IMG_0782Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable with anti-cancer properties due to the high levels of Vitamins A & C and folate. Slowly cooking broccoli for soup is a great way to increase vegetable intake and enjoy one of the most nutritious of all vegetables with a rich diversity of vitamins and minerals for very few calories.

The vegetable available in US markets is usually green sprouting broccoli, but yellow, purple and white varieties are also available. Broccoli is believed to have originated in Italy about the seventh century and spread throughout Europe as “Italian asparagus”. That name was used because broccoli stalks were prepared the same as asparagus with garlic, olive oil and a dash of white wine.

To prepare broccoli for cooking, remove the tough leaves attached to the stem and wash the florets. Julia Childs was notorious for declaring that broccoli stems “needed to be peeled” to make them tender. Cooking broccoli will counter or reduce some of the gas formation frequently caused from brassica family vegetables containing sulfur.

A word of caution is needed for those with thyroid issues. Broccoli has several goitrogenous chemicals which disrupt the body’s use of iodine so consumption should be limited to once or twice weekly.

Broccoli soup is one of my favorite appetizer soups. Nothing enhances a meal better than a warm cup of soup to start digestive enzymes flowing. The grated nutmeg on top adds the final touch for a low calorie, nutritious and tasty start to any meal.

Broccoli Soup

1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 to 1- 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
3/4 teaspoon salt
Grated nutmeg

Saute onions in butter or olive oil. Add chicken stock. Peel broccoli stalks and slice thin. Save 1 cup broccoli flowerets for garnish. Cook broccoli in chicken stock over low heat 20 to 30 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve. Add flowerets. Serve with fresh grated nutmeg sprinkled on top. Makes 4 servings.

Calories per serving 96
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 5 g
Fat 5 g