Broccoli, Lemon, and Parmesan Soup

By Merrill Stubbs
November 7, 2012

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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Reviews (132) Questions (3)


Jordan February 6, 2018
Making this for the hubby since he's sick, and hates traditional chicken noodle. I plan to saute some chicken breast in butter and lemon, with the broccoli, add an onion, some carrots, and some fresh cream. Super excited to try this! It sounds so good, and I always need a good excuse to make soup!
Burchie December 22, 2017
food 52 is always spot on so I've been wanting to make this highly popular soup for years. Finally tried and was surprised it had so many likes. it seemed to be missing something.
fisher6188 December 22, 2017
I wrote essentially the same thing a few years ago. After trying some other recipes for asparagus and broccoli soups, for me adding some diced potato and thyme really helped. The potato added some thickness/heartiness The thyme also added a nice flavor.
AntoniaJames February 15, 2018
Yes, it needs potato, onion, thyme + a tiny pinch of nutmeg. Parsley could be used instead of thyme. Also, this soup does not hold up well overnight . . . it takes on an unpleasant cabbage-y, yesterday's-broccoli smell, which we find quite off-putting. ;o)
NakedBeet November 28, 2017
So so good! I made this for Thanksgiving day. I used a lot of the broccoli root, too. Unfortunately, we did not have lemons or garlic on hand so I substituted with my MIL's lemon soaked garlic cloves she uses for dressing. I don't typically use that much oil in my soups, but I think this made the soup. It was so flavorful that it's now going to be on permanent rotation in 2 households. Thanks for sharing this, Merrill!
Nick October 11, 2016
This gave me the foundation to do the following: Follow recipe on Broccoli side, but also make some Soffritto (onion, carrot, celery base) while Broccoli cooked. Before adding broth, added some canned artichokes and the soffritto, then added 1/2 cup of white wine, let it cook off, then added the broth. Added some fresh sage while broth came to boil to add some flavor. Didn't need lemon given the wine and artichokes.
louisepa November 11, 2015
3 words--blah, blah, blah
Casey October 25, 2015
This soup really is amazing. I added a sweet onion and I thought it added a nice touch. We had it as a side with grilled and herbed whole trout. The meal was heaven.
Transcendancing July 24, 2015
Wow, this soup really impressed us - it's super easy and was a great way to use up a bunch of broccoli stems I had in the fridge. I found a full lemon was perfect, and I also added an onion with the garlic. So flavourful - could taste the broccoli with both the parmesan and lemon, it all layered beautifully.
Tracydoc226 June 7, 2015
I just made this soup and the "bones" of it are good. I agree 1/2 lemon is more than plenty about 2 tablespoons. The final product of this recipe "as is" lacked a depth of flavor, no sweetness to balance out the tart. So I sweated 2 chopped carrots and 1 small onion, puréed that and mixed it into the soup. And WOW... Perfection. Brought all the flavored together nicely...more balanced and smoother mouth feel. This is a winner.
Cheryl May 27, 2015
I thought it was really good and flavorful--and appreciated not having cream. I used 1/2 lemon and that seemed right. Also used peeled and chopped stems. Tried the nutmeg suggestion on the last bits in my bowl, but preferred without. I will make it again and see that this can be welcomed as a summer or winter soup. Thank you!
Alisha S. April 16, 2015
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
karen April 16, 2015
Any information on calories per serving?
juliunruly April 16, 2015
I see 182 calories per cup on MFP.
Squeemo April 9, 2015
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!
Jen March 26, 2015
Love this soup. Delicious, simple, comforting.
Lavandinette March 3, 2015
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.
Tina M. February 22, 2015
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
Alison R. February 18, 2015
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.<br />Will absolutely make this one again!<br />
Susan W. February 18, 2015
What a great idea. Making it tomorrow and adding chard. Did you blend up the leaves and stems when you pureed the soup?
Meagen February 16, 2015
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.
Ellen February 8, 2015
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!
mainesoul January 27, 2015
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.
Author Comment
Merrill S. January 27, 2015
What a nice story! Hope you're able to dig your way out before too long...
kkathrine January 22, 2015
out of curiosity - how much lemon juice are people using?
Susan W. January 22, 2015
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.
Skinny B. January 23, 2015
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.
Susan W. January 23, 2015
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.