Cream of Broccoli and Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese
Do you like cream soups? If so this is a good one to try. Broccoli lends well to making a cream soup base and in this recipe I pair it up with cannellini beans to add a bit of protein into the soup along with the cream and cheese so it is actually a very balanced soup. Some vegetable based soups miss out on the protein and are not as balanced as this one but I wanted a soup that was a bit higher in protein as I have some in the family that need to watch their carb intake. So if you have that as a nutritional goal this is a good choice from that perspective but I do not sacrifice taste to achieve this end goal.
You can often take basic recipes and build upon them by adding other ingredients to them to either make them taste better or just be a bit healthier. Most of the time you can achieve both these goals in one dish without having to sacrifice the taste many things pair up nicely together and compliment each other when served together so try and look for foods that are natural pairings.
I actually use a couple of those kinds of pairings in this recipe the broccoli pairs nice with both the cannellini beans and the cheese so I gain two natural pairings in one recipe. To top it off one of the best cream soups is made with broccoli so doing this recipe as a cream soup also gains the benefit of the deep and rich creaminess of the light cream I prefer to use real cream I know it has a bit more fat but it gives the soup a more robust and thicker richness to the recipe then using say half and half would. You could switch the light cream out for this if you want to make it a bit less on the fat count but I prefer the taste benefit to the cream. It is a personal choice either will work.
- 5 cups of broccoli, stems and florets, chopped small
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed well
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 cup light cream
- 1 teaspoon real lemon
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil for cooking as needed
- Fresh parmesan, shaved for topping (optional)
- Couple slices French baguette sliced thin
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- In a skillet add some olive oil to sauté the garlic and onion until slightly browned.
- When cooked add the flour and blend well until the flour is lightly browned - do not let this burn.
- When done transfer this to a stock pot and add bay leave, lemon, to this and the broth and broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender, reserve a cup of the florets for serving.
- Remove the bay leave before blending.
- When nice and tender use a hand blender to puree the mixture.
- Next add the beans to the soup and stir well allow to simmer for five minutes.
- Slowly stir in the cream do not allow to boil.
- When cream is fully incorporated blend in the parmesan.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer a few minutes for everything to meld together.
- Slice the baguette into thin slices cut across on an angle these should be about ⅜ inch thick.
- Lightly butter both sides and sprinkle with granulated garlic.
- Place on a broiler safe sheet and broil on each side until golden brown.
- Remove from broiler and assemble your soup in dishes.
- Ladle some soup into individual soup bowls and add some of the retained broccoli florets.
- Stack two pieces of the toasted baguette on top of the soup and sprinkle with the shaved parmesan if using and some toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on the soup and serve while hot.
This recipe is as special looking in its serving bowls as it is good tasting. It is a recipe that I aimed to make a bit more balanced but I also wanted something I could serve that would make a statement for a get together I was having. The homemade croutons are really a nice touch and the pumpkin seeds add a bit to the display of the soup and give it a real eye appeal. It was a real big hit with my guest and family alike so it should serve you well if you want a soup to entertain with or just make a happy family. PS to mom’s it’s a sneaky way to get the little ones to eat their broccoli.
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