Broccoli Apple Soup

You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Broccoli and apples aren’t two foods that you would expect to find together in a soup, or in anything for that matter. But this soup? It’s sublime. The apple adds a light sweetness and tartness that makes any vegetal bitterness in broccoli disappear. The result is a broccoli lover’s dream, a creamy, full bodied broccoli soup, without any cream!

The recipe comes from my friend Kathi who has been making this soup for her family for 30 years. She first got the idea from a 1979 cookbook, Cooking the Nouvelle Cuisine in America, by Michele Urvater and David Liederman.

Broccoli Apple Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli (about 3 heads with stems)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced or finely chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1 good cooking apple (a non-tart apple such as Jonagold, golden delicious, McIntosh), peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of unfiltered apple juice or apple cider (not hard cider)
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme or thyme
  • 2 strips of lemon peel
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives for garnish

Method

1 Separate the broccoli florets from the stems. Peel the outer tough skin of the stems with a vegetable peeler. Slice the stems into rounds and chop finely (a mini chopper food processor works well for this step).

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2 Heat a thick-bottomed medium large (4-quart) saucepan on medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan. Add the onion and the apple and lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and apples are softened.

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3 Add the broccoli florets and the chopped broccoli to the apple onion mixture. Add the stock and the cider. Tie up the thyme sprigs with kitchen string and add to the pot. Add strips of lemon peel to the pot as well. Increase the heat, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, covered. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

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4 Remove from heat. Remove thyme and lemon peels from the soup and discard. Working in batches, filling up the blender bowl to no more than one third full at a time, purée the soup.

5 Return soup to the pot, reheat and adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh chives to serve.

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Recipe adapted from Cooking the Nouvelle Cuisine in America by Michele Urvater and David Liederman.

Broccoli Apple Soup on Simply Recipes

41 Comments

  1. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Interesting combination but I can definitely see it working. Apples go well with cabbage and broccoli is in that family so I am with you on this!

    • Angela

      I just made some and though I am very adventurous about trying new and different recipes this is horrible. I wound up pouring it down the disposal! Truly a waste of good apple and broccoli. Save yourself the time and effort and skip this one folks – it tastes as bad as you would expect.

      • Elise

        Since there are so few ingredients, the soup lives or dies on the quality of them. I would check your stock to make sure that it is good, otherwise the whole soup will be bad. Also, make sure you do not blend the lemon strips in with the rest of the soup, that would completely spoil it. The lemon strips blended in, would be too bitter and would make the whole thing taste bad.

      • Beth B

        Angela – I had the opposite reaction. I followed the recipe closely and even bought the recommended type of apple. It was delicious. When I served it to my husband, who is cautious about new recipes, he said, “I don’t know what I’m eating, but it’s great. Keep this recipe.” It’s a creamy consistency without the cream – healthy and tastes so good. I hope you’ll give it another chance if you see anything you might have changed.

      • Rina

        I like this site & have made quite a few recipes here…however I have to agree with Angela….didn’t like this one at all. A couple of people in my house ate some, but I just thought it was bizarre (and I eat pretty much everything) and totally not worth the effort & ingredients (home made stock!)

  2. xenothaulus

    I am not a fan of creamed soups, so I wonder how this would be if I were to blend only half or 3/4 of it and recombine.

  3. Ariel

    Hmm, definitely sounds interesting! I love me some broccoli (and some apples), so I’ll have to try this one soon.

  4. M

    I’m not convinced but I like apples and broccoli and so many of your recipes have been spot on so I’m game to give it a go.

  5. jenni

    Oh yes! Broccoli and apple are perfect together :) my mum often makes a similar soup that includes also some cream cheese, though no cider. I will definitely have to try the cider version!

  6. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Neat combo! This soup is definitely going to be made soon!

  7. Jessica @FoodLuvBites

    Wait a sec, Apple AND Broc. Now that is interesting. I must try this. I can imagine the vitamins bursting in mouth now as I type this. :D

  8. Sues

    What an interesting combination! It sounds delicious! :)

  9. Miki

    Sounds really flavorful and interesting – and even more so since your recipe could easily be adapted to a pressure cooker and “done” in about 10 minutes. The addition of the lemon peel must add some wonderful brightness – yum! The only thing I would consider adding is a medium potato (peeled and diced), just to give it a bit more body and “creaminess.”

    Thanks for this recipe – will try it later this week!

    p.s. One question – Is there a reason you don’t recommend using an immersion blender? It’s so much easier (and, for clumsy-ole-me, safer) than transferring a hot liquid into a blender ….

    • Elise

      We tried blending this with an immersion blender and it just didn’t work as well (result not nearly as smooth) as the upright blender.

  10. D.R. Grady

    I’m making this! It sounds wonderful.

  11. Sunny Drohan

    Could you tell me about the weight amount for the broccoli? Three bunches could be a variable.
    Also you say the immersion blender doesn’t work as well. That makes sense. but would a food mill work?
    Will try this once I know how much broccoli to use.
    Thanks.

    • Ala

      I’ve been wondering the same thing, but since the recipe is for 4 to 6 persons, I’d say you need about 500g of brocoli (approx. 100g per person)

  12. Kate

    I have to admit, as I read the title for this post I almost clicked away, but something kept me, and I am convinced! We use apples in other fall soups, so why not? It totally makes sense… broccoli does take on a sweetness as it cooks, and I can imagine that the apple would also add a little tart note too? I wonder how the flavor would be with cauliflower.

  13. Katherine

    Great idea! I made this last night for dinner (using an immersion blender because we don’t have a regular blender), but I forgot to remove the lemon peel first!! Ugh – it definitely overpowered the flavor, though the base notes were great. I sprinkled some grated Parmesan on top, which saved it. I’ll try it again properly, paying attention this time….

  14. M&M

    Sounds delightful!! Can I use a food processor?

    • Elise

      Yes, though you’ll have to do small batches at a time, otherwise the liquid will leak out from the center of the food processor.

  15. Lisa D

    This sounds delicious. I think my soup loving 4 year old would love this. Can you suggest a sub for the butter (other than margarine)? We’re kosher. Thanks so much!

  16. Julie S

    Just made this soup and it was absolutely delicious! I add a spritz of lemon along with the chives, which jazzes it up a bit. It’s amazing chilled as well — since there is no dairy, it doesn’t get that greasy texture that creamed soups usually acquire when cold. So good!

  17. ritadobek

    Thank you so much Elise for this recipe. We are native N.H. people who moved to Oregon 30 yrs. ago but every year we manage to order a case of Macintosh apples from a local supplier because Macintosh are very popular back east. So now with a case I am always looking for good recipes to use up some of those wonderful apples.

  18. marla

    Your passion for this soup is amazing! I must try it asap :)

  19. mary neal

    This soup rocks! I’ve been looking for a broccoli soup recipe that wasn’t too heavy and I am so pleased with the results. Everything that I’ve cooked from SimplyRecipes has been successful, so I was excited to try this. I followed this recipe exactly, just adding a pinch of kosher salt after blending. Thank you, Elise for posting this!!

  20. Stef

    I’m really interested in trying this! Because of the reviews commenting on success coming from closely following the recipe could you tell me what kind of apple cider was used?

    • Elise

      I used a local, fresh, unfiltered apple cider. You could use unfiltered apple juice. Just don’t use hard cider, that wouldn’t be good.

  21. Ariel

    Do you know the approximate weight of broccoli needed? Thanks!

  22. Inez

    WOW.. this is great! I made this over the weekend & it was wonderful. I used an immersion blender & it worked great. My husband & I both thought that it needed salt, but that is an easy fix!
    Thanks for the recipe, this is definately a keeper.

  23. Olga

    this is great! I made this over the weekend & it was wonderful. I used an immersion blender & it worked great. My husband & I both thought that it needed salt, but that is an easy

  24. Alison

    I made this tonight – with the addition of a few potatoes, in order to fill up my husband. It was great! And I added garlic. Great recipe; not too many steps.

  25. Tuba

    we tried it for lunch today. We used just water instead of the stock. And the cider awfully overpowered the soup it turned out tasting really bad :( I was really excited when i saw this recipe cause it has very healthy ingredients but unfortunately it didn’t work out for me.

    • Elise

      I don’t recommend swapping out water for stock. There are so few ingredients in this recipe, and stock is one of the main ingredients.

  26. Fred

    I looked in the fridge and being a poor student, only found some broccoli and some apples, so I typed in “broccoli and apple recipes” into google. This recipe came up and it seemed like a really odd combo, and thought I need to try this out. So yeah, I did and it was amazing <3

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this recipe and giving a student a nice dinner :P

  27. Mary

    I tried this recipe tonight and it turned out delicious. I also did my own unfiltered apple juice ( 3 red apples peeled and chopped, 1/4 cup of water everything into a blender, then strained with a fine mesh).
    I added 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar for a little bit more of acidity.

    Thanks again for such an amazing recipe!

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