After taking the first sip of Christine's beautiful-yet-simple broccoli miso soup on Christmas Eve day, I knew we would be enjoying versions of it all winter. She made it to enjoy from the thermos while we were out & about. Even though it was only made with broccoli, garlic, onion, vegetable broth & miso, it was insanely flavorful.
My spin off has some heat to it & is a little creamier, with the addition of white beans & root vegetable; plus I included a cheeze sauce which I had been eying since Angela made broccoli cheeze soup.
The sauce is made with nutritional yeast & nut milk & is full of flavor. It will remain a staple for creamy, cheese-like sauces in our house. However, there is something about the term "cheeze" spelled with a z I don't care for; it makes me think of processed dairy alternatives, but this is made from scratch with whole foods. I can't think of any fancy culinary alternative to call it though.
I have started to use miso in place of vegetable broth for soups, gravy, dressings, etc. It lends an amazingly distinct flavor, plus it is a great source of trace nutrients like B-12 (update: visit this post to learn why I no longer think this is a good source of B12) & zinc (immune-boosting) as well as good-for-you bacteria. Be sure to get a fermented variety for this nutritional bonus. Traditionally it was made with fermented soybeans, though now you can find it made from rice, wheat & even chickpeas. Currently, we have a jar of dark barley miso in the fridge, which holds up nicely to the rich cheeze sauce I included here; if you haven't used it before, you might want to start with a milder, lighter version. While it is high in sodium, a little goes a long way. I transfer some of the hot cooking liquid into a small bowl with a spoonful or so of miso to dissolve. Then I return it to the main pot at the end of cooking, being careful not to boil it, which will kill the good bacteria.
We often dunk broiled, buttery pieces of a local, sun-dried tomato artisan bread into this soup. The tartness of tomatoes bursts in our mouths as we scoop up creamy mouthfuls. To eat with this batch, I baked a version of yogurt biscuits from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Ever Day (one of my favorite cookbooks), made with a blend of kamut & rice flour. I love stacking & pressing out the dough by hand to create feathery layers. I just realized crushed sun-dried tomatoes (which I have in the pantry) would have been a nice touch to the biscuits.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 8 cups broccoli florets & stems**, chopped (2 large heads)
- 1 large turnip, peeled & chopped (~13 oz)
- 1.5 cups cooked white beans
- 6 cups water
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 - 4 T barley miso (I used 4)
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- sea salt & black pepper, to taste
- cheeze sauce***
- smoked paprika, to garnish (optional)
In a large, deep pot, heat the oil slightly, then add the onion & garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, about 5 - 6 minutes until soft & translucent.
Add the celery, broccoli & turnips; cook for about 5 minutes.
Now, add the water, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes & white beans, increasing heat to a simmer for another 15 - 20 minutes until the turnips & broccoli are fork tender.
Use a little of the cooking water to dissolve the miso in a small bowl & whisk it with a fork. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare your cheeze sauce (see note*** below) while the soup simmers.
Remove the soup from the heat & use an immersion or hand-blender to puree it. I spent about 5 minutes blending it silky smooth. Return pot to the stove to keep warm & stir in the cheeze sauce, reserving 2/3 cup for later (garnish).
Stir in lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste, as well as the miso, being careful it does not reach a boil again. Ladle into bowls & garnish with remaining cheeze sauce & smoked paprika.
Serve warm with artisan bread or biscuits.
makes 8 servings
*You can easily cut this recipe in half; but we enjoyed it so much the first time, we wanted a large batch for leftovers.
**A lot of people discard the stems, which is such a waste. If you peel the rough, outer skin away, you will find tender flesh inside. If I don't eat it myself, Eisley loves it lightly steamed. I simply run a knife down each side of the stem, vertically, to create a rectangular block of tender broccoli flesh that can be sliced into cubes.
***I tweaked & doubled Angela's cheeze sauce recipe, which you can find here. Variations: we used homemade hazelnut milk, chickpea flour, 2 - 3 tsp mustard powder, & left out the onion powder.