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broccoli stalk soup recipe

January 29, 2013

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This month I’ve been teaching a broccoli and cauliflower stir-fry in my classes.  I am using only the florets since I know the stalks aren’t as popular in my house.  It’s all very well and good, except for the fact that I’ve been left at the end of each week with a heck of a lot of broccoli stalks.  I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I am a compulsive use-everything-you’ve-got kind of a cook.  I absolutely hate to waste food!  In fact, I started a tradition in the house called “Frittata Fridays.”  That’s when I pull together bits of leftovers and random vegetables and turn them into breakfast.  Everyone’s happy!

So in order to not throw away the perfectly good broccoli stalks, I have been juicing lots of them into our juices.  But there’s only so much of that I can take.  What else could I use them for?   On a whim I decided to see if I could turn the stalks in a pureed soup like my Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup, which is one of my absolute favorites.  My biggest concern was that the stalks wouldn’t have enough flavor and the soup would taste like nothing — WRONG!  It was delicious.  Warm, rich, creamy and using one of my favorite soup-thickening techniques (cooking and pureeing Yukon Gold potatoes with the soup), it tasted like there was lots of cream or butter when there was none.

Nutritionally speaking, the stalks are quite comparable to the florets, which is awesome since broccoli is once of those super foods you should be eating a lot of (and not throwing into the garbage!)  In fact, I’m big on the whole cruciferous family of vegetables which includes all the cabbages, kale, bok choy, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collard greens and more.  These vegetables contain incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, cancer-fighting compounds, and even protein.  Load up, people!

I enjoyed this soup straight away with an extra pinch of flaky sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  My husband stirred into his bowl a big pinch of shredded raw cheddar cheese and thought that was great.  For the girls, I made them grilled raw cheddar cheese and kale pesto sandwiches on spelt bread and they loved dipping those into the soup.  Even Mr. Picky finished his entire bowl — plain of course, with absolutely nothing added.  This was a winner all around!

broccoli stalk soup

serves 6

 

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or unrefined cold-pressed olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 ¼ – 2 ½ pounds broccoli stalks, ends and any tough woody layers removed

1 large Yukon Gold potato, about 8 ounces, peeled if desired and cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade

2-3 teaspoons sea salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter or warm the oil.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté, covered, until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli, potato, stock and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower to a simmer.  Cook partially covered until potatoes and broccoli stalks are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.  Taste for seasoning.

 

Notes:  You can stir in shredded cheese before serving, garnish with grated Parmesan or Pecorino, top with grilled cheese croutons or chopped chives

 

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26 Responses to “broccoli stalk soup recipe”

  1. Donna says:

    perfect for the stalks sitting in my fridge after freezing the florets for winter. Have you ever frozen the finished soup?

    • Pamela says:

      I haven’t frozen it, but I can’t imagine why you couldn’t. Although not sure how well it would freeze if you are starting with defrosted broccoli….

  2. Hannah Goldie says:

    I googled recipes for broccoli stalks and stumbled upon this one and gave It a try. I made a HUGE pot with added broccoli florets and ate the entire thing all week. It was delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Pamela says:

      Awesome. I love being efficient with food, and I especially love when the recipe taste fabulous. So glad you enjoyed this too!

  3. Edward Maddox says:

    I too can not throw away the stems of broccoli. I bag them and put them in the freezer. When I have time, I plan to puree them and make some sort of soup. So today I had some time and brought them out and let them thaw. Pureed with 2 cups of water and about filling the blender, I pored the puree into a sauce pan and brought to a simmer, keeping it there for about 20 minutes to cook the broccoli.

    Then I went to my computer and looked for “broccoli stalk soup” and found you. I am underway to add some seasonings and some sharp cheddar cheese. Looking forward to the result.

  4. Michelle AP says:

    Exactly what I was looking for! Can’t wait to make this later today. Happy Google pointed me to you. Will be checking out more of your recipes. Looks like you are a real food fan like me:)

  5. Rob says:

    Brilliant! I was looking for what to do with left over stalks and green onion tops and I stumbled upon your delicious recipe. I ditched the potato and added miso paste (red, I live in tokyo). I was cutting up a salad and added the bottoms of 2 romaine lettuce heads. It all got boiled and blendtec’d and “garbage soup” was born! When it is fresh veggie shoping day, this soup gets made. And to think, I used to just chuck it all! Cheers!

  6. Brilliant… Just what I was looking for… as I am making some of this soup tomorrow.. And will be following your recipe .. Many Thanks
    Blessings to you and yours :-)
    Sue

  7. Rue says:

    I’m simmering “broccoli stalk soup” at this very moment. My goal is two-fold: use the stalks plus fill my tummy when I need a low calorie yet satisfying meal.

  8. Louisa says:

    HI!
    I tried freezing the stalks because I too thought I would freeze until i had enough. They did not thaw well. They were water logged for some reason. I don’t know if it was me or the broccoli but it didn’t work so well! But the soup with the fresh stalks was fantastic!!!

  9. Jodi Miller says:

    I made the soup last night for dinner. Everyone LOVED it! In fact, my daughter ate it for breakfast this morning.

  10. James says:

    Love this! I have 4 heads of broccoli in my fridge for recipes right now and this is a swell solution to the plethora of leftover stalks (though my dogs do like them too!).

    • Pamela says:

      No way. Your dogs eat broccoli? That’s amazing. You know what I’m thinking? I bet you could also peel and freeze the stalks and then make the soup when you’ve accumulated enough. I’m going to give that a try since I don’t think I can make this soup again for a while ;) .

  11. Janet Anderson says:

    Cook’s Illustrated has a technique for roasting broccoli, including the stalks, at high heat. My family, including both boys, fight over the stalk pieces when I prepare broccoli this way. They are delicious! This sounds great, too!

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, Janet. I must try that since I have tons of stalks again and my family is starting to get tired of this soup!

    • Karen says:

      I’ll bet some roasted bits would be delicious incorporated into the soup prior to serving, then topped with cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles. I’m going to try that tonight!

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