If you have no need of its detoxifying properties, the soup goes perfectly with richer main dishes like quiche or savory tarts--It's is more substantial than just a side of steamed broccoli. I have enjoyed it both ways!
You can do anything to jazz it up with spices and herbs. Pureed like this, the broccoli is pleasantly bland, so you need adequate salt, as well as those flavor enhancers. It's great with yogurt or sour cream stirred in, and in the picture, it's served with Parmigiano-Reggiano and more smoked paprika (By the way, I can't live without McCormick smoked paprika lately. I love to use a ton of it to make tuna or salmon salad sandwiches--it is so smoky!). I think an Indian-spiced version would be delicious, and I might also try half-broccoli, half-cauliflower. Tell me, do you need a detox? Or is this way too healthy?
Simple Broccoli Soup with Smoked Paprika
The spice quantities are estimates, so please adjust to your own taste.
Makes 7 to 8 cups
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
cayenne pepper to taste
4 to 5 cups water
2 lbs frozen broccoli florets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Serving ideas: Greek yogurt, sour cream, grated cheese, scallions, pepper flakes, hot sauce, smoked paprika
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add spices and continue cooking 1 minute. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil.
Add broccoli, cover and simmer until very tender, about 10 minutes (If broccoli is too crowded, add additional cup water). Remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender (a regular blender yields a smoother soup; instead of using the blender lid, cover with a kitchen towel, so steam can escape, and be careful when blending hot liquid; return to pot after blending). If soup is too thick, add additional water. Add salt (I used about 1 tsp) and pepper to taste. Serve hot.