Everyday soupmaking doesn't have to be complicated. You combine broth with vegetables and aromatics. Let the whole thing cook until everything's tender, and serve either as is or with rice, pasta or grain added for substance.
Broccoli and garlic are great partners, so I start there. Once the vegetable is tender, I blend the soup just enough to create chunky bits of broccoli. An immersion (stick) blender is handy, but a traditional blender will work as well. Cooked ditalini or tubetti, small soup-size pastas that look like little tubes, make the soup a little more substantial.
This soup can pair with grilled cheese for lunch, make a nice starter to a roast chicken dinner, or, if you double the serving size, stand on its own as a simple supper, with some warm, rustic wheat bread.
Because the broccoli will discolor with time, this soup looks (and tastes) best served just after it is made.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- About 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
- 12 ounces broccoli crowns, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 ounces dried ditalini or tubetti pasta
- Water (optional)
- Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Heat the oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and decrease the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, stirring and adjusting the heat so the garlic does not brown.
Add the onion and carrot; increase the heat to medium and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Add the broth and broccoli. Once the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cook for about 10 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain.
When the broccoli is tender, use an immersion (stick) blender to process just until the broccoli is chunky. Stir in the cooked pasta. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the soup is too thick, add water as needed.
Serve hot, along with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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