Cream of Broccoli Soup With Sizzled Turmeric Croutons

October 11, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

Cream of broccoli soup is a cozy, cool-weather classic. But many versions disappoint—they’re too thick, heavy, or one-note in flavor, not to mention time consuming to make. In creating this recipe, I landed on several simple tricks for ensuring sublime creaminess (hint: there’s no cream involved!) and vibrant flavors, all in under 30 minutes.

First, the broccoli. I’m a big believer in using frozen versus fresh in puréed soups. It’s a huge time saver—there’s no trimming, chopping, or peeling of woody broccoli stems. Plus, there’s no guessing on the number of stalks you need to buy to yield the right amount, nor any compromise on flavor and texture.

Second, the broth. From all my testing, I found that a mixture of water and vegetable broth (enriched with a little miso) resulted in the best, most reliable base—one that’s savory yet light enough to let the star ingredient’s sweet earthiness shine through.

And last, the “cream.” Many recipes turn to roux and heavy cream for creaminess and body—others, potato or peeled broccoli stalks. My preferred path? A can of white beans plus Greek yogurt. The white beans nicely thicken the soup (they’re hard to detect once the soup is blended), and the yogurt adds a welcome creaminess and tang that lifts and brightens the whole pot.

A few additional notes: Feel free to garnish the soup however you like, but I’m partial to a drizzle of Greek yogurt and these golden, irresistibly crunchy croutons sizzled in turmeric and olive oil (which, as a bonus, are gorgeous against the bright green soup). To make the soup vegan, use an equal amount of plain non-dairy yogurt or sour cream in place of Greek yogurt.

What You'll Need
  • Cream of Broccoli Soup
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped (both tops and bottoms)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen broccoli, any variety
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water (or a roughly 50/50 mix of both)
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked white beans (from one 15.5-ounce can), drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups packed baby arugula or spinach
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
  • Sizzled Turmeric Croutons
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 3 large slices crusty bread (6 ounces), torn (crust and all) into bite-sized pieces (yielding about 3 cups in total)
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery, scallions, shallot, and garlic, then season with a few big pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 6 minutes, until softened, lowering heat, if needed, to prevent coloring.
  2. Add miso to the pot, smearing it with the back of a spoon and toasting it in the oil for 15 to 30 seconds. Add broccoli, stock and/or water, and white beans, plus a few more big pinches of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the broccoli is completely tender.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the croutons: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turmeric (it will gently sizzle), then mix in the bread. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring several times, or until the croutons are nicely crisp and golden on all sides. Remove from heat.
  4. When the broccoli is tender, add the lemon juice and arugula to the soup, stirring until wilted, then remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
  5. Blend the soup in batches until smooth, using an immersion or stand blender, adding a little more water or stock, if needed, to thin the soup.
  6. Return soup to pot (if you used a stand blender) and bring the pureed soup to a bare simmer over medium-low heat, then add the yogurt, stirring until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and season to taste.
  7. To serve, divide soup into bowls. Drizzle with a little Greek yogurt (thinned with a little olive oil or milk) and top with croutons. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Irene Van Nostrand
    Irene Van Nostrand
  • EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

2 Reviews

Irene V. November 13, 2022
Recipe is a keeper!
EmilyC November 16, 2022
So glad you liked it, Irene! Thank you for trying it and circling back!