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Author Notes: Broccoli-Leek Soup with Basil Pesto. A creamy, comforting soup for drizzly spring days. And it comes together in just 30 minutes! —Olaiya Land | Milly's Kitchen
- 1 pound broccoli
- 4 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
- 1 large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼-inch half moons
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
- 3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup basil pesto (high quality store-bought or homemade)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
- Good quality olive oil, to garnish
- Pinch ground chile flakes or cayenne, to garnish
- 4 fried or poached eggs, to serve (optional)
- Notes: For most pureed soups, I like a super-smooth texture so I puree them in a blender and sometimes even strain them. For this soup, I prefer a more rustic texture so I opt for my hand blender and don’t process it for very long. - If you don’t have a hand blender, you can puree the soup in batches in a blender. If you go this route, take care not to fill your blender jar more than ⅔ full, otherwise the steam from the hot soup can blow the lid off your blender. Getting burned by hot soup is no fun--trust me on this one.
- Cut the florets off the broccoli stalks and set aside. Trim any brown spots off the stalks, halve lengthwise if thick and slice ¼-inch thick.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, broccoli stems and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the broccoli stems are just starting to become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and 3 cups of the stock. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is hot and the florets are just tender, about 5 minutes more. The goal is to keep the soup bright green and for the broccoli to keep some of its texture, so take care not to overcook it.
- Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the pesto, cream and cream cheese. Puree with a hand blender until there are no large chunks of broccoli or leek. Add a little more stock if you’d like your soup a bit thinner. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Spoon hot soup into serving bowls and top with a fried or poached egg (if using). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chile. Serve immediately.
- 2 ounces (1 packed cup) basil leaves
- 1 ounce (¼ cup) grated parmesan cheese
- 3 teaspoons toasted pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons or more good olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- Splash of lemon juice
- Pinch sea salt
- Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Thin with a little olive oil if desired. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to taste.