You don’t see billboards promoting it. It’s just not as profitable as processed foods. But don’t let that stop you from eating more of it! Broccoli’s a great source of powerful polyphenols that have anticancer properties, slow down the aging process, and reduce the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other diseases of civilization.
One cup of raw broccoli contains 567 IU of betacarotene, 81 mg of vitamin C, 92 mg of vitamin K, 57 mcg of folate, 42 mg of calcium, 60 mg of phosphorus, 288 mg of potassium, 2.5 grams of fiber, all for only 30 calories. Cooking it makes more of the carotenes and iron available for absorption. It also makes this cruciferous vegetable more digestible.
If you’ve grown tired of steamed or stir fried broccoli (or you routinely overcook it), don’t give up on this brassica family vegetable. There’s another way to eat it! Marry it with simmered onions, garlic, cumin, ground chipotle and avocado, another super nutritious food, in a creamy soup. If you like gaucamole, you’ll love this soup. The key here is to cook the broccoli without overcooking it and to leave the lid off the pot after you’ve pureed all of the ingredients, lest it turn a dingy gray color and become bitter.
My students, clients, and friends love this recipe. In my Whole Foods Cuisine course at SWIHA (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts) in Tempe, my students makes and serve it with Tuscan Chicken Casserole, Roasted Sweet Potato Fries and Silver Dollar Sweet Potatoes, with Dark Chocolate Dipped Date Nut Truffles as a finale. The soup also pairs well with baked, broiled, roasted or grilled salmon or pork and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Lime (other recipes you can find in my Garden of Eating cookbook).
If you’d like to watch me make this soup, step by step, here's my YouTube video, a sampling of one of 18 cooking videos on my newly released set of two cooking DVDs.
Creamy Broccoli-Avocado Soup
Prep: 30 minutes/ Cooking: 30 minutes/ Yield: 6 servings
Avocado adds a rich taste and creamy texture to green vegetable soups without milk or cream. I got the idea for this from the California Avocado Commission. I replaced zucchini in their recipe with broccoli, increased the volume of vegetables, and changed the seasonings. This soup goes well with fish, poultry, or meat with a bright orange, yellow, or red vegetable or fruit. Baked corn tortilla chips would make a great accompaniment.
- 4 cups homemade Bone-Building Broth (from The Garden of Eating), homemade chicken broth or stock, or preservative-free chicken broth or stock
- 1 medium onion (1-1 1/2 cups), thinly sliced or diced
- 2 to 3 small cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt (Celtic or Redmond Real Salt are best; reduce by one-half if using salted broth, then adjust upwards as needed), or to taste
- ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle (smoked dried Jalapeno pepper powder)
- 3 to 4 packed cups broccoli, tops cut into small florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced, tough part discarded
- 2 large ripe (but not mushy) avocados, seeded, peeled, and chopped
- 1/4 cup minced scallions, parsley or cilantro leaves, or red or yellow bell pepper, garnish
- Hot sauce or ground black pepper or lemon pepper, optional
- Combine broth or stock, onion, garlic, sea salt, cumin, and chipotle in a 2- to 3-quart pot. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Do not boil hard or overcook. Broccoli should remain bright green.
- Purée broccoli, onion, and broth mixture with the avocadoes in a blender, Vita-Mix, or food processor in 2 batches, until smooth and creamy. Add additional water ¼ cup at a time as needed to make a smooth purée. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Return the soup to the pot and heat gently. Do not cover! Ladle into bowls, garnish, and serve. Add hot sauce or black pepper at the table if desired. Served chilled in hot weather.
- Refrigerate leftovers and use within 3 days. Heat gently without boiling.
1 cup: 149 calories, 4 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate (6 g fiber), 10 g fat, 37 mg calcium, 174 mg sodium
* For a milder flavor, omit chipotlé. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or lemon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
SOURCE: The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert & Don Matesz available at Changing Hands Books, Healing Pages Books, Chakra 4 Herb & Tea House or online using my secure online server.
If you would like to buy my cooking DVD set so you can watch me make 18 recipes, see eight cooking techniques, and get tons of tips to help you healthy and delicious meals, click here for more information or to order.