Day 116: Quick Broccoli Soup with Chive Oil ♥

Quick Broccoli Soup with Chive Oil
Today's quick and easy soup recipe: A "plain" broccoli soup but not the least bit plain, taste-wise. Just five ingredients. Low carb and for Weight Watchers, just one or two points per cup. When made with vegetable broth, not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005 ORIGINAL POST Sure, you can heat up a can of soup in 10 minutes. But why would you when you eat something THIS good in 25 minutes? Even though the recipe has been in my 'short stack' of recipes to make soon (vs the 'tall stack' of those to make some time far in the future), the sheer speed and deliciousness of this simple soup took me entirely by surprise. After all, what sane cook makes hot soup when outside it's 97F and 99H? (You recognize the F, the unfamiliar H is for humidity.) And besides, how could just plain ol' broccoli cook so quickly, taste so good?

8/14 Update: And cauliflower is even better, as on Day 121.
8/15 Update: And frozen green beans are good but not delicious, as on Day 122.

The chive oil is quite good - and unusual if you appreciate such - but it's also optional since the soup was as good without as with. This is great every-day fare but since it garnishes beautifully, I'd serve it to guests any night.

2012 UPDATE: This soup was such a hit, such a favorite, that soon after publishing the recipe here, I published it on Kitchen Parade, my food column, where it's one of the top recipes on the site. See Quick Cauliflower or Broccoli Soup.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes 6 cups

4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion (about 2 cups)
2 dried bay leaves
1 pound broccoli, crowns and stems, or 1 head cauliflower, chopped quite small to cook faster or 16 ounces frozen green beans

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh chives
Pinch of cayenne
Salt to taste

Heat the broth in the microwave until it begins to boil. (This speeds the cooking time so can be skipped if you're not in a hurry.)

Meanwhile, heat a large pot or Dutch oven over MEDIUM HIGH. Add the olive oil and heat. Meanwhile, chop the onion. Add the onion and the bay leaves to the pot and stir well to coat the onions with fat, then continue to stir on occasion, until the onions are quite soft and beginning to turn gold. While the onions cook, if using fresh vegetables, chop the broccoli or cauliflower. Add the broccoli/cauliflower/green beans and stir to coat with oil and onion flavor then let cook, turning occasionally for 1 - 2 minutes or until bright green. Add the hot broth. Cover and cook for 5 - 10 minutes or until broccoli/cauliflower/beans is/are fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves. Transfer a third of the hot mixture to a food processor and puree for about 1 minutes while letting the remaining 2/3 continue to cook. Repeat with another 1/3, then the final third. If needed, return the mixture to the pot to reheat. (Mine was perfectly hot straight from the food processor.)

Mix the chive oil ingredients in a small food processor.

To serve, top each bowl of soup with a teaspoon of sour cream and a teaspoon of the chive oil. If desired, top with green onions.

Swanson's 100% Natural Goodness broth is rated "best" by Cook's Illustrated. I was out tonight and so used a Major's powder. It does include a lot of salt along with MSG so that might well have affected the rich flavor of the soup.
According to Epicurious and other places where I've read similarly, Turkish bay leaves impart a more subtle flavor than California bay leaves.
I'd sure give frozen broccoli or cauliflower a shot as well especially if it's all that were on hand.
For chunks and a soup with more texture, only purée about 2/3 of the broccoli/cauliflower.
For the chive oil, I used the food processor attachment to an immersion blender. Unfortunately the immersion blender wasn't up to pureeing the soup itself. So since you must use the food processor for the soup, you might want to use it for the oil too. If so, decide whether to mix the oil before or after the soup. I'd do it after, scraping but not washing the bowl, to keep the extra oil out of the soup. But there are arguments for doing it beforehand as well.

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Still Hungry?

~ Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli ~
~ How to Trim Broccoli ~
~ How to Cook Broccoli in the Microwave ~
~ more broccoli recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Power Food Broccoli Salad ~
~ Quick Broccoli Soup ~
~ Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli ~
~ more broccoli recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I was too lazy to cut chives from my garden to make the chive oil (it was a long day at work!), so I garnished the soup with some pesto I had in the frig, a little shredded mozzarella and sour cream. It was fabulous! Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. Sounds like a great recipe, but since you're touting 'vegie' why not use vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef? It's much healthier!

  3. Jules ~ Hey Jules, use whichever broth you prefer. A Veggie Venture is 'vegetables' not vegetarian even if the site is something like 90% vegetarian and 70% vegan. I hope you find lots to enjoy, here!

  4. I made a batch of the broccoli and cauliflower soups with the thought of serving them side by side in the same bowl. However, once I tried them together, I decided to completely combine the soups. WOW! Talk about a homerun! Absolutely delicious and everyone at work was green with envy as they enjoyed the aroma of my delicious soup at lunch today. Thank you for sharing your creative talents with all of us in cyberspace. Your website has come along at just the right time for me as I am following a medical eating plan to lose weight and I am on a very restricted list of veggies. Your recipes are bringing much needed variety to my food plan. Thank you!

  5. Cathy ~ Wow, what a great idea! I've been meaning to make these again myself - and love the idea of serving them in the same bowl too! Thank you for the very very kind words, good luck with your weight loss and health journey!

  6. AnonymousMay 11, 2012

    this is awesome. i made the cauliflower version but added a jalapeno and leftover bit of a poblano pepper. added dash of cayenne, rosemary, cumin, and onion powder. i could not find veg stock anywhere without MSG (plus i just really do not care for the taste of veg stocks) so i just used water ad a little salt instead and it was fantastic. i have been wanting to make a blended cauliflower soup for a long time just never got around to it. im a part-time dairy free full-time vegetarian and find myself in a rut eating the same things every day. while looking for soup recipes today realized that in this simple recipe i just needed the main ingredient, so i ran out to the store and an hour later am enjoying a wonderful cup of soup! thanks for the post! will check out more soon.

  7. Thanks for sharing! Looking up a use for some old green beans, may give this soup a try tonight. Thinking of maybe topping with some avocado and/or greek yogurt. Possibly some goat cheese? :D I will just have to try and see.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna