Last Updated on November 24, 2017 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
If you’ve been following for a while, you might know that I’ve joined Horizon to celebrate the quirkiness in kids and realness in the food we serve them. I made this broccoli soup recipe with Horizon Organic Milk. #AllForWeird, just not in food (I love the spirit of this campaign).
I have had some mediocre (watery, mealy, flavourless) broccoli soups in my life, but this one is really good. I surprised even myself, and my little ones devoured it.
My kids finish daycare/preschool at 12:30, and they are famished by the time we get home at 1 pm. I think it’s actually a pretty unreasonable time for school to end unless they were to have lunch there. Those little tummies are hangry by noon.
I work in the mornings, and I don’t have lunch ready before I leave to pick them up, we quickly find ourselves in meltdown city.
I’m still learning about (and making a lot of mistakes at) motherhood every day, and one theme that I keep discovering is that general household peace and happiness often comes down to adjusting expectations and meeting basic needs.
In my family of 2- and 4-year-olds, temper tantrums, tears, and general misbehaviour are almost always a symptom of hunger or need for sleep. Very basic needs.
I forget this and expect my kids to wait patiently and play nicely while I prepare lunch at 1 pm. They turn into bickering, toy-throwing, crying monsters, and I’m pulling my hair out, resentful and spitting angry (after all, I’m hungry and tired, too!) by the time they’re fed.
This mutual frustration really just comes down to a discrepancy between their needs and my expectations, doesn’t it?
Advance preparation makes the difference between chaos and tears (a few of them mine) and a smooth transition from school to home time. I mean, it’s not always possible, but I try to keep in mind. Either I have to have food ready, or expect the meltdown and control my own reaction to it. (Why is this so hard to remember?)
I advance-plan most dinners for our family, but not so much other meals, so I’m often panicking in the fridge when I realize I have 15 minutes to pull off a meal and no ideas. I lean heavily on leftovers, but my plan B is usually soup – because I can really make something from nothing.
I made this broccoli soup before our trip to Hawaii, when I was in the process of clearing out the food from the kitchen. Basically, I opened the refrigerator door and heard crickets. There was a bag of brocc left in the crisper drawer, a carton of milk, and some dubious smoked oysters from three weeks ago.
The kids loved the soup so much that I must remember to put it on regular rotation – there aren’t many ways they’re keen on greens. I added smoked paprika and crispy roasted broccoli for texture and flavour, and both were accepted enthusiastically.
The roasted broccoli topping adds really nice chew to an otherwise silky smooth soup, and to me, crispy-charred green vegetables are better than candy. Totally optional, though, the extra step is not necessary if you’re crunched for time.
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Cream of Broccoli Soup topped with Crispy Roasted Broccoli
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 cups Horizon Organic milk
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 ½ cups broccoli florets
- Sour cream/Greek yogurt and/or smoked paprika to top optional
For Roasted Broccoli
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 450ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more.
- Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly for a minute, then whisk in the milk and salt and bring to a simmer. Add broccoli, cover, and cook until broccoli is tender. Blend with an immersion blender or carefully transfer to standing blender (work in a few batches unless you have a Vitamix or something similar with steam vents). Blend on high speed until smooth.
- While soup is cooking, make roasted broccoli. Toss broccoli with olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika. Roast for about 10 minutes, flipping once, or until broccoli is charring in bits and is tender.
- Serve soup bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, a few pieces of roasted broccoli, and a sprinkling of smoked paprika, if desired.