It’s definitely no thanks to me that my kids love broccoli. Maybe I can blame my mom for only feeding me broccoli rabe and romanesco growing up. Somehow, broccoli just seemed, well, boring. These days, I only enjoy broccoli two ways—blended into a creamy soup and roasted until incredibly crispy.
Recently, we traveled to Fink’s Farm in Manorville, New York. There was a whole table stacked high with incredible bouquets of broccoli—their outer leaves hugging those sweet florets tight. I just knew I had to bring some home with me.
We were all hungry for lunch when we walked in the door so I made my quick and easy broccoli bisque. It’s also easy on the wallet. I used to buy quarts and quarts of boxed vegetable broth from the supermarket, but I wasn’t a fan of the flavor it gave all my soups. Then, I realized that especially when I make vegetable soups, using the water I blanch the veggies in along with some sautéed aromatics, like the onion and garlic I use in this recipe, is all I really need.
I like a little texture in my soup, so for this bisque I reserve some of the cooked florets to stir in at the end.
1/2 cup dairy-free or regular shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the florets until just tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain the broccoli, reserving the cooking water. Transfer about 1 cup of the florets to a cutting board and chop into small pieces.
Working in 2 batches, add half of the remaining cooked broccoli florets, half of the onion mixture and 1 cup of the broccoli cooking water to a blender or food processor. Secure the lid and carefully blend on a high speed until creamy, about 1 minute; transfer to a soup pot. Repeat with the remaining broccoli, onion mixture, the cheese (if using) and another 1 cup of the broccoli cooking water. Stir into the soup pot to combine along with the reserved chopped florets; season with salt and pepper to taste.