Bowl of broccoli cheese soup
Soups and Stews

The Perfect Soup Base

This makes an exceptionally versatile base for a variety of soups. Replace the broccoli with your favorite vegetables, beans, and whole-grain pasta. Blending the carrots, potatoes, and onion is an easy way to add (hide) veggies and create a creamy low-fat consistency. Use this soup with or without broccoli as a topping for vegetables such as baked potatoes.

Prep Instructions

  • Yield: 7 (1 cup) servings
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen broccoli or 4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 2/3 cups raw carrots, diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups raw potatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), cut into chunks
  • 3 1/2 water, divided
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare each ingredient as noted above.
  2. Lightly boil or steam broccoli in covered saucepan until tender. Empty pan and set broccoli aside. If using frozen broccoli, cut into smaller pieces after it’s cooked.
  3. In saucepan, combine carrots, potatoes, onion, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook for 15–20 minutes, until tender.
  4. Empty vegetables into blender, along with cooking water, and add cashews and salt. Also add an additional ½ cup of water. Before blending hot ingredients, be sure to open the blender vent.
  5. Blend for 3 minutes, until very smooth (cashews must be completely blended for soup to be creamy). Empty contents back into saucepan (see tip #3 below).
  6. Rinse blender with remaining 2 cups of water and add to pan.
  7. Boil lightly for 1 minute; this causes the cashews to act as a thickener. Also, the color will become a little more orange and cheese-like.
  8. Add broccoli and serve. If desired, cooked beans or whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice may also be added.
  9. Tips and Variations:

     

    Other cooked vegetables, including more carrots and potatoes, may be substituted for all or part of the broccoli. Or try greens or frozen mixed vegetables.

    If potatoes have thin, light-colored skins (i.e., Yukon Gold), the skin will not be noticeable after they have been cooked and blended. Potatoes with thicker, darker skins (i.e., Russet) will leave tiny brown flecks in the soup. The flavor is good with either type of potato, but you may want to peel darker potatoes for a prettier soup.

    If using a strong blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, the thickening process may be done in the blender instead of returning the sauce back to the pan. After blending the ingredients smooth, add the remaining 2 cups of cooking water and blend for 2–3 minutes. This creates more heat, and the sauce will thicken in the blender. Empty the blender into a serving bowl, add broccoli, and serve.

Nutritional Data

Calories: 100.89
Fat: 3.70 g
Saturated Fat: 0.62 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 453.27 mg
Carbohydrates: 14.52 g
Fiber: 3.52 g
Sugars: 3.35 g
Protein: 3.71 g
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