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January 4, 2012

Creamy cream-free broccoli soup recipe


Do you really want to know about this creamy broccoli soup that isn't packed with cheese and heavy cream, or do you want to know more about the beautiful coaster that's sitting under the soup bowl? (The coaster. I knew it.) Our granddaughter, age 10, who is into crochet big-time these days, and her talented mom gave me for Chanukah a bag of "props for soup", and I couldn't be more proud to show you the first one. Do you blame me for making a soup to match? A brief encounter with a parmesan cheese rind gives this soup its goodness without adding a lot of fat. (If you live near a good Italian market, you might be able to buy a bag of cheese rinds to keep in your freezer.) Even if you haven't loved broccoli soup in the past, please try this soup. It will make you happy.

Creamy cream-free broccoli soup

Serves 4-6.


2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
12 oz broccoli crowns
2 small potatoes (Idaho or Yukon Gold), cubed
1 small onion, chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (store-bought or homemade)
Small piece of parmesan cheese rind
1/4 tsp urfa pepper or mild red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper


Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Sauté the broccoli, potato chunks and onion for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent but the vegetables have not begun to brown.

Add the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the potato is quite soft.

Remove the pot from heat, and use an immersion blender to purée the soup. (Or, allow the soup to cool slightly and purée in batches in a stand blender.)

Return the soup to the stove top over low heat, and add the cheese rind and urfa biber or red pepper flakes. Bring to the simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

Serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Heidi | January 4, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I love parmesan rinds in soup! In fact, I just used all mine up that way! Gotta eat more parmesan and make more rinds!

Posted by: Kalyn | January 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I love the soup, but even more I love the coaster, especially that she was so obviously thinking of you with love when she made it!

Posted by: Andrea Meyers | January 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I save all my cheese rinds for soup, but I do wish I had an Italian market nearby. And your granddaughter is very talented, she did a lovely job on the coaster!

Posted by: Nupur | January 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The coaster is beautiful- and very impressive for a 10 year old (I love to crochet and I can tell it is high quality work).

I love your recipe for broccoli cheese soup and this version looks tasty too.

Posted by: Lydia | January 4, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Heidi, my local Italian market sells bags of parm rinds in the cheese department. It's a great way to get more rinds without buying more cheese!

Kalyn, I've never received such a wonderful collection of coasters. Ever.

Andrea, way back when I used to crochet, and I've long since given it up. So nice to see that it's making a comeback in my family, and I can't wait to show you more of her creations.

Nupur, I agree, and I'm super impressed! (Of course I am not impartial.) This broccoli soup is my new favorite, more broccoli and just enough cheese, with no cream. Yum.

Posted by: Jeanette | January 4, 2012 at 12:47 PM

I love how healthy this creamless cream of broccoli soup is. I save Parmesan cheese rinds for minestrone - great idea using that in this recipe to get that cheezy flavor without all the fat.

Posted by: CJ McD | January 4, 2012 at 08:41 PM

Lydia- This is how I often make broccoli soup. The potato gives it great body. However, I do not have a beautiful granddaughter, nor a young relative of such talent. That's a fairly complicated design for such a young person. Please continue to showcase her lovely talent while sharing your divine soup recipes.

Cheers to both of you!

Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | January 4, 2012 at 08:48 PM

Jeanette, even though I've been using parm rinds in soup for years, I'm still amazed at how much they enhance the flavor of vegetable soups.

CJ,I promise to show you more crochet handiwork. Some of the colors are a bit wild, so I have to think of soups to match. Now, what kind of soup goes with turquoise?

Posted by: susan g | January 5, 2012 at 11:55 AM

How did you know I was looking at the crochet? I love that a 10 year old made it -- brings back memories. What a sweet mother and daughter!
Turquoise? Maybe Southwest influence? with some beautiful jewelry? Who cares about the soup? Actually I do!

Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | January 5, 2012 at 04:04 PM

Susan, who wouldn't be distracted by this beautiful coaster?! I'm already thinking about a soup to match the next one. Love the idea of a Southwest soup for the turquoise.

Posted by: Debbie | January 6, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I made the soup tonight and it was delicious! No fancy, schmantzy coaster here (I knit and I'm not that talented!) but the soup was fabulous! I'll have to think more about a turquoise soup...that's a challenge! Congrats to your granddaughter for making beautiful soup props!

Posted by: Lydia | January 6, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Debbie, I'm taking any and all suggestions for future coaster-matching soups! Turquoise, and a kind of purple heather, are the colors of the next one. So glad you liked the broccoli soup. My husband thinks this should be my contribution to Soup Swap later this month.

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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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