(Note: this post was originally published on April 21, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
A Soup For Spring
A springtime soup?? Stay with me here, I promise it works and is delicious.
We of course usually associate soup with winter. Big, hearty flavors. Dark colors. Lots of spices. It's one of winter's best comfort foods for a reason. But this year, I've really been into spring soups as well. Perhaps it's because spring has been so reluctant to come to Vermont? In any case, I want to introduce you to my new favorite, this Roasted Broccoli and Lemon Soup. It's light, bright, cleanly-flavored, lemony, and perfect for spring.
Roasty + Lemony Flavors
To keep things feeling warmer-weather appropriate, I wanted this soup to have a simpler flavor profile than what I tend to make in winter. The stars of the show in this one are black pepper and bright, springy lemon. But to avoid it being bland, I roasted the veggies first, which develops a huge amount of veggie-forward flavor.
These roasted veggies, smothered in black pepper, sea salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice, turned out so beautifully that I ate a bunch of them right off the sheet tray. It's amazing any made it into the soup.
I'm calling this a "broccoli soup", since the broccoli is the most evident ingredient. Look at that beautiful green color! But I often add cauliflower to broccoli soups since it gives the soup some much-needed creaminess and additional distinct flavor. Using a cauliflower base is my favorite trick for making soups creamy in texture but still plant-based and nourishing.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Head of broccoli
Head of cauliflower
Olive oil. This soup has pretty simple flavors, so I suggest choosing a really robust, lovely olive oil.
Salt and pepper
Lemons. You'll use both the zest and the juice for extra lemony flavor! Feel free to use one or two lemons as your preferences dictate.
Pesto. For garnishing! Pesto adds wonderful decadence and delightful spring flavors.
Pine nuts. Also for garnishing! Feel free to use pistachios instead.
The other great thing about this soup is that it comes together in a pinch. The veggies take a little while to roast, but it's all hands-off time. Unlike the soups I make in the winter, which I like to cook for hours, this Roasted Broccoli and Lemon Soup is perfect for a weeknight. Garnish it up with a swirl of pesto and some pine nuts for a delightful bowl of lemony, herby spring goodness.
Because this soup is quite thick, it would make a nice, light meal on its own. It would also be perfect alongside some simply-dressed greens, crusty bread, or a sandwich. Want to make it heartier? Add a big handful of roasted chick peas on top.
Regardless of how you enjoy this soup, I hope it brings you some cozy vibes on chilly days this spring!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
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Preheat the oven to 425 and oil a very large sheet tray (or two smaller sheet trays).
Cut the cauliflower and broccoli into florets and cut the onion into small wedges.
Lay the veggies out across the prepared sheet tray(s). More surface area yields more browning, so make sure to give them plenty of space.
Drizzle the veggies with a bit of additional olive oil, then salt and pepper liberally.
Roast the veggies for about 30-45 minutes until caramelized and flavorful, tossing a couple times as needed.
A few minutes before the end of the roasting time, zest a lemon or two over the veggies. Put them back into the oven for just a couple minutes. This will allow the lemon zest to release its fragrant oils.
Place the roasted veggies, lemon juice, and 1 c vegetable broth to a blender and blend until you have a rich, thick texture, adding more broth as needed. You may need to work in several batches.
Pour the soup into a medium-sized pot over low heat. Keep it barely at a simmer for 15 minutes to finish bringing the flavors together. Feel free to add some additional stock (or just water) to achieve your desired texture.
To serve, ladel the soup into a bowl and swirl the top with a generous dollop of pesto. Finish it with a sprinkle of pine nuts and freshly ground black pepper.