Sunday, June 2, 2013

Roasted Broccoli Soup

Full disclosure: broccoli is not my favorite vegetable.

I don't really like it raw because the flavor is so strong. I'm not a big fan of it steamed because the little buds on the top absorb too much water and make a weird mushy texture. I've been known to blanch it for a veggie tray, or for CaveBoy's second snack, but I avoid taking it for my own lunch.

One of my favorite, and most often used sayings is, "the thing about being a grown-up is that you get to do what you want." And I stand by that statement! But the other thing about being a grown-up is knowing what's good for you, and doing it even when it's hard, or boring, or annoying, or doesn't taste too good. Enter broccoli.

Interestingly enough, when I was a kid, my favorite soup to order at a restaurant was broccoli cheese. The creamy, savory puree was able to overcome all the negative aspects of cooked broccoli, and somehow turn my least-liked vegetable into my most-desired dish.

When I gave up dairy and wheat, I didn't want to give up broccoli soup (otherwise I'd be left with steamed or raw broccoli--yuck). But how would I make it creamy? One of the paleo-set's favorite substitutions for white potato is mashed cauliflower. One day, while enjoying a creamy helping of cauliflower mash, it clicked. If I can make a cauliflower creamy, I can use that to make anything creamy!

I guess that's a four paragraph ramble to say I love this soup, even though I hate broccoli. So that's saying something.

Roasted Broccoli Soup

Creamy, delicious, and dairy free.


2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
1 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 red onions, diced
5 gloves garlic, diced
4 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat one large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange broccoli florets in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the broccoli. Salt and pepper the broccoli.  Roast at 400 degrees until broccoli becomes caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch.

Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Add diced red onion and cook until onion becomes translucent. Add diced garlic and cook until it becomes aromatic. Add cauliflower florets and toss in the oil mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the cauliflower just starts to brown.

Add roasted broccoli to pot. Pour in beef stock and enough water to cover the veggies.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until cauliflower becomes very tender. About 30 minutes.  Remove from heat. Let cool a few minutes so you don't scald yourself while blending.  Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a crumbled bacon garnish, if desired. Makes 10 servings. 

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