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super green soup

It is officially Christmas time in the Hopkins’ home. Connor drove home from Flagstaff on Wednesday afternoon, Marissa flew in from San Francisco yesterday afternoon, and Dave’s mom, Pat, flew in from Illinois last night. The gang’s all here, time to celebrate! Nothing like a nice hot bowl of soup to get the party started, well that and a glass of wine…

When you taste this creamy, thick, and rich soup you will swear that is it loaded with cream and fat… but no, the only fat comes from 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and that is divided into 12 servings, so nearly fat-free!

And the color, oh it is lovely – thanks to the last-second addition of a bunch of spinach leaves. Check out this photo of the soup with and without the addition of spinach, just to show you the lovely transformation the spinach makes to the end result.

Healthy? Oh, this soup is plenty healthy… cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach – on mine! Plus it uses the usually discarded broccoli stalks. I almost never discard broccoli stalks, they are flavor-packed and delicious! For instance, when I stir-fry, I use a vegetable peeler on the tough outer part of the stalk and then slice them up and throw them in the wok. No need to peel the stalks for the soup, they will get plenty tender during the simmering stage.

Creamy Broccoli–Cauliflower Soup Sans the Cream

1 large head cauliflower
1 large bunch broccoli, with stems
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 large bunch fresh spinach, washed well, and stems cut off
1 teaspoon smoked paprika plus more for garnish

Trim the stalk and stems from the cauliflower and discard.  Then either slice the remaining head into chunks or separate it into florets, and set it aside.

Trim the stalk and stems from the broccoli and then slice the stalk and stems into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.  Separate the rest of the broccoli into florets and set it aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the sliced broccoli stems, diced onion, and cubed potatoes; toss to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper; cover the pot and sweat the vegetables for 20 minutes, stirring every 6 minutes or so, to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pot.

Add the garlic, sliced cauliflower, broccoli florets, and 8 cups of stock to the pot, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook until all vegetables are tender about 15 minutes. Turn off heat; add spinach leaves and push down into the hot liquid, just to wilt.

In batches, puree the mixture in a blender and return to the pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. Taste and then season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each with a light sprinkle of smoked paprika.

Serves 12

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1 Sloane { 12.23.11 at 1:38 PM }

Yummy! Are we having that tomorrow?

2 Sharon { 12.23.11 at 6:13 PM }

I can’t wait to try your soups. I will put this on the list of things to make next week. Merry Christmas Linda. I hope you and your family have a great holiday.

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