Simple broccoli and parmesan soup {vegetarian}4

Posted on July 17, 2012 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

I’ve never experienced bone-chilling coldness like when I lived in London in 2005 and 2006. This fun-loving Aussie was not prepared for commuting to work at -5 degrees and then braving that same weather again in search of a hot lunch.

Needless to say, soup became my best friend.

There were several soup and sandwich chain stores that had big steaming pots of soup on the go with different specials everyday. I loved them all, but as I walked in, I always secretly wished there would be my favourite: broccoli and stilton.

It was a revelation to me at the time. Such a genius combination of soup that I had never, ever thought of. It was broccoli and cheese sauce… in a soup. Heaven!

On a bitterly cold day a few weeks ago (well, as cold as Sydney can get compared to London) that broccoli and stilton soup just popped into my head. The memory came flooding back and I instantly had to have it. Or something similar, at least.

Broccoli and stilton is not the healthiest of combinations – in fact, that’s what intrigued me about it in the first place! Broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can eat, but when you add loads of cream and rich cheese and blend it up, it’s not so healthy any more.

I decided to lighten it up by only using a small amount of cream and a larger amount of soy milk and vegetable stock. Then I found a chunk of parmesan in the fridge that needed to be used up and the soup became something else altogether. I love the way cooking takes you off on an unexpected journey, especially when the results are good.

Do you have a food that brings back strong memories of a particular weather situation?

I’m linking this up with Veggie Mama’s Meatless Monday, even though I’m a little bit late :)

Christie x

Simple broccoli and parmesan soup

serves 4 as a starter or 2-3 as a main

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli (about 350g including stem), washed and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes (about 300g), peeled and chopped
  • 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 180ml (3/4 cup) Vitasoy Original soy milk*
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) cream
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Cracked black pepper

1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until translucent.

2. Add the potato, broccoli stems (not the florets), stock and water and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 10 minutes then add the broccoli florets and boil for a further 5 minutes until very tender.

3. Puree with a stick blender in the pot until smooth. Stir in the soy milk, cream and parmesan cheese. Taste and season with pepper. Serve hot with crusty bread.

*You can substitute cows milk or cream, if you prefer.

This recipe is proudly sponsored by Vitasoy. For more great soy recipes (including loads by me!) visit www.soy.com.au.

  • There’s not much more warming than soup is there! I make something similar and add baby spinach to it to add to the green and walnuts for crunch.

  • Nice and comforting Christie…Lorraine’s suggestion sounds good too!

  • My soup to fight the cold comes from childhood when we’d dress in snowsuits, boots, mittens and facemasks to play outside in Maine. We’re talking -15C. We’d get all dressed up and go outside and then 15 minutes later we’d come back in, covered in snow, because we had to pee. My mother was a saint. She’d undress us, we’d do our business and then she’d give us a cup of tomato soup to warm up, THEN she’d dress us back up and out we went.

    This soup sounds MUCH better than my mother’s soup from a can. :)

  • @Lorraine – Great idea with the spinach, will try that!

    @Peter – Oh so warming – these nights are chilly!

    @Maureen – I cannot imagine -15C, brrrr. Your mother must have been so patient, that would have driven me nuts!! :)

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