Alriiiiiiight. We get it, Wisconsin. It is cold. It is NOT spring *yet*. Winter is gonna hold on as long as it can. But that is ok.
We have warm, creamy, cozy soups to warm our toes, hearts and souls. Well, not literally, but you get the idea.
When I was little, my mom would make this creamy broccoli-cheddar-rice soup thing...pretty sure she may have used a sneaky soup mix for some of this...but I don't blame her. It tasted good, filled up her two hungry monsters (me and my sister), and hey...it had real broccoli in it. So, she won, we won, everyone was happy.Fast forward: still a fairly pantry-friendly soup, and sans dairy. Bulked up with millet (but rice will work, too-you choose! Either white or brown I think would be great as well), potatoes, finely cut up carrots, and finally swirled to creamy, comforting perfection with cashew cream. Soak your grains the night before, or not. Your call. I did soak my millet overnight, since my digestion has been on the fritz lately...but you do you.Don't have cashew cream? Or have a raging nut allergy (ha, that sounds funny)? Well, feel free to do what you gotta do...if you have half and half or heavy cream, a little splash of that will work too. Watching your kcals? Well...I dunno. Go run a few miles? This is winter. Deal. Or fine, you can just omit the whole cream thing, too. The soup is equally as tasty, and nourishing...and by pureeing a few cups of it, the starch from the potatoes do their magic...and mimic the texture of cream. So, WE ALL WIN.Inspired by two lovely ladies, and their recipes, I have suite this recipe for my tastes. Angela makes a separate nooch-based sauce, and Gena used quinoa for a protein-punch in hers. As always, make this for YOU, and make it suite your preferences and needs. To streamline, you can totally cook your grain of choice, and make the cashew cream if using, a day ahead of time.
Cozy up with your favorite blanket, and enjoy a big bowl (or two!) of this soup until Spring gets her head out of her ass, and shows up for us....cheers!
Cream of Broccoli and Millet Soup // plant-based; vegan; gluten-free; soy-free; sugar-free // makes several, about 6, hearty servings //
- 1 lb (about 6 cups) broccoli florest and peeled/diced stems of the broccoli
- 2 medium to large russet potatoes, or 5-6 yukon gold potatoes, about 2 to 3 cups
- 2 TB sunflower oil or olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, chopped small
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4" thick
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 tsp sea salt - to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups cooked millet (made from 1 cup dried millet) or other grain or choice (quinoa, rice, etc)
- a few spoonfuls, about 1/4 cup or 4 TB cashew cream (recipe below), or other creamy ingredient of choice, or simply omit if you're feeling lazy and/or don't care
- 1 to 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice - to taste
- optional: 1 to 2 tsp miso, lighter variety, such as chickpea
- to garnish: freshly chopped parsely, cashew cream, paprika, toasted pepitas, homemade croutons, a hunk of bread....whatever your heart desires!
1. Cook the millet (or whatever grain you wish ): if desired, soak quinoa, millet or other grain overnight in water to cover by 1" to 2". Drain, and cook the grain. For 1 cup soaked millet, use 1 1/3 cups water. Bring water to a boil, add a pinch of sea salt, add drained millet, lower heat and cook with a lid on for 15 minutes. Check for doneness by check for excess water by sticking a fork through the grains, and take a peek at the bottom of the pan. If additional water remains, cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, allow to rest 15 minutes, and fluff with a fork. Millet or other grain can be made up to 2 days in advance.
2. To make the soup, chop all your veggies. This can be done up to 1 day in advance. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Sautee until soft and fragrant, about 7-10 minutes. Add the potatoes, broccoli, paprika, thyme, cayenne (if using) and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to heat through, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaf, and taste....if you need to, add more salt. You want to cook your vegetables in well-seasoned stock, so, adjust as needed. Place a lid on, and cook until the whole lot is tender, but not mushy, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make your cashew cream (alternatively, make this a day or two ahead of time): soak 1 cup of raw cashews overnight, or soak for 10 minutes in hot water. Drain, rinse once, and add to a blender with a dash of salt, squeeze lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar, and 4 TB water. Puree until smooth, adding a TB or two of water to help blend if needed. Adjust salt and acid as desired.
4. Once the vegetables are tender, transfer 2 or so cups into a blender. Add the nutritional yeast, and puree until smooth and creamy. Return this mixture to the pot. Stir in the cashew cream, cooked grain and adjust seasoning with the lemon or apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
5. Heat through if needed, and then serve as desired. Enjoy!
Ok, who else thinks that millet looks like perlite fertilizer? Anyone? I know you're out there....admit it!
Veggies all cooked and cozy...It is indeed getting hot in here....Creamy all by itself without the cashew cream, the starchy potatoes work their magic...but for us fatties out there, the cashew cream takes it over the top....mmm.......You know what to do...dig in!!!