Did you realize yet that it’s halfway through November? Are you in denial about cooking for Thanksgiving like I am?
Roo and I have been keeping warm in our poorly insulated apartment with soups. Lots and lots of soups.
And maybe cats.
Pissed off cats.
Around this time last year, I made Roo a broccoli soup that was full of cheese, whole milk and half and half. You’d think I was trying to collect a life insurance pay-off with what I plated for him.
“Oh no, half a block of cheddar is good for your cholesterol level of 250.”
Little did I know at the time, he doesn’t have life insurance. Little does he know, I have no shame, and like my Aunt Kathy, I planned on putting his ashes into something affordable, like a vase from Pier 1 Imports, where my Uncle Dan now rests.
I’m just keeping it real.
This year, I wanted to make broccoli soup a little differently as Roo and I have recently adopted a plant-based lifestyle. Yet, when I told Roo what I was making for dinner, he was a little concerned.
“How are you going to make broccoli soup without cheese or cream?”
Thankfully I had a bit of luck with my last supposed-to-be-cream-based-soup so I knew where to start. Even though Roo hates my mentioning it (it’s all in the name really), nutritional yeast rounds out the flavors that would instead taste like broccoli broth without it. Paired with almond milk and blended potatoes, it makes a creamy, cheesy soup that I loved submerging large chunks of warm, crusty bread into.
The soup has loads of body, as half of the vegetables are blended, then put back in. And with just a little bit of chili powder to raise the flavor up a bit (that and the sherry give it “that little something”), you soon realize that it’s not just rosemary that’s added. It’s good. It’s, put down the cat you’re using as a shawl, good.
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction
This Serves About 6
1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pot)
1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Quarter teaspoon of chili powder
4 cups of low sodium broth (I used homemade vegetable)
4 potatoes (about the size that individually fit in the palm of your hand), cut into about half inch pieces
2 carrots, diced
5 cups of broccoli, cut into less than half inch pieces (if you can use only the stems, do it. Save the florets for some roasting, stir fry, etc where you’ll be able to appreciate the textures. This soup is just going to get blended at the end.)
1 cup of unsweetened, unflavored almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
2 tablespoons of sherry
Quarter cup of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of butter, like Earth Balance (optional)
Salt to taste
A sharp knife
A very large pot with cover
An immersion blender or a blender
Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to your pot. Place the pot over a burner on medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the minced garlic, rosemary, and chili powder and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the broth, potatoes and carrots. Stir till the ingredients are incorporated. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat so that the ingredients are at a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for about ten minutes.
After ten minutes have passed, add the broccoli and simmer for twenty minutes, covered.
After twenty minutes have passed, add the almond milk, sherry and nutritional yeast. Stir and heat the ingredients through.
With an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup, or to the consistency that you wish (I like to have some bits left whole in my soup). If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle some soup into your blender, but be careful to not fill more than half way. Lid, cover with a towel (to protect your hand), and immediately blend (do not let steam build up in the blender or else you may risk of eruption and burning your hand!). Add it back to the soup, and continue this until the soup is down to the consistency you desire.
Salt to taste.
*Does it need to be just a little bit creamier? If desired, add a tablespoon of butter, like Earth Balance. Otherwise, you’re done! Serve immediately.