Okay, I have surely been on a healthy-soup kick and I am rounding out these recipes with this awesome chowder-type soup. Now, I will promise that next week won’t be a soup, but let me just say that 1. I love pureeing veggies into a creamy no-cheese soup, and 2. How much healthier could this be? I love deceiving myself into thinking what I am eating is actually totally calorie-laden and bad for me. It helps my mind think I am indulging in something rather than actually eating totally healthy – yep, my mind works in mysterious ways. Here is my vegan and gluten-free Creamy Broccoli Soup.
You know I am loving soups right now since that is what I keep making. I am on a soup kick to help not gain weight, and since I get the munchies at work and gave up candy I am needing something that my brain can hold onto as making me feel full. It may not make sense, but this creamy and yet thick broccoli soup is totally helping to curb my snack-happy mind. Why? Because it feels indulgent, like I am actually eating my favorite super-thick and cheesy broccoli soup from Quiznos (which I have not had in forever) – have you ever tried it? When Quiznos was super-popular like 10 years ago I was working swing-shifts and I would always stop and get that soup (and sometimes a veggie sandwich). That bowl of soup was probably 1000 calories, which made it heavenly, and is why I always wanted it. I drooled over it at the airport in Nashville when flying home this last time – I held out and didn’t get it – but it made me think about making something to rock my world.
Which this did; it is seasoned great and with no cheese or flour it is guilt free, and full of protein with the silken tofu – and no, you can’t taste the tofu for all the tofu-haters out there. I did have a slight fail with this though, which is why the pic below has flour in it; I had meant this to be a broccoli and dumplings soup – but dumplings? They are not all that tasty – or at least mine weren’t, so no flour laden balls of dough here. I will work on that though; it won’t beat me!
I bought a big ole bag of frozen broccoli pieces because it was cheaper than buying fresh, and easier than cutting up all those broccoli florets and stems. Defrost the bag of broccoli overnight; set oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread broccoli over parchment paper then sprinkle with olive oil, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder then mix with fingers and spread out evenly. Cut top off a bulb of garlic then place in the center of a piece of foil; sprinkle with olive oil and black pepper then fold the foil up over the garlic. Bake for 20 minutes then take out the broccoli and mix, then spread back out and put back in the oven for 25 more minutes. Let cool until you can touch both the garlic and broccoli without burning fingertips off. Once the broc and garlic are out of the oven, chop onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms and dump into a large soup pot with a little oil. Turn burner to medium and let saute and add about 1/4 cup vegetable broth and bay leaf. Let cook until liquid is gone then add all herbs and mix again to wake up dried herbs. Pick through the broccoli and set florets to the side of the pan to add to soup and the pieces will get blended. To the blender add one cup milk, half the tofu, and half the broccoli pieces and blend; it will be thick and that is what you want. Pour into pot and mix. Add rest of milk, tofu and broc pieces to blender and blend again – it should be runny and that is perfect. Add to pot with 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and mix. Add leftover broccoli and mix. Put lid on pot and let cook 30-45 minutes, adding rest of broth throughout cooking to loosen up soup. About ten minutes before ready to eat add the water chestnuts. Enjoy!
1 4lbs Bag Frozen Broccoli Pieces, defrosted and roasted
Sprinkles of: Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
1 Bulb Garlic, roasted
1 Cntr Nasoya Silken Tofu
3 C Pacific Foods Vegetable Broth
3 C So Delicious Dairy Free Almond Plus Unsweetened Milk
2 Medium Yellow Onions, chopped
3 Stalks Celery, chopped
4 Carrots, chopped
1 Cntr Sliced Mushrooms, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 1/2 Tsp Thyme
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Can Water Chestnuts, chopped
1. Defrost the bag of broccoli overnight.
2. Set oven to 375 degrees; spread broccoli over parchment covered baking sheet and sprinkle olive oil, black pepper, garlic and onion powder over veggies and mix with fingers then spread out. Cut top off garlic and place in some foil and sprinkle with olive oil and black pepper and close foil around garlic. Bake 20 minutes then take out broccoli and mix and spread back out then bake 25 more minutes. Take out and let cool enough to handle.
3. After broccoli and garlic are out of the oven chop onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms and drop into your soup pot with a little oil and start sauteing.
4. Add about 1/4 cup vegetable broth and bay leaf to veggies and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally so nothing burns, until liquid is gone.
5. Dump in all spices and stir into veggies to get dried spices to cook.
6. On baking sheet pick through broccoli and set nice florets aside to add to soup; the pieces and stalks will be blended.
7. Dump 1 cup milk into blender with half the tofu then half the stalks and stems. Blend first batch – it will be thick; dump into pot and stir.
8. Pour rest of milk and tofu into blender and rest of broccoli stalks and stems and blend – it will be runny which is perfect; add to pot and stir. Add broccoli florets and stir gently.
9. Add 1 1/2 cups broth to pot and stir everything. Put lid on pot and let cook, adding more broth throughout so it isn’t too thick, for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally.
10. Drain the water chestnuts and run a knife through them to slice them up. Add to soup about 10 minutes to end of cooking to just heat through.