Have you ever convinced yourself that something is delicious so you can actually handle eating it? Let me count out a few of my least favourite-tasting healthy things that I consume with disdain: spirulina, chlorella, most sea vegetables, flax seed oil, and wheatgrass juice. I have also been like this with broccoli till my teenager years. Especially after studying nutrition and learning just how incredibly good this veggie is for us, I’ve really forced myself to eat more of it.
But this soup is different. First of all, it’s mostly broccoli. And it’s scrumptious. It doesn’t hide underneath crazy cheese sauce or dressing because it doesn’t need to! It’s earthy and delightful. It’s shockingly green and decidedly not fart-y because the broccoli isn’t overcooked. It’s rich and creamy with a hint of spice that you can dial up or down depending on whom you’re cooking for.
I used cashews to deliver that unctuous richness, and nutritional yeast to mimic the cheese-y taste of dairy. Not only does this really take the soup to a whole other level, swirling that velvety cream through the bowl of green creates a beguilingly beautiful result. I mean, just look at it. This is satisfying and stick-to-your-ribs kind of fare, which is perfect as the autumn wind begins to blow. I am proud of this soup. It marks a grown-up kind of shift in my palette and my diet.
A soup to celebrate not just health, but deliciousness.
500g onions, chopped
1 knob coconut oil
½ tsp. sea salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
1kg broccoli, chopped into florets
2 tablets of vegetable broth or homemade broth
fresh green chili, minced (enough to suit your taste)
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems only
2 tsp. lemon juice
sea salt to taste
chili flakes for garnish, if desired
1 cup / 150g raw cashews
1 ¼ cups / 300ml water
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. sea salt
1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, stir and let soak at room temperature for about 4 hours (overnight is fine). Drain and rinse.
2. Place cashews in a blender, add all other cashew cream ingredients and blend on the highest setting until completely smooth. Season to taste. Set aside.
3. Heat a knob of coconut oil in a large stockpot. When melted, add onions and a few pinches of sea salt, stir, and cook until the onions have softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and chili, stir, cook for 2 minutes. Next add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and simmer for just five minutes – do not overcook! The broccoli should be bright green and slightly al dente.
4. Remove about half of the cashew cream from the blender and set aside. Add the stockpot contents to the blender (you may need to do this in batches) and blend on the highest setting until smooth. Add the nutritional yeast, parsley, and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth. Season to taste.
5. To serve, pour the soup into bowls. Add a few spoonfuls of the leftover cashew cream and swirl into the soup. Sprinkle with chili flakes and a couple parsley leaves. Enjoy hot.