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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Taste for seasoning.
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It’s not even finished yet and I just taste tested. It’s delicious! I fully peeled the stalks and chopped them small, so I’m not even sure I really need to do the immersion blender step. I regret throwing away stalks for the last 20yrs and wish I’d found your recipe sooner!! Thank you.
Glad you love it! It feels so good not to waste food.
Can I use a slow cooker for the stalks. Then add broccoli flowettes
Sure! When using a slow cooker for soup, I do like to sauté the veggies (onions and garlic) in a skillet to create more flavor before adding them to the slow cooker, unless your appliance already has a sauté feature built in. If you decide to use broccoli florets, I would add them towards the end so they don’t overcook.
Fantastic recipe! Made as you had it, just added another clove of garlic in and garlic powder for good measure! I was so impressed with the flavor that I seriously couldn’t stop eating it! Tastes just like broccoli cheddar soup without the cheese. I forgot to peel the stems, and even blending in a Vitamix didn’t completely break down the tough fibers, I had to strain to remove the tiny woody pulps. Recommending for everyone making this soup to DEFINITELY do that! Thanks for the recipe, Pamela!
Thank you, Michelle! Glad you loved it.
This was SO much better than it had any right to be. I made a half recipe, halving all the ingredients except the garlic. I used 6 large garlic cloves for the half recipe. Otherwise I made it as written and it was amazing. I was planning on garnishing with parmesan but it didn’t need it. My wife said it tasted like a high-fat cream soup. I will absolutely be making this again.
That’s wonderful! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I love this recipe and have used it many times. I put the stalks in a freezer bag and toss them in the freezer until I have enough for a batch of soup. Sometimes add a carrot to the mix.
I loved this soup. I used beans per replies above. And then I just threw my leftover Indian food and it was amazing.
Great idea! Glad you gave it a try.
This is a great keeper recipe. I had leftover steamed broccoli and cauliflower and used that, no potato.
Perfect and easy! Thank you Pamela!
Thank you, Michele! Love that you were able to repurpose leftovers.
What an awesome recipe. Ive been throwing broccoli stalks out for years. I never had a Yukon Gold potato so I used a red potato and mixed a couple tablespoons of flour in a bit of water and used that. Beautiful and delish!!
Glad you love it! It feels so good not to waste food.
This is an amazing recipe!!! I added some nutritional yeast to keep it vegan and add a cheesy flavour. 5+++
Thank you for sharing!
Oooooh, great add-in idea!!
Now a staple in our house, we freeze the stalks until we have enough then make this soup! I take Pitney most of the stringy leftovers the emulsion blenders collects, add some hot pepper and Italian seasonings. Great with a grilled cheese! Thanks for the recipe !
Great idea, Angela!
Have made this several times now – first time it seemed a bit bland, but with a bit of curry powder added this has become a favourite!
I love curry powder with cruciferous veggies. Good call!
I had a bag of stalk that I didn’t know what to do with. So I Googled and found your recipe. I told my mom tonight that I was making something with the broccoli stalk and her response was “I don’t really like broccoli stalk, but I’ll give it a try.”
Needless to say, she had the entire bowl and saved extra to take with her to work tomorrow. It is light, healthy, and hearty.
Thank you Pamela. Like some other commenters suggested, I included a can of cannellini beans because I didn’t have a potato. Came out delicious!
Ps. I don’t know if this is my computer (Safari) or the site, but I am trying to rate the recipe (5) and I can’t seem to press on the stars…fyi.
Mmm, just made this soup for the first time. I added some herbs de provence, a couple stalks of celery, and a wedge of preserved lemon. Very flavourful and tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe – it’s very satisfying to use all parts of a vegetable!
Oh, the preserved lemon must have made this so delicious!
I generally only cook for two of us, so I did not have left over stalk. With Pamela’s suggestion, I used about 24 oz of florets. Based on other reviews, I also decided to use one 14 oz can, drained and rinsed, of cannellini beans. WOW! What a delicious soup…and especially easy to prepare. Tonight I will mix in left over roasted chicken. Next time I will add in free range chicken sausage from Lazy Acres for a little extra kick.
Great adaptation, Leslie! And thank you for submitting this — so helpful to everyone reading this!
Oh my goodness! I’ve made this recipe a few times, and tonight was the best! I cooked 4 slices of diced bacon in my pot, pulled the bacon bits out once they were cooked fully. Then I sautéed an onion and diced the whole thing even its stalk (farmers market variety- I’m not even sure what kind it was) in the remaining bacon goodness 🙂 then tossed in diced garlic with 2 large stalks of broccoli and a few florets. I used a white sweet potato and a box of organic vegetable broth (on sale at Costco for .50 a 32 oz box). When I served the soup I topped each bowl with the bacon bits. It was DELICIOUS! Maybe not the healthiest, but amazing!
Sounds divine! I mean starting off any soup with bacon has got to be a good idea! Thanks for writing in, Beth 🙂
Yummy – hope you don’t mind subs as my husband is diabetic so I used tinned cannellini beans instead of spuds, I have used the stalks before and can’t believe I used to throw them away! Also put them into stirfries with some soy sauce and fish sauce.
Cannellini beans is a great sub, Janet. Adds more protein, too!
Made today with broccoli stalks from end of season garden bed clean out. So good, so easy and all ingredients were already in my pantry. Thank you!!
Lucky you to have broccoli from your own garden!!
yes, the cabbage moths got to mine last year 🙁
This was delicious!! I loved it. I always want to eat more veggies – and am just not a fan of the veggie smoothies…but this was perfect! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks!!!
Thanks! And thanks for reminding me about this soup — I might have to make it this weekend. Such a favorite here!
I am looking forward to trying your recipe, but about how many cups of broccoli stalks are in 2.25-2.5lbs?
Sorry, Ashley! I only tested the recipe by weight and I made it so long ago I can’t remember.
The soup was delicious. I had some for lunch over several days adding little bits of things like tiny cubes of ham one day, grated cheese another day and croutons and sometimes just nothing else but this delicious soup. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Yum, yum, yum!
Thanks a million for this recipe, it was so delicious! I’m a virgin vegan so I followed your recipe to the T. And glad I did my husband and sons loved it as well. Do you have a recipe book? I would purchase a copy.
SO glad you loved the soup. 🙂 I don’t have a book, but thank you for the words of support!
I usually use the stalks in recipes with broccoli peeling them and slicing into coins. They cook at the same time as the florets if steaming, and are wonderful in stir fries.
Today, not using the stalks and not wanting to thrown them out, I flung them into my food processer and ran to my laptop to look up broccoli stalk soup. There you were! The soup is on my stove now.
I absolutely love all these changes/additions!!
Great! I hope you love it!
It was delicious! Thank you! I also despise wasting anything edible!
Glad you enjoyed it, Jodi! Thanks for leaving a comment!
Thank you for this recipe! I absolutely looooove broccoli and I always felt like crying when throwing away the stalks, I will definitely not do that again. I have just prepared this soup and I’m amazed by its taste! By the way, next in line is your cauliflower and roasted garlic soup 😉 I love cooking and I have just learned today the roeasted garlics lesson. Can’t wait to try!
So exciting! Thanks for writing me, Valerie! 🙂
Hi, as I am helping an organic gardiner, I have broccoli stalks by the tens and after freezing the florets decided to try soup with the stems. After grinding then up, adding some regular milk, sweet curry and salt, I had a tasty soup. Now I’m going to try the onion, garlic and potato and perhaps some of my frozen chicken stock. I did try a batch with the florets but it had a mushy texture. Thanks.
Good way to use up perfectly nutritious and tasty broccoli!
perfect for the stalks sitting in my fridge after freezing the florets for winter. Have you ever frozen the finished soup?
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….
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!
Awesome. I love being efficient with food, and I especially love when the recipe taste fabulous. So glad you enjoyed this too!
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.
Hope it worked well for you!
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:)
Welcome, Michelle! So happy you found your way here. Thank you!
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!
I bet the miso was fantastic in this! Awesome, Rob!
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 🙂
Thank you, Sue. To you, too. Enjoy!
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.
You will achieve your goal, Rue! Enjoy 🙂
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!!!
Buggers! Stick with fresh then.
I made the soup last night for dinner. Everyone LOVED it! In fact, my daughter ate it for breakfast this morning.
Yippee! Thanks for letting me know — I always love to hear your success stories!
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!).
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 ;).
Freezing it is a great idea! I will try that too! And yes, my dogs love raw broccoli. Who knew??
That cracks me up. 🙂
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!
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!
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!
I bet that would be amazing, Karen! And it would look awesome, too. THanks for the suggestion!