We go through a lot of broccoli around here, but usually the pretty little tops are what get used in stir-frys and such, leaving the stalks feeling unloved. My dogs come begging for them, but there's really only so much broccoli you should feed a dog... if you know what I mean. My solution is to save up three or four bunches worth of stalks, and make soup out of them. I love how nothing goes to waste, and we get a beautiful, creamy, slightly cheesy soup out of the deal. Don't worry - Lucy and Heidi get plenty of snacks.
This is a very mildly flavored soup, so it's perfect to serve to someone who doesn't really care for broccoli. If you have whole broccoli, florets and all, by all means use it. You'll get more brocco-flavor, and a greener color too.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
8 cups broccoli stalks, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 T miso paste, mixed with a little water
1/4 cup tamari
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp white pepper (or to taste)
1-2 cups nut milk, water, or extra broth for thinning
Start the cashews soaking. An hour or more of soak time is ideal, but 15-20 minutes will do.
Scrape off as much of the outside layer of the broccoli stalks as you can, but don't be too finicky.
Chop the broccoli into chunks and set aside. The smaller you chop them, the faster they'll cook.
In a large soup pot, steam-fry the onions in a little bit of water over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the 4 cups of broth, the beer, and the chopped broccoli.
Bring to a boil, and cook until soft, adding water if necessary to keep the broccoli covered.
When the broccoli is soft (about 20-30 minutes), add the drained cashews, nutritional yeast, miso, tamari, and garlic powder.
Place the soup in a blender in several small batches, and blend on high speed until smooth, adding water if necessary. You'll need a second soup pot to transfer the blended soup into.
Back on the stove, over low heat, season the blended soup with salt and pepper, and add milk, broth, or water to thin if necessary.
This soup is nice with a dash of hot sauce - my current favorite is Sriracha - and maybe some bread or crackers with a bit of Spicy Cashew Cheese Spread.
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