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!
For more information on apple varieties, check out our Guide to Apples.
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
- 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 long strips of lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives for garnish
Prep the broccoli:
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).
Cook the sliced onions and apples in butter:
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.
Add broccoli, stock, cider, thyme, lemon zest:
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 zest 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.
Remove from heat. Remove thyme and lemon peels from the soup (discard)! Working in batches, filling up the blender bowl to no more than one third full at a time, purée the soup.
Return soup to the pot, reheat and adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh chives to serve.
Recipe adapted from Cooking the Nouvelle Cuisine in America by Michele Urvater and David Liederman.