My fiance Kevin is on nearly the opposite side of the spectrum compared to me when it comes to the amounts of veggies he eats. One veggie that he actually really enjoys is broccoli. I remember as a kid learning to like broccoli by my mom telling me that I was a dinosaur that had to eat the little "trees" to get big and strong. Kevin recalls that his mom asked if he wanted to have cancer or not, and handed him broccoli. Although Kevin's mom was a bit more realistic, I think I preferred pretending I was a dinosaur. As I've learned more about nutrition, I have learned that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are loaded with nutrients and come in the perfect fibrous packages that are great for ones digestive health.
As stated above, broccoli is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts, are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber, that also contain nutrients and phytochemicals with cancer preventative properties. Like other green vegetables, raw broccoli is only 100 calories per pound, which equals out to be about 30 calories per cup of chopped raw broccoli. I know that I try to include at least a serving of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli in my daily diet, and soups are one of my favorite ways to get in my vegetables.
Creamy Broccoli Soup
8 cups broccoli (~2 heads), stems and tops roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1-2 handfuls collard greens, chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can light coconut milk
nutritional yeast (optional)
salt and pepper (optional)
Directions: In a large saucepan or dutch oven on the stovetop, water saute the red onion until translucent. Add the broccoli and celery with 7 cups of water. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, turning and stirring the vegetables periodically. Once the pot has simmered and the broccoli is well cooked, strain out 2-3 cups of the soup broth. Save this broth for another recipe. Add the collard greens, beans, and coconut milk to the cooked vegetables and remaining liquid. Over low heat and stirring continually, heat the soup until the collard greens are softened but not soggy. Using an immersion blender, or a blender in batches, puree the soup until creamy. Add nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to get desired taste. Serve hot and enjoy!
Amy's notes: If you don't have coconut milk on hand, 1-2 cups of an alternative milk will work perfectly. You may also omit the "milk" and leave in the two cups of original broth, but the soup may not be as "creamy" like a traditional broccoli soup. If you decide to add nutritional yeast, it will also give it a nice cheesy taste. Maybe include nutritional yeast as an optional soup topping to serve.
Kevin liked this soup (with some cheese sprinkled in), but could tell that I snuck in more vegetables than just broccoli. All the same, he was appreciative that I brought him a 'picnic' to him at work with warm homemade food.
What do you do to sneak in vegetables for your family or friends who are not as big of vegetable enthusiasts as you may be?