Broccoli, Lemon, and Parmesan Soup

By • November 7, 2012 • 121 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.

Topics: Soup

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Comments (121) Questions (3)

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20 days ago Alisha Spann

from my recipe put into my fitness pal, its 244 if you say its 4 servings. I use better than bouillon low sodium chicken for the stock

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20 days ago karen

Any information on calories per serving?

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20 days ago juliunruly

I see 182 calories per cup on MFP.

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27 days ago Squeemo

This is so good. Lavandinette, I added nutmeg, at your suggestion, and it's great. I used a hand blender, which is a lifesaver. If I'm feeling lazy, that extra step will be the difference in whether I'll tackle a recipe. Excellent!

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about 1 month ago Jen

Love this soup. Delicious, simple, comforting.

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2 months ago Lavandinette

Really good soup! I just want to add my voice to those below encouraging readers to chop up the stems and use them: why waste good produce? I added a sprinkling of nutmeg to mine, and it gave the soup just the extra little kick it needed.

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2 months ago Tina Miller

This one's a keeper! I always thought I "should" like broccoli soup and I never have, I think the more traditional combo of a cream base with cheddar and broccoli just doesn't do it for me. This version, however, shines with four simple ingredients, I made it for lunch and we wound up having for lunch and dinner in the same day. YUM

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3 months ago Alison Rutherford

I just made this last night to rave reviews! Made the soup even more 'winter veg' by adding 2 bunches of rainbow chard to the pot at the stage when the broccoli gets covered to simmer.
Will absolutely make this one again!

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3 months ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a great idea. Making it tomorrow and adding chard. Did you blend up the leaves and stems when you pureed the soup?

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3 months ago Meagen

Just made this in the midst of a blizzard and it was perfect. My husband and I loved the addition of lemon juice and parmesan at the end.

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3 months ago Ellen

I roasted the broccoli...maybe not quite as healthy but tasty. It was good to begin with but flavor melded over a few days making it even better. YUM!

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3 months ago mainesoul

24 + inches of snow in Boston. I gave some of this soup to a neighbor who loves broccoli soup and has a snow blower. He thought the soup was very special.

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3 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

What a nice story! Hope you're able to dig your way out before too long...

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3 months ago kkathrine

out of curiosity - how much lemon juice are people using?

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3 months ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I use the juice of one lemon. If it's an extra juicy one, I start with one half. It's interesting, but the flavors REALLY come together like Ellen said below.

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3 months ago Skinny bitches

I used less than what they call for. I based it on my personal taste and the kind of lemon you use. I tried following the recipe, but in the end it turned out too tart for me.

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3 months ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Now that I think of it, I only used 1/2 a lemon. I was at my Mom's house in San Diego, so it was a small Meyer's lemon from her tree.

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4 months ago Ellen

Didn't like this so much yesterday but the flavors are more intense/interesting the second day. Really good; highly recommend!

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4 months ago biennourri

I am a little disappointed in my children's opinion of this soup. They love broccoli and parmesan, but did not love this soup. I, on the other hand, did love it. Therefore, I will make the soup again, but just for myself!

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5 months ago juliunruly

This soup was wonderful. You really need to like broccoli. I was tasting as I went along, and was a little bit concerned until the lemon juice went in (I used a Meyer lemon) and it all came together. I used an immersion blender right in the pot; next time I'll try as the directions suggest for more texture. I topped it with a little creme fraiche and skipped the bread.

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5 months ago mainesoul

This is a wonderful soup. No need for changes, except to chop up the stems and use them to.

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5 months ago jelena mustapic

i just made this on a rainy day, it really is delicious and so simple to make! love it! and as a student on a budget this was affordable too!

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5 months ago Selena Benedict

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

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5 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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6 months 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.

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6 months 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.

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6 months ago Margaux

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

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6 months ago Frances Peets

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

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3 months ago Glenn

This process is called "sweating" and for some reason it concentrates the flavors.

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3 months ago Glenn

Paul Bertoli's cauliflower soup recipe uses the same technique, though he does not begin by boiling the veggie, as this recipe does. I didn't boil the broccoli (didn't want to lose nutrients in the water that would be tossed) and it turned out well, though I have nothing to compare it with.

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6 months ago Steph

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.....