Summer is just around the corner (though I argue Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the season), which means now is the time to start whipping up cold soups. Mad respect if you are one of those people who looooves a piping hot bowl of soup when it’s 80 degrees and sunny (I can’t), but nothing is more refreshing than a chilled soup. The arsenal of chilled soup options is much larger than the delish-but-basic gazpacho, my friends. Today the word is broccoli, because it’s fun to get greens in from foods that aren’t salads. So switch your fork out for a spoon, and let’s get cookin’.
Why broccoli? Well, broccoli is in the cruciferous vegetable family, which means it contains sulfuric compounds, aka serious nutrition powerhouses. Research shows that the sulfuric compounds in the cruciferous veggies have anti-cancer properties. Consumption of these veggies has been associated with lower rates of cancer, especially colon cancer. Even more impressive, studies have shown that sulfur-rich veggies may impede cancer cell growth and progression. Is the incredible or what?!
So, duh, show yourself some love and load up on the little green trees and their family members, like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and bok choy. Broccoli is also a fabulous source of vitamin K and folate, which are essential nutrients for bone health and DNA production, respectively. #BrocForTheWin
This soup is dreamy and creamy, too. But it’s completely dairy-free, so it’s safe for all the vegans and lactose-intolerant out there. We get our creamy texture from coconut milk. The fat from the coconut milk is not only satisfying, but it helps with the absorption of the nutrients in the soup (think vitamin C and B vitamins).
This soup is refreshing and flavorful as it is (thank you, cilantro, garlic, and onions), but it’s fun to amp it up with toppings. Let your freak flag fly and top it however you like. I made some suggestions below to get your creative juices flowing. This would be a fun appetizer for a summer soiree, because you could set up a toppings bar and let everyone do their thing. I can guarantee your guests will be snapping and posting pics on The ‘Gram.
Creamy Broccoli Soup
Do what your soup soul tells you- this recipe is delicious hot or cold.
- 4 cups Low sodium Vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk (the thick kind in a can)
- 4 cups spinach
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 4 broccoli with stems, rough chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, and broccoli to pot. Cover pot, add cook until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, and let soup cool slightly, so it can be transferred to a blender. (Alternatively, you could use an immersion blender.) Add spinach, cilantro, and the soup base to the blender, and blend until mostly smooth. Taste, add salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy hot, or chill and enjoy cold.
A few toppings options:
- Basic: Cheese and hemp seeds
- Punchy: Sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar, and arugula
- Savory: Tahini and rosemary
Tell me- Are you a hot soup or cold soup lover in the summertime? I’m team cold soup all the way. Plus, when it comes to leftovers, I have an excuse to be lazy and not have to worry about heating anything up! 😉 Happy June!!!