I can certainly appreciate that when the temps in the next few weeks will certainly be well into the 100's in some places (ahem, Florida) soup not be your go to meal of choice. However, I am the kind of person who enjoys soup all year long. The rest of your meals can be hot, so why not have a delicious bowl of soup? I have often heard that soup is merely a vessel for a warm & crusty baguette. I'm game.
I had some broccoli in the fridge to use up and so I decided to make a cream of broccoli soup. It is my FAVORITE soup to order at Panera Bread! Spinach was an addition merely to do the same-use up food in the fridge. This soup is so simple to make, I really don't know why I don't make it more often. Anyhow, without further adieu......
Cream of Broccoli & Spinach Soup *Serves 2~4*
1 T Canola Oil
1 T Earth Balance
1 leek, cleaned* & sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, peeled & chopped
3 c broccoli florets and stems (stems peeled & chopped)
3 c water
1 t vegetable base
1 bay leaf
3 c loosely packed spinach
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
3/4 c nutritional yeast
S&P to taste
In a large stock pot, heat oil & margarine over medium heat. Add leeks and saute about 2-3 minutes until they start to get translucent. Add garlic and saute for about another minute. Be careful to not burn the garlic or it will get bitter! Toss carrots in the pan and saute for about a minute to start softening. Add broccoli to the pot and season veggies with salt and generous amounts of pepper as well as the bay leaf. Next, add water and veggie base, stir to combine. Cover and cook about 15 minutes until broccoli is tender. Add spinach to wilt~about 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat & remove bay leaf.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until creamy..be patient this will take some time. About halfway through blending, add almond milk to help move the rest of the veggies along. (You can also puree this in a blender, just be sure to do it in batches!). Once pureed, add nutritional yeast and salt & pepper to taste.
You could definitely adapt this recipe by leaving it a bit chunky or adding fresh herbs (thyme would be lovely), subbing some or all the broccoli with cauliflower, puree peas in to the mix instead of spinach (i'd add mint too). Melt in some daiya cheddar cheez or swirl in some pesto.
So I encourage you to not turn your nose up at a delicious bowl of soup simply because it's summertime. This a great make ahead meal, perfect for those long work days when you are too hot to slave over the stove :)
What is your favorite soup? Is there any soup that you'd like me to recreate? Leave a comment below :)