I had a bunch of broccoli that needed to be used up and thought this would be a perfect time to add a broccoli soup to the recipe collection. Seeing that my last soup, Butternut Squash + Red Lentil Soup, was so good with the addition of lentils, I decided to add them to this soup as well. Lentils add bulk, heartiness and boost the nutritional profile by adding protein and good carbohydrates. They cook fast too so you can pull this recipe together in about 40 minutes from start to finish. It’s also a one-pot meal which I love (less dishes is always a plus)! I was inspired by both these recipes from 101 Cookbooks and Green Kitchen Stories. Both simple and delicious! I especially love the Savory Corn Biscuit recipe included in the GK Stories recipe, which I had a chance to make. I made half a batch and used different shapes, a flower and a circle. Because I didn’t have the non-dairy yogurt on hand, I subbed unsweetened almond milk. They were still delicious without the yogurt, so easy to make and a perfect accompaniment to the soup!
On a side note…
Time is flying and the holidays are almost here. If you haven’t finished your holiday menus, take a peek at my Vegan Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe ideas on pinterest and follow along if you like. During mid-October through December of every year you’ll find this link at the top of every page. All handpicked and include a note about the recipe or suggestions when needed. Check the board often, it will continue to grow as I find new recipes. Happy holidays and happy pinning! :)
I also updated a couple soup recipes over the last week or so. If you need some more soup inspiration take a look at these: Roasted Fennel & Potato Soup, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Parsnip & Split Pea Soup: Slow Cooker or Stove Top and this Curry Lentil & Greens Soup. Each one is delicious…check em out!
We know broccoli is a nutrient dense vegetable. Rich in fiber, vitamin k & C and folate, its deep color holds many health benefits. I often eat it simply steamed with a dollop of hummus and a little sambal oelek. Once mixed, the combination is creamy, slightly spicy and delicious! Having it here in a soup is a nice change up, especially with soup season under way.
I love red lentils and their ability to blend easily in pureed soups. They add fiber, protein and cook up very light as to not alter the color of the soup as much as if using green/brown lentils. I would suggest sourcing and keeping red lentils in your pantry at all times. They are reasonable at about $2 to $3 a pound and will make dishes more nutrient dense when added.
CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP
- 1 tablespoon coconut, grapeseed or olive oil or 3 Tbsps water for water saute
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 – 3 large heads broccoli, cut into florets (stalks chopped ok too)
- 6 – 7 cups water or vegetable broth (or combo)
- 1 can low-fat coconut milk, optional
- mineral salt, to taste
- mustard seeds, crushed (I used black)
- 1 – 2 scallions, sliced
- slivered almonds
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil/water over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook another minute or until fragrant. Add lentils, broccoli, broth/water and optional coconut milk. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, using the back of a fork or spoon press the broccoli down as much as you can to cover with liquids. Cover pot with lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Soup is done when lentils are tender. Taste soup, add salt as needed. Using an immersion blender puree until desired consistency. Or once cooled a few minutes, use a food processor/blender to puree (this method may take two batches to complete).
Serve in individual bowls topped with mustard seeds, scallions and almonds. Pairs great with crusty bread or biscuits of choice. If you have one on hand, a squeeze of lemon will add some brightness.
If using pre-cut packaged broccoli, use about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds or 8 – 10 cups.You may feel there is not enough water, and most likely all the broccoli won’t be covered by the liquids at first. As it cooks it will soften and sink down, and any that doesn’t will steam and become soft. If you like you can push the broccoli down half way through cooking. If adding a while can of coconut milk, start with the lower amount of liquids adding more as needed.
If you don’t use veggie broth or have run out of an onion and/or garlic. Try adding 1 teaspoon each of garlic and/or onion powder.
I recommend sticking with red lentils but you can use green/brown lentils if needed. Cook same as above but simmer for 30 – 35 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Your soup may look a bit muddy but flavor will be good.
Use full-fat or light coconut milk. If you’d prefer, use up to 1 cup or so of unsweetened almond milk.