A quick weeknight or lunch-time soup recipe, made with either broccoli or cauliflower and only four more pantry ingredients. This recipe is a dieter's staple, something to make again and again because it's so filling and satisfying yet adds up to just a few calories and for Weight Watchers, just one Weight Watchers point.
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– Donald Justice, poet
With a few post-holiday pounds settling all too comfortably around our waists, it’s time for a few weeks of more judicious intake. Start with this pair of fast, healthful soups, cooked the same but tasting so different.
Conventional diet wisdom says to avoid snacks between meals. Instead, I leave snacks on the counter for the taking – a measured amount of healthful foods, that is. In winter, you’d find carrot sticks or almonds, in summer blueberries or chunks of cantaloupe.
Lately, however, I’ve fallen for crunchy, spicy croutons, a slice’s worth in a small bowl, ready for the grabbing.
HOMEMADE CROUTONS Cut whole-grain bread into cubes and toss with salt and spices such as oregano, thyme, sage or whatever smells good. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 30 minutes, longer if needed, turning once or twice. Transfer to freezer bags for storage.
QUICK CAULIFLOWER SOUP
or QUICK BROCCOLI SOUP
Time-to-table: 25 minutes
Makes 6 cups
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 dried bay leaves, optional
- 1 head cauliflower OR 1 pound of broccoli crowns and stems, chopped into small pieces (or frozen cauliflower or broccoli)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat broth to a boil in microwave.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot on medium high. Heat olive oil, then add the onion and bay leaves, stirring to coat with fat. Cook until onions begin to soften and turn gold, stirring often.
Add cauliflower or broccoli, stirring to coat with oil and onion flavor. Let cook, turning occasionally for 1 - 2 minutes. Stir in hot broth. Cover and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves.
Transfer a third of the hot mixture (see ALANNA’s TIPS) to a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth while continuing to cook the rest. Repeat with another third, then the final third.
Season to taste and serve topped with a small spoon of low-fat sour cream or croutons. Or both!
LATER NOTES With the cauliflower version, sometimes, I skip the blender step and just roughly mash the cooked cauliflower with a fork. For a little more zip, try the Spicy Cauliflower Soup from A Veggie Venture. I now use Homemade Vegetable Bouillon for the liquid portion of this soup. From my experience with No-Cream Creamy Cauliflower Soup, I think you could substitute water for stock, resulting in a creamy-white color.
Quick Cauliflower Soup
This is such a versatile recipe, all broccoli, all cauliflower or, from a tip from a reader, a combination of broccoli and cauliflower! The soup doesn't TASTE plain but it does look plain so if aesthetics are important, be sure to plan ahead for something to garnish the top. I happen to love the look of flat layers of cauliflower, cooked until just soft and then removed before puréeing the soup.
More Broccoli Recipes
More Cauliflower Recipes
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