This bright, mineral-rich soup is full of flavor and full of nutrients to help your body feel its best. Roasted acorn squash, carrots, celery, and onion are simmered and pureed, along with hints of spices such as curry, ginger, nutmeg, and a dash of chipotle. Topped with a few roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, this winter pick-me-up soup is warming, super-nourishing, and inspiring.
Nourishing and wonderfully fragrant, this white bean soup with leeks and greens will chase away any chills in the air. Sauteed onions, leeks, and garlic, plus white beans, dark leafy greens and a splash of lemon juice make up this very simple, healthy, and flavorful soup.
In the winter, I love a good soup full of greens to fill me up with powerful vitamins and minerals. There are a lot of germs flying around this area right now (including in my own house!) and I want to make our immune systems as strong as possible. This soup is a delicious step in that direction. The purifying properties of dark leafy greens make me feel like I am taking good care of my body. This delicious soup is also a light soup, so it is perfect if you want a lighter meal, yet still want lots of protein and iron. It goes well with a nice piece of rustic bread too.
The onions, leeks, and garlic are gently sauteed till they are nice and soft and fragrant, and then the broth, beans, greens and lemon juice come in. The soup only takes about forty minutes to make, so it makes a great weeknight meal or a warm, cozy lunch, and it tastes even better the next day. For me, the lemon juice is what really makes this soup. The bright citrus flavor balances the earthy flavors of the other ingredients.
The weather has been unseasonably warm here the past few days, and all the sunshine has gotten me longing for the green of spring. That is probably another reason I had a craving to make a soup with lots of greens in it. We are a long way from spring here in Michigan, and it is actually supposed to snow here tomorrow, but this recent warm-up has been refreshing and energizing. It’s amazing what a few days of sunshine will do for a person!
Getting outdoors has been so pleasant this past week. It’s too early to start working in the garden (though my husband did churn up the soil last weekend), so we did lots of walking/biking on trails along a river near us. Being around water is so soothing and inspiring to me. The river water level is really high right now because of all the rain we got earlier in the winter, so the water is moving quickly, making lots of currents and carrying sticks and leaves along with it. As I was watching the water flow so smoothly and naturally, I felt like I should try to be more like the river. Flowing naturally toward my destination. Not fighting my own inner nature, but going with it. Navigating the rocks and bends in the earth with such natural grace.
This white bean soup with leeks and greens is in that same vein, in that it is natural and pure and nourishing. I hope you all have a great weekend! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Anugya @ Indian Curry Shack and Margy @ La Petite Casserole.
1 small yellow onion (or about 1/2 cup), finely diced
2 leeks, washed thoroughly and finely chopped (I used just the white bulb parts, not the leafy parts)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)
4 cups of your favorite vegetable broth
1 can (14 ounces) of cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
a couple of big handfuls of dark leafy greens, such as spinach or Swiss chard, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, to taste
black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, bay leaf, and salt and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until very soft. About a minute before the onions and leeks are soft, add the minced garlic.
Then add the vegetable broth and beans to the pot. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is soft and the flavors are all nice and blended. Discard the bay leaf. With a wooden spoon, carefully smash some of the beans against the side of the pot to give the soup a thicker texture. Add the greens and the lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the greens are just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add some black pepper if desired and adjust the salt and lemon juice, if desired. If it is too salty, add some water. Serve warm with some rustic bread, if desired. Enjoy!
Warm, nostalgic comfort in a bowl, that is what I think when I taste a spoonful of this broccoli buttermilk soup.It is creamy without being too heavy, and the buttermilk gives it an extra tangy flavor that blends well with the broccoli and herbs. Two percent milk keeps this soup fairly light while still allowing it to deliver that smooth comforting taste we associate with broccoli soup. Top it with some shredded cheddar cheese, and it is even tastier!
Cold, gray skies make me long for soup. Uncertain times and difficult situations make me long for soup. Soup soothes a heart that is in need of comfort. Whether there is turmoil out in the larger world or turmoil in our daily interactions, the act of making soup is an act of positive creation, and a steaming bowl of soup represents the intent of that positive creation.
The richness, the creaminess, offset by the earthy flavor of the broccoli, has such a grounding, calming, and nourishing effect. This recipe is based on one I found in my Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson. It is quick and easy to make, and tastes great for lunch or as a side dish with a sandwich for a cozy dinner. Broccoli soup is a classic soup that has so many positive associations and memories for me. Sometimes a classic, nostalgic soup is just what a person needs.
With the weather so gray and with no snow on the ground, we have been doing some indoor things this month. One very simple and fun trip was to the conservatory at the botanical gardens near us. What a great place to visit in the winter! The air in the conservatory is warm and humid, and there are beautiful plants and flowers blooming everywhere. It’s like being magically transported to a tropical paradise for awhile!
Another fun winter trip was to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. My son is a car enthusiast, and so my husband’s brother and his wife, who know their way around Detroit, took us to the auto show and on a tour of part of the city as well. We thoroughly enjoyed this day, and Detroit is a city rich in history and positive aspects. One unexpected bonus of that day was listening to a concert by a jazz band from the Detroit School of Arts. Very inspirational for my kids, who both love music.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you are looking for a broccoli soup recipe, this one is really delicious! Stay warm and take care! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s virtual potluck, Fiesta Friday. And I am sharing this quote that caught my eye today: “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
1 and 1/2 pounds of broccoli (or about 2 large heads of broccoli), chopped to the size you want it
4 tablespoons of butter
6 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of milk (I used 2% milk)
1 cup of buttermilk
a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese for the top (optional)
In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil, and then add the chopped broccoli. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the broccoli is tender.
In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to stir with the whisk until it is bubbly and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and buttermilk and stir until the mixture just thickens.
Add the milk mixture to the chicken broth/broccoli mixture. Continue to stir until everything is combined and very hot, but do not allow the soup to boil. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from Hollyhock & Radishes by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.