There was a time when I ate broccoli on a weekly basis. I was eating my greens like a pro. Lately, however, not so much. Lately, I've been craving Tostitos, cheese, and roasted potatoes. And chocolate. But obviously eating just those things is not a good idea. And I don't. Unless I drink a lot of sangria...after which, anything goes. But shh, we won't talk about that.
Because I'm here to bring you broccoli. This soup is basically a giant bowl of broccoli, only minus the chewing (you could feed it to a baby...if you have one, or know someone who does). It's also full of roasted garlic, which, if you haven't had it before, you should. Roasting garlic gives it a sweeter, richer taste, much milder but more nuanced (yeah, I just called garlic nuanced) than raw garlic. It's amazing. And you can totally use a whole head in this soup and not be overwhelmed by garlic or be afraid of speaking to people afterwards.
So eat some soup. It's green, and I've said it before, but eating green will make you feel like success. Something that's sometimes hard to feel as a graduate student. Trust me. Your mother would be proud. If you're the kind of person who tells your mom about the soup that you eat...I may or may not be that person.
Roasted Garlic Broccoli Soup
This soup is rich and creamy, but incredibly simple. Serve with a side of thickly sliced bread, or a whole grain like brown rice, quinoa or millet, and you have yourself a nicely balanced meal.
1 Head of Garlic
1/3 - 1/2 cup Mung Beans or Green Lentils
4 heaping cups Broccoli Florets (or 2 heads of broccoli)
5 - 6 cups Water or Broth
Salt & Pepper to taste
Makes 2 servings.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take your head of garlic, turn it on its side and slice off the tops of the cloves. There's no need to peel the garlic, simply place the head of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Wrap it up in the tinfoil and place in the oven, by itself or on a pie plate or pan, and roast for 45 minutes. Once roasted, remove from oven, unwrap the tinfoil and set aside to cool. (For a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to roast garlic, see here.)
2. While the garlic is roasting, rinse mung beans (or lentils), then add to a pot with 5 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes (25 if you're using lentils), until soft and tender. (Food Note: Mung beans, like lentils, do not need to be pre-soaked, and cook much faster than most beans. They're a great source of vegetarian protein, and are loaded with other nutrients like Vitamins C, K, dietary fibre, iron, magnesium, and the list goes on. Basically, they're super healthy and you should eat them. They taste similar to split green peas.)
3. When the beans are cooked, add the broccoli to the pot, turn heat to medium, and cover with lid to steam the broccoli. Cook broccoli and beans for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, until the broccoli has softened and turned a bright green.
4. Add roasted garlic to the pot - simply squeeze the bottom of the head gently and the cloves will pop out easily. Stir in with the broccoli and mung beans, then transfer to a blender, or use a hand-held blender, to puree the soup. If you find you're having trouble pureeing the soup, add another cup of water or broth.
5. Season with pepper and salt to your taste. Swirl in a bit of cream or olive oil for garnish if you want to feel fancy. Enjoy!