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September 27, 2011

Broccoli and apple soup recipe


What I love most about making soup: you start out in one direction, end up somewhere else altogether, and rather than going off the rails and into the compost, your dish most likely will be spectacular. And so it was with this broccoli and apple soup, which is the very first dish on which my new cooking assistant, Kathy, and I collaborated. We started with a recipe in Best of Irish Soups, a small cookbook my friend Lucia brought from her last visit home to Ireland. The original recipe called for cream, but we went a different route, adding lemon zest to brighten the flavor, and a good pinch of black pepper for bite. The apples provided sweetness that married well with the broccoli. This make-ahead-and-freeze soup just might be my contribution to this winter's Soup Swap.

Broccoli and apple soup

Inspired by a recipe in Best of Irish Soups, this recipe serves 6.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 medium apples, cored, cut into large chunks
1 medium bunch of broccoli, woody ends of stems removed, stems and florets roughly chopped
1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the apples and broccoli, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the stock, and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes or until the broccoli stems are soft when pierced with a knife. Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Remove the pot from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.

In a dry nonstick frying pan, toast the almonds over low heat, shaking the pan frequently, for 3-4 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted and give off a pleasant aroma.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot -- or purée in batches in a food processor and return the soup to the pot. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve hot, topped with the toasted almonds, or chill for several hours and serve cold.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Kalyn | September 27, 2011 at 06:02 PM

I'm fascinated by the combination!

Posted by: Jeanette | September 27, 2011 at 07:03 PM

I do love how soups just "evolve" as you're cooking them on the stove. That's what I love about making soups, there are so many variations and directions it can take.

Posted by: Lydia | September 28, 2011 at 08:40 AM

Kalyn, it's a great surprise to your taste buds. And no cream.

Jeanette, I love playing with my food, so soup is the perfect outlet. It's hard to make a bad soup, and fun to make a great one.

Posted by: susan from food blogga | September 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I've never been a big fan of broccoli soups, but I'm wondering if I might like this version better with apple.

Posted by: Lucia | October 4, 2011 at 06:19 PM

This soup is terrific!!!! Easy and delicious. Thank you, Lydia!!!

Posted by: Lydia | October 5, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Susan, I'm a bit the same way, not a huge broccoli soup lover, but I couldn't stop tasting this one. The lemon balances out the broccoli, the apple gives a bit of sweetness. I think you'd like it.

Lucia, thank *you* for the gift of the cookbook. I've made two soups, following the recipes more or less, and both have been hits.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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