Monday, February 13, 2012

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

We all know broccoli soup is a comfort soup. We also know heavy cream is not so good for us. With this flavorful soup, no one will know that there is no cream unless you tell them. And of course if you want to use the yummy stuff like cream and butter, go for it. I'll give you the substitutions at the end.

(PS: I am not a vegan, but I live with one - I just add my dairy on the side to my own dish so I don't contaminate the whole soup)

1 lb of broccoli crowns, cut into florets and equal size stem pieces

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 large yellow or white onion, diced in equal size pieces
4 oz silken tofu
1 tsp. garlic powder

Special Tools: Blender or Immersion Stick Blender; bowl of ice water big enough for the onion and broccoli

1) Bring the broth to a boil and wisk in the garlic powder. Add the onions and broccoli and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes until the broccoli is crisp tender. You do not want mushy broccoli.

2) Pour your soup through a colander and reserve the broth. Quickly transfer your broccoli/onion mix to the ice bath to "shock" the broccoli, keeping it bright green and stopping to cooking process. Allow the vegetable broth to cool as well.

3) Add the broccoli/onions to your blender with 1 cup of the broth. Blend on medium speed. Add the tofu and as much broth as you need to create a smooth blended soup.

) Blend the broccoli/onion mix with 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbs butter, and as much broth as needed to create a smooth blended soup.

4) Return to the pot and heat. You can reduce down the liquid (boil it away) if you accidentally added too much broth, but be careful not to let it burn. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5) TOPPINGS!!!! I love a nice medium to sharp cheddar cheese shredded on top, a few red onion dices, and of course, full fat sour cream. Yum! Also good are some nummy garlic butter croutons made from left-over white sandwich bread.

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