Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods.
It's an excellent source of vitamins K, C and A, as well as folic acid and fibre; and a very good source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and the vitamins B6 and E.
Many of its health benefits are due to its phytonutrients.
Broccoli is rich in phytochemicals called glucosinolates with well-evidenced anti-cancer properties and the carotenoid lutein, which is a powerful antioxidant known to prevent macular degeneration.
Creamy broccoli and almond soup is is one of my favourite plant-based soup recipes. It's delicious, easy to prepare and very satisfying.
The creamy texture comes from the ground almonds and gently sauted onions and it's vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and added sugar-free.
Yield• Makes 4 servings
Serving size• 340g/12oz
Calories per serving• 151
Tools• Thick-based cooking pot
• Simple hand blender
Prepare ahead• Store any portions leftover in the refrigerator or freezer
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1 pinch sea salt
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 2 white onions (300g/10½oz) (roughly chopped)
• 1 head broccoli (400g/14oz), washed and cut into small florets. Cut stalks into small pieces. Set aside a few florets, cut into bite-sized pieces, to add at the end.
• 2-3 cups water
• 3 tbsp ground almonds
• 1 dessertspoon sweet white miso, dissolved in a little water to make it easier to mix into the dish without lumps
• 1 tsp flaked almonds
Add olive oil and a small pinch of salt to a thick-based pan. Add the chopped onions and spices and sweat gently over a low heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
Sweat - A technique by which ingredients, particularly vegetables, are cooked gently in a small amount of fat over low heat, in a tightly covered pot. With this method, the ingredients soften without browning, and cook in their own juices.
Sweating is different from sautéing, which is cooking food quickly in a small amount of oil or other fat in a skillet or sauté pan over direct heat.
Add enough water to just cover the vegetables. Don’t add too much water at this stage otherwise the soup will end up watery and it will take you ages to reduce it. If the soup is too thick, you can always add more water later. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the broccoli is soft enough to blend. Don’t overcook it otherwise the broccoli will lose its vibrant green colour.
Blend the soup with a simple hand blender. Add the ground almonds and sweet white miso to taste.
Add the small broccoli florets you set aside and simmer for a further 2 minutes, until they are cooked al dente.
al dente [al-DEN -tay] An Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth,” used to describe pasta or other food that is cooked only until it offers a slight resistance when bitten into, but which is not soft or overdone.
Serve the soup garnished with flaked almonds.
There are many dishes you can make using broccoli. Check out my recipe for purple spouting broccoli with mushrooms and arame.
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