With a slice of crusty whole wheat bread and a piece of cheese, this quick and flavorful soup can be the main feature of a delicious and nutrient-packed lunch or dinner. Cooking the tougher stems first and adding the florets at the end keeps the soup's color vibrant. Potatoes lend creaminess and balance flavor without adding fat. Broccoli is rich in cancer-fighting beta-carotene, vitamin C and folate; it also provides a good dose of calcium.
Servings: Serves 4
Ingredients 1 large bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon unsalted butter2 medium leeks , white and light green parts only, thinly sliced1 medium baking potato , peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces1 clove garlic , thinly sliced3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth3/4 teaspoon saltPinch freshly ground pepper1/4 cup half-and-half (optional)1/4 cup snipped chives
Separate broccoli stems from florets. Using a vegetable peeler, peel stems to remove tough outer layer, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick "coins." Break or cut the florets into small pieces. Reserve stems and florets separately.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli stems, potato, and garlic, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water, broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer until broccoli and potato are tender, about 12 minutes.
Add florets; bring to a boil and then simmer 5 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add half-and-half (if using) and chives, and reheat briefly.
Per serving: 135 calories (35% from fat); 6 g fat (2 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated, 1 g polyunsaturated); 10 g protein; 14 g carbohydrates; 4.5 g fiber; 8 mg cholesterol; 1.8 mg iron; 85 mg calcium