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a close up of a purple ramekin filled with broccoli soup

broccoli stalk soup

Rebecca
Whether you’re slurping it out of an oversized mug in your PJs on the couch or serving it up in porcelain ramekins as a fancy appetizer — broccoli stalk soup is only as fancy as the dish you serve it in. Dress it up properly and no one will ever guess you made it out of freezer scraps.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Toppings Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

for the soup

  • 4 cups broccoli stalks (fresh or frozen, sliced into 1" pieces)
  • 1 small crown of fresh broccoli
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 stalk celery (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup farro (or arborio rice)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or half-and-half or coconut milk)
  • salt and pepper

crispy shallots & bacon topping

  • 2 slices bacon
  • ½ large shallot (thinly sliced, rings separated)
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • salt and pepper

lemon yogurt drizzle

  • ½ cup whole fat plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • juice and zest from ½ a lemon
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and arrange one of the oven racks so it’s on the topmost setting and ready to go for the roasted broccoli topping.
  • Remove the buds from one crown of fresh broccoli. We’re not talking whole florets here — get as close to the dark green buds as you can, leaving just the most delicate stems attached to them. Set the buds aside and chop the remaining stalk into 1/4″ slices.
  • Heat oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. When oil is shiny, add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sliced fresh broccoli stalks and any frozen broccoli stalks, along with the vegetable stock. The liquid should just barely cover the broccoli. If it doesn’t, add more stock (or water) until it does. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, adjusting heat so that it doesn’t boil over.
  • Use a wire spider (or slotted spoon) to transfer the cooked broccoli and onions from the pot to your blender, along with 3 cups of the cooking liquid from the pot.
    ***Save the rest of the cooking liquid in the pot in case you need to adjust the consistency of your soup in the next step.***
  • Blend on high until smooth. It should have the consistency of cream — if it feels too thick or chunky, add more cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time, blending between additions, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Okay, now you can pour out the remaining cooking liquid from the pot.
    Transfer the broccoli mixture from the blender back into the pot over low heat, and stir in the cream, farro, salt, and a few grinds of pepper and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Make your roasted broccoli topping: Toss the reserved broccoli buds from step one on a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast on the top rack of a 400°F oven for 5-7 minutes until bright/dark green and lightly charred.
  • Make your bacon and shallot topping: Cook slices of bacon over medium heat in a non-stick pan until crispy. Remove from pan and let cool on a paper towel. Crumble cooled bacon into pieces.
    In a small bowl combine flour and salt. Toss shallot rings in the flour until lightly coated.
    Fry the shallots in the leftover bacon fat over medium heat until crispy and light golden brown. Remove from pan to a paper towel to cool.
  • Make the lemon yogurt drizzle: Mix ½ cup yogurt with lemon zest and juice. The sauce should be fairly thin — more like a heavy cream than a yogurt — so add more lemon juice if it seems too thick to drizzle. Add salt to taste.

to serve

  • Stir half of the roasted broccoli buds into the soup. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
    Spoon the soup into bowls and top with remaining roasted broccoli bits, fried shallots, bacon bits, and a drizzle of lemon yogurt sauce.

Notes

  • This recipe is very forgiving — if you have more broccoli stalks or fewer broccoli stalks, simply adjust the amount of cooking liquid you add to the blender as needed. You can also add broccoli florets to the mixture, though it’s harder to get a very creamy soup that way.
  • To cut the buds off a head of broccoli, start by removing the stalk before working your way up toward the buds. First, remove the main stalk, breaking the crown into several pieces, then remove the stalk from each of those pieces breaking them into several pieces. Keep repeating with each piece, always cutting above the stem where the florets are connected. The pieces you’re working with will get smaller and smaller, but the process remains the same — keep cutting the new pieces where they’re joined at the stem until you have lots of tiny florets made up of buds.
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