Broccoli, Lemon, and Parmesan Soup

By • November 7, 2012 • 85 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.
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Comments (85) Questions (2)

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20 days 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.

Pastrychefsherry

24 days ago Shef Sherry

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

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29 days 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.

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29 days ago catalinalacruz

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

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29 days 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!

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about 1 month 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.

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about 1 month 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

Ashley

3 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!

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4 months ago Sasutan

That is an exceptional soup!

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5 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.

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6 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!!

Merrill

6 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

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

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6 months ago Renee B

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

Stringio

8 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!

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8 months ago Odegaard

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

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8 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!).......

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8 months ago Jay DiDomenico

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

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8 months ago Jay DiDomenico

Is it a thin or thick soup?

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8 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!

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9 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!

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9 months ago Renee B

Delicious! I made this tonight for book club. So easy. So good. The broccoli didn't brown so the soup was green but the flavor was divine. I'll be making this again. One can never have too much broccoli or parmesan cheese.

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9 months ago sjlongin

Although I try recipes from this site weekly and have almost never been disappointed, I've been a lurker. This is my first time commenting. Soup is my favorite thing to prepare and vegetable soups are my most favorite of all. Just finished this for dinner with my family and honestly, it's the most delicious broccoli soup EVER! I doubled the garlic just because, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It's so simple but far more complex than the sum of its parts. I and my family, including teenager, could (and probably will) eat this weekly. I've made a gazillion puréed broccoli soups and enjoyed most of them but this one is perfection. I may never try another recipe.

Merrill

9 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You just made my day with your lovely comment! So glad you liked it.

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10 months ago ChiFoodLover

Delicious soup and I'll definitely make it again!

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10 months ago Reeshiez

I'm going to make this tonight. I'm just curious - why not first cook the broccoli until soft and then add to the stock? Thanks!

Merrill

10 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry, I'm not sure I understand your question - do you mean why do you first cook the broccoli until soft before adding the stock?

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10 months ago Reeshiez

I was thinking that it would be easier clean up wise. Would only use one pot - sautee broccoli in pot until soft then add the stock to same pot. That way there would be no draining or anything. Also then the flavor of the broccoli would release into the stock. Just wondering if there is a particular reason why you did it that way. Thanks!

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10 months ago Reeshiez

Sorry I misread your response - I was asking why do you first boil the broccoli, drain, cook broccoli until soft, then add it to the stock? I was wondering if I could cook the broccoli until soft first (without boiling and draining beforehand), then add stock.

Merrill

10 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

The first step is just blanching the broccoli in water -- you still only use one pot. You can skip this step if you like, although softening the broccoli first before adding it to the oil and garlic helps it to absorb more of those flavors and keep it from crisping too much.

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7 months ago Ksolomon

Thank you for explaining this! I was wondering the same and will be a better cook for understanding your answer/reasoning.