Creamy Broccoli Soup

Creamy Broccoli SoupFree of: egg, soy, nut, sugar, oil
Serves 6

This mild, creamy soup is enhanced with just a hint of lemon. It’s the only way I can get my husband to eat and enjoy broccoli. Not only does this soup taste great, but broccoli is a calcium-rich vegetable, and this soup is loaded with it.

2 pounds broccoli, stems and florets chopped separately into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 potatoes)
3 1/2 cups Chicken Stock (page 176) or Vegetable Stock (page 177)
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Dairy Milk Alternative (page 173), plus more if needed
Herb Toast (page 185), for garnish (optional)
Grated lemon zest, for garnish (optional)

To prepare the soup: Combine the broccoli stems, onion, potatoes, stock, lemon juice, bay leaves, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, decrease the heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets; reduce the heat to low, and simmer until florets are just tender, about 8 minutes. (By placing the broccoli florets on top of the other partially cooked vegetables, they cook via steam, and retain their vibrant green color.)

To puree the soup: Remove the soup from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Ladle half of the soup into a blender along with 1/2 cup of the milk, cover, and puree until smooth. Empty the blender into a large bowl and repeat with the remaining soup and 1/4
cup of milk. Transfer the pureed soup back to the saucepan. Thin the soup if necessary by adding a little more milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is achieved.  Taste and correct the seasonings. Reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until
heated through, taking care not to boil the soup. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Herb Toast (page 185) and lemon zest.