I’m finally back! It was great to have a little break during Thanksgiving (and to get some sun in Florida!), but I missed my little corner of the internet here. I hope you all had a lovely holiday. I’m still in disbelief that Christmas is 19 days away – I haven’t started my shopping yet – but I’m loving that I now get to enjoy Christmas cookies, treats at Chicago’s German Christmas market, and cocktails at holiday parties. But with all of these temptations around, I’ve noticed that my cravings for healthy foods have actually increased. I suppose it’s my body seeking balance, trying to find that equilibrium which makes me feel happy and energized. Lately I’ve been drawn to vegetable soups, like this broccoli white bean version.
This soup is wonderfully healthy, flavorful and filling. With broccoli, spinach, onion and celery, it’s a great way to reach your daily veggie goal (which even for a vegetarian can seem daunting to achieve). And although many veggie soups can be bland, this one has a very bright flavor from the addition of lemon zest. But I have to say that my favorite part of this soup is its creaminess and thickness from the white beans, which also add fiber and protein to round out the nutritional value of the meal.
The key with this soup is to make sure that the veggies are completely soft by the time you’re ready to puree, as this will give it a very smooth and silky texture. While this means that the recipe takes a bit longer than most of the recipes you’ll see here, I think it’s completely worth it. I love to make a big batch of this on the weekends and then have it throughout the week (call me crazy, but I think it might even taste better as leftovers!).
I should also mention that there are a lot of ways to customize this soup. A splash of buttermilk gives it a nice richness, but I also think it’s great without. I’ve had fun varying up toppings, too: almonds, pine nuts, more roasted broccoli or white beans, cheese and even stirring in some tahini are all options to try.
- For the roasted broccoli:
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- For the remainder of the soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- About 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 14 oz can cooked white beans
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ cup buttermilk (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Add the broccoli to a baking dish and coat with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss well and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the broccoli is soft. Check occasionally to ensure the florets do not become burnt.
- In the meantime, sautee the garlic, celery and onion over medium heat in a large pot for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the vegetable stock, white beans and the roasted broccoli. Bring to a boil and cook for five more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add spinach, salt and lemon zest.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you are using a blender, puree the soup in batches and then return to the pot.
- Add optional buttermilk, additional salt to taste, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
Traci | Vanilla And Bean says
Welcome back!! Oh, this SOUP! Julia, it sounds so, so good. And so much healthier than broccoli cheese soup! Really appreciate the roasting of the broccoli and the lemon zest for brightening. I think this soup will taste better after hanging out in the fridge too! So glad you back! Thank you for this lovely, warming soup, Julia!
Thanks, Traci – it’s good to be back!! I tried this recipe with sauteed broccoli too, but roasted was definitely the winning method. And the lemon zest is essential, in my mind! I hope you enjoy it!
Katie @ Whole Nourishment says
I love the creaminess and lift that cannellini beans add to soups. And what a great idea to add buttermilk for a little tang too! Enjoy the holiday season Julia!
Thanks, Katie! You’re right, the cannellini beans add so much to this soup – and they are so healthy, too! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season too. Winter in Switzerland sounds so picturesque!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
Good for you, Julia – taking a little time off to recharge is a great thing. Loving this soup. It looks so healthy and filling. Is that marcona almonds I spy? Just had those recently and they are addicting. Welcome back!
You’re right, Geraldine – recharging can really work wonders! And yes, those are marcona almonds! If you shop at Trader Joe’s, you must try their almonds with rosemary and sea salt. They are completely addicting and I add them to everything!
nourished roots says
Oh, this sounds really great. It will be an amazing soup in the New Year to get back to eating healthy after all the holiday indulgence.
I completely agree – this soup will be great after New Year’s! It’s so healthy, but somehow feels decadent because of its creamy texture. Thanks for visiting!
Isadora @ she likes food says
I seriously can’t believe that Christmas is next week! I still haven’t done any shopping or meal planning and I’m kind of in a panci right now!
This soup looks amazing! I love the broccoli and white bean combo! I’ve been eating white bean hummus like crazy lately and this soup will be a nice change!
I know what you mean about Christmas! We don’t have any snow here yet, so I keep forgetting that it’s coming up so soon. And if you love white bean hummus, I bet you will love this soup. It’s nice and creamy and I love how healthy it is.