Broccoli, Lemon, and Parmesan Soup

By • November 7, 2012 • 92 Comments

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Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 lemon
  • Crusty bread for serving
  1. Bring a large, heavy pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and boil for five minutes. Drain the broccoli well and set aside.
  2. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pot over medium heat. After a minute or two, when the garlic starts to soften and turn golden, add the broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and stir well.
  3. Cover the pot, turn the heat down as low as it will go, and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is soft enough that it yields when you press it with the back of a wooden spoon (it may brown a little during this process -- this is a good thing).
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes.
  5. Carefully puree half the soup in a blender or food processor, using a kitchen towel to hold the lid on tight. Stir the puree back into the pot. Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with plenty of crusty bread.
Jump to Comments (92)

Comments (92) Questions (2)


about 17 hours ago Selena Benedict

This recipe is fabulous. I ate the whole pot in a day and a half served with crusty sourdough. Delicious.


about 17 hours ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!


22 days ago Sally Abromaitis Ashak

Is there anything wrong with using a pressure cooker for the broccoli? This is the way I have always cooked it. Keeps its flavor and color.


24 days ago Frances Peets

I have never cooked veggies for a soup this way - on their own, covered for an hour - can someone fill me in on this method. I usually just cook, simmering after boil and then puree. Thank you.


24 days ago Margaux

Just try it this way, Frances Peets. It is worth it!


23 days ago Frances Peets

Thanks Margaux I did and it was lovely but I was just curious about method.


25 days ago Stephanie Kirkland-Kuisma

This looks wonderful and I am going to make this for dinner tomorrow night. I know this may sound odd, but I have some squash kicking around my fridge that I need to use. Has anyone made this and added squash? I have about half a small blue hubbard already diced. I am considering adding this in with the broccoli.....


about 1 month ago Susan W

This soup is so delicious. Much better than the sum of it's parts. I think that slow pan roast is key. I have been off broccoli for a while, but this has brought it back in my good graces. My farmer's market broccoli has long stalks so I added them. I used my immersion blender and it was the perfect consistency. Love.


about 1 month ago Shef Sherry

Love the combination of lemon and parmesan. Looking forward to making this soup tonight with cauliflower to combat my cold!


2 months ago catalinalacruz

Very, very, very good! And a good way to eat half a pound of broccoli at one sitting. :)
Next time, I'll try it using cauliflower instead of broccoli.


2 months ago catalinalacruz

P.S. I steamed the broccoli, rather than boiling it. Can't stand to pour nutrients down the drain.


2 months ago flourgirl

I was having a vegan guest for dinner and took a chance and used 1/2 cup nutritional yeast instead of the parm....different but still wonderful. I have also made half broccoli/half caulifower...also very good!


2 months ago Amy Palmer Henry

This is a favorite of ours. I peel and chop the broccoli stems and cook those along with the florets. Then I save the cooking liquid when draining the broccoli and use that as stock or to mix with Better Than Boullion instead of water.


2 months ago Alisha Spann

Made this tonight for dinner tomorrow and i had to sneak a taste...bad move had a big bowl of it after the salad i already had for dinner *blushes*. I was wondering if anyone has tried this with just cauliflower yet because i went out and bought cauliflower when i bought broccoli when i saw this recipe because it sounded so good. Never will i make broccoli cheese soup again! Maybe just a dash of Tabasco on top for those nights you need something warm with a bit of warmth


4 months ago Ashley Marie

Loved this so much - it was delicious, and light enough for summer comfort soup! I was just a 1/4 cup short on my homemade chicken stock (the cardamom one from @midnitechef on here) so once everything was boiling, I subbed 1/4 cup extra dry vermouth. I think it's really important to use quality cheese in this!


5 months ago Sasutan

That is an exceptional soup!


6 months ago matt

It's a nice soup, but I added some extras.
I cooked some diced bacon until the fat melted, then added some olive oil and cooked leek until soft, then added all of this with the puree. I also added dried chilli flakes, a bit more parmesan and replaced about a quarter of the broccoli with some cauliflower. Really tasty.
It really improves the next day.


7 months ago Valerie

I love this soup, this time I made it with Asparagus. Used a little less broth and more lemon & garlic. Whoa......spring in a bowl!!


7 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I'll have to try that -- thanks for the tip!


7 months ago Renee B

Love it with broccoli but I'm absolutely trying this with asparagus. Great idea.


9 months ago Kate Prolman

Yummy flavorful followed recipe except for two adjustments ~ pressed garlic in prep bowl before water boiled (by letting crushed garlic sit for at least 10 minutes before heating it "sweatens") My florets were falling apart after 30 minutes so I just threw broccoli only in food processor to puree (that way you don't need to batch it). Then deglazed RockCrok Dutch Oven with 1 cup chicken broth added to puree; then returned to pot added only 2 more cups of broth "to clean food processor" to avoid too thin a consistency. Squeezed whole Lemon directly into pot. Only added Freshly grated Parmesan just before serving to bowl. EXCELLENT recipe!


9 months ago Odegaard

Was lovely! Doubled, puréed all, swaped Romano for parm, & topped w/ homemade croutons. Thanks!


9 months ago Grayce

This was wonderful! and easy. I did add a small amount of chopped roasted red peppers (after puree) to give it some color (other than green!).......


9 months ago Jay DiDomenico

I pureed all of it, rather than just half. It was excellent.


10 months ago Jay DiDomenico

Is it a thin or thick soup?


10 months ago Renee B

Both batches I've made have been more thick than thin. It's really good. The lemon is a must. I start with more broccoli than stated and use some of the stems even though the recipe calls for florets only. The remaining stems go to our grateful dog!


10 months ago chankari

Really great and easy recipe (lots of hands off time). I made the recipe as written, but added some peeled broccoli stalks to make up the 2 pounds of broccoli. The first time I made it I didn't cook the broccoli as long as required and I got a less flavorful result. But the second time I cooked the broccoli as written and the soup was better for it!