My History with Broccoli Soup
Due to an unfortunate event when I was about 13 years old, I avoided broccoli soup for a long time. My dad made broccoli cheddar soup for dinner, and I kept finding little black “things” in my soup. Rather than eat the soup, I kept moving it around in my bowl inspecting the black things until I found one that had long legs… Ugh!!! By the time I made my “discovery”, my brother and my dad had already devoured their bowls of soup. My dad had not properly washed the broccoli while preparing the soup, and there were lots of little black bugs living in the florets of the broccoli. My whole family was thoroughly disgusted, and we threw away the uneaten soup. So, the moral of the story when using fresh broccoli is to wash your broccoli well!
A few years ago, I got the “bug” to try broccoli soup again. I have so many favorite recipes for other vegetable soups including potato soup, carrot soup, and cauliflower soup, and I wanted to give broccoli soup one more chance.
Low-Carb Broccoli Soup
Despite my history, this broccoli soup has become my go-to when I am am not feeling very well or when I want a meatless meal with lots of nutrients. Preparation is easy and uses very few ingredients. It is very low-calorie and can be made low-carb to fit your macros.
This recipe is adapted from the broccoli soup recipe written by the Neelys. Their version can be found on Food Network, and it also includes a delicious recipe for homemade croutons. I rarely make the croutons because I tend to eat this soup when I am eating a low-carb diet. To get some of the same flavor from the croutons, I add red pepper flakes to the soup, and I will use homemade or store-bought cheese crisps in place of the croutons.
Per serving this soup is 8-9 carbs. I don’t mind the higher carb count because I feel so good after eating it! If you need to reduce the carb count, reduce the amount of carrot and onion used. Personally, I leave them in because they add great depth of flavor.
About the Broccoli
When preparing this soup, I only use fresh broccoli. It’s available all year, but fresh broccoli tastes the best during its peak season: October through April. Plus, it’s usually less expensive during those times of the year. When choosing your broccoli, look for florets with tightly packed small buds. Avoid buying broccoli that is starting to yellow as that is a sign the broccoli is heading downhill.
Additionally, I use the broccoli florets and the broccoli stalks for the soup. The end of the broccoli stalk can become woody from drying out, and it isn’t the most pleasant to eat. So, chop about an inch off of the bottom of the broccoli stalk and discard. For even cooking, slice the broccoli stalk into 1/8″ slices, and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces.
Finally, to reiterate, rinse your broccoli well under cold water to thoroughly clean and wash!!! Don’t spend years not eating this yummy soup because of an unfortunate incident. 😉
Low Carb Broccoli Soup
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1 1/2 lbs Broccoli Fresh
- 1 medium Carrot
- 1 medium Onion
- 1 tbsp Xanthan Gum *
- 4 cups Chicken Broth Low Sodium**
- 1/2 cup Half-n-Half ***
- 3 tsp Salt plus more to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp Pepper plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes optional
- 1 cup Cheese optional, grated
- Prepare the vegetables by trimming the woody ends off the broccoli stems (about 1 inch). Chop the rest of the broccoli stems into thin slices (about 1/8th inch) and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces. Dice the onion and slice the carrot into 1/4″ pieces.
- Melt butter in a medium-sized heavy pot.
- Add broccoli, onion, carrot, salt and pepper to pot and saute until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
- Add xanthan gum to pot with vegetables and cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken stock, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Simmer mixture, uncovered, until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. A fork should be able to slide easily in and out of the broccoli.
- Add half and half to pot.
- Blend soup in the pot with an immersion blender, or blend in batches in a blender. Be careful as the soup will be hot! I prefer some texture in my soup, but blend to desired consistency.
- Add additional salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) to taste.
Serve with your favorite low-carb bread, and enjoy! As always, let me know if you try the recipe and let me know what you think!