Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lower Fat Cream of Broccoli soup - too good to be true

Can anything be too good to be true? Really? This soup is. Not only does it make you all warm and fuzzy, but also takes care of your heart so that you can use it to spread more love through the universe. That has got to be the corniest line I ever wrote! But jokes apart, I think I have unexpectedly stumbled upon a great way to make a satisfying low fat cream of broccoli. Since I no longer enjoy the panera broccoli cheddar having discovered its made with chicken broth, this is a great homemade alternative without all those calories.

Broccoli, as we all know, is a super food and is wonderful for your health. Please visit for a detailed appreciation of this humble vegetable. Broccoli is relatively new to the Indian grocery scene and is still under the 'exotic' label. Exotic, as we, all know, also means expensive. It is generally about 4-5 times the price of your regular cabbage and okra. So I was happy when I got it for a much lower rate in the Sunday market. I had been craving a thick creamy soup for a while now, so I had an idea where this broccoli would end up.

I looked up several recipes on the web. The vegan recipes went with soy milk and cashews or some other nut. Vegetarians added cream, cheddar cheese, half and half and what not. I found a few recipes promoting the humble potato as a way to add creaminess without adding fat, and that really made sense to me. I wanted to make this recipe as easy as possible, mostly made out of easy to find, hence economical ingredients. I just added a cup of whole milk at the end and that gave the requisite creaminess, mixed in with some corn starch. I served it garnished with some grated carrot and grated cheddar, and the result was a very thick and creamy filling soup.

I botched up the photos of the actual soup, but am still adding one here to give you a general idea.

The detailed recipe is as follows -

Ingredients --

500g broccoli

2 small potatoes

1 small onion/half cup

4-5 garlic cloves

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

carrot for garnish

cheddar cheese for garnish

Method -

1) Seperate the broccoli into florets and finely chop the stems. The stems will add bulk and are also full of nutrition so you do not want to waste them.

2) Heat some oil in a stock pot. Fry the onion and chopped garlic. Add chopped potatoes and fry for some time until the potatoes soften a bit and are partially cooked. You may add a little water here to avoid sticking.

3) Add all the broccoli and about one litre of water and put a lid on the pot. Some of the water will be absorbed. Switch off the heat when the potatoes are cooked. The broccoli will definitely cook by this time.

4) At this point, you can use an immersion blender to blend everything roughly in the pot. If not, let this cool down and puree it in a blender or food processor in batches. Add everything back to the pot.

5) The blended potato will lend a creamy aspect to the whole soup and it should be quite thick at this point.

6) Season with salt and pepper.

7) Mix in 1 Tbsp cornstarch with a cup of milk at room temperature such that there are no lumps. Add this to the soup pot.

8) Keep stirring slowly so that the soup does not stick. The cornstarch will add some thickness and milk will add a creamy aspect.

9) Serve this piping hot. Ladle in bowls and add some grated carrot on top for garnish. Add about a Tbsp of grated cheddar and mix it in as you eat.

10) You can make this cheddar intensive by adding 2 cups of cheddar to the pot, or lots more cheddar to the bowl, but that will not make this 'low fat'.

This is a nourishing low fat soup that is a complete meal, served with some whoke grain crusty bread. I hope you try this simple recipe that gives exotic results.

1 comment:

Swati Sapna said...

hey! thats a nice recipe for broccoli soup. i have a similar one that you could try -
and thanks for ur comment on my blog.. i know i hv replied after very long, but now following ur blog :)