Broccoli Soup with Lemon and Thyme

I’ve never been a fan of broccoli soup. Probably because it’s most often served with cheese. And as much as I LOVE cheese, it overpowers broccoli’s light, earthy flavor. But this weekend, while stuck on the sofa nursing that ridiculous ear infection all I could do was read through food magazines and organize and edit my recipes. Reading food magazines isn’t as mush fun when you can’t taste, swallow or breathe, but it did make me read them with a different eye – meaning any dish I could make and puree in the Vitamix all of the sudden became tremendously appealing.

Maybe it was my sickly state, the fact that I had fresh broccoli in the fridge, my lost interest in tomato based soups, or my itch to get back into the kitchen after three days on the sofa, but the Broccoli Soup with Thyme and Leeks recipe from Bon Appetit’s February issue was calling to me!

A broccoli soup recipe without cheese, a soup without tomatoes, ingredients in the fridge – so many reasons to get me off of the sofa and back into the kitchen. This soup is delicious and though it has the texture of a bisque, doesn’t call for a drop of creme – unless you top it with creme fraiche, which I totally recommend.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine
  • 6 cups broccoli crowns (reserve stalks if using whole head)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • creme fraiche


  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium stock pot. Add onions, a pinch of kosher salt, and a pinch of freshly ground pepper and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add celery and carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add broccoli, lemon juice and 3 cups broth to pot; bring to boil. Cover and simmer until broccoli has softened, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove stalks and let soup cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • Puree soup in blender until smooth.
  • Return to pot and add up remaining broth (up to a cup), until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper and simmer an additional five minutes.
  • Serve, top with creme fraiche, if using, and lemon zest.
Notes: This recipe makes about 5 cups. I use organic chicken broth or homemade stock. If you’re not using either, make sure you taste it before using any salt in the recipe. It tends to be pretty salty, so you’re going to want to omit even that first pinch of salt. You can always use a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream if you don’t have creme fraiche.
What you’ll need: A medium stock pot and a blender.
What you want to know: A serving of soup without the creme fraiche is 146 calories, 3 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, 19 grams of carbs, and 4.5 grams of fiber.

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