Cream of Broccoli Leaf Soup


When I first started growing broccoli, I couldn’t believe how big each plant got and how much space this crop took up in my garden! I had always just bought my broccoli from the store (often just the crowns), so I had no real concept of what an entire broccoli plant even looked like. 

So when it came time to harvest our first broccoli crop, I was a bit sad that so much of the plant went to waste when we harvested just the broccoli floret in the middle. The bulk of the plant was made up by the leaves, and as far as I knew at that time, the leaves weren’t edible.

Fast forward a few years later and I now know that broccoli leaves are not only edible, they’re delicious (and packed full of nutrients too). They taste pretty much just like the broccoli florets with just a leafier, um, texture. Sort of like kale. They’re fantastic sautéed up, dried and turned into powder or blended into this alternative take on cream of broccoli soup. And the best part is, I no longer waste half of my broccoli crop to the compost! No sir. We eat every edible part of the plant from the florets to the stalks to the leaves. 

This is by far my favourite way to enjoy broccoli leaves. I used to make cream of broccoli soup all the time (and I still do), but now I prefer to use the leaves if possible to make them stretch in this soup and use the florets in other ways. And it’s hard to even tell the difference between the standard cream of broccoli soup and this cream of broccoli leaf soup. In fact, I served it to my husband Ryan last night and he didn’t even notice I’d used leaves instead of florets.

But the biggest win for me is that my two-year-old daughter loves this soup so much she begs for more. Which is HUGE considering we are right in the thick of the “vegetable phobia” stage of life. She wouldn’t touch a broccoli leaf if I sautéed it and served it to her whole or in a stir-fry, but she loves the flavour of this soup and the broccoli leaves are blended right in so she’s oblivious to the fact that she’s actually eating vegetables.

But what to do if you don’t grow your own broccoli? Where do you go to find broccoli leaves?

Well, since there’s still some strange stigma that the leaves are somehow inferior to the florets, most markets discard them, which means you might be able to get your hands on some for free.

 

Related: How to Grow Broccoli From Seed

 

This rich and creamy broccoli leaf soup tastes just like traditional cream of broccoli soup, but utilizes the leaves of the broccoli plant instead!My local farm market has a bin labeled “greens” beneath the broccoli display, where shoppers discard the broccoli leaves they pull off of the florets. Last year I asked if I could have them and they were more than happy to give them to me for free. So go ahead and ask at your local market! Otherwise you’re just going to have to grow your own (which I always encourage).

Broccoli can be grown as a summer or fall crop, so chances are you could be harvesting some from your own garden in just a few months if you get started now.

If you’re really hard-pressed to find leaves, you can always sub out the leaves in this recipe for regular broccoli florets. This soup is delish either way. But if you are looking for a way to use up those broccoli leaves and let nothing go to waste, this is the recipe for you!

 

Cream of Broccoli Leaf Soup

Cream of Broccoli Leaf Soup

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli leaves (healthy leaves from about 3 or 4 plants) or approx. 8 cups chopped leaves
  • 3 quarts of chicken stock (or substitute veggie stock)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped, ends discarded
  • 1 cup of butter, divided (½ cup for sautéing veggies and ½ cup to make a roux)
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup of flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese to top

Instructions

  1. First, make your soup broth if you’re making it from scratch. Otherwise dump 3 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock in a large stainless steel pot and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a pan and get ready to sauté your vegetables.
  2. Discard any brown or yellowing broccoli leaves and chopping off any rough, hard ends on the stalks. Chop broccoli leaves into small enough pieces to sauté in a pan and set aside. Chop and discard celery ends and then roughly chop your celery and onion. Add celery and onion to the pan with your melted butter and sauté until translucent but not brown. Add cooked celery and onions to your broth.
  3. Add another tablespoon of butter to your pan and a handful or two of chopped broccoli leaves and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid to help steam and sauté on medium heat until leaves are wilted and stalks are tender, then add them to your broth. Continue to do this with the leaves, sautéing in batches until they’ve all been cooked and added to your broth.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend your soup together until there are no large chunks of vegetables left. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Just be careful not to fill it too full as it could overflow when the hot liquid and veggies are blended together.
  5. Next, make your roux. (A roux is simply a thickener for soups and stews made from butter and flour). Melt ½ cup of butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Add 1 cup of flour and whisk together, stirring constantly. Add cream, one cup at a time, whisking briskly until ingredients are well combined and mixture is more or less smooth. Continue doing this until you’ve added all 4 cups of cream. Then add your roux to your soup and stir well to combine. Bring soup back up to a simmer for a few minutes and allow it to thicken.
  6. Turn heat off and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot topped with a little shredded cheddar cheese.

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CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

7 Comments

  1. Anna

    Could this be made dairy free and gluten free , using potatoes to thicken and make creamier?

    Reply
  2. Brenda

    Can I use corn starch instead of flour? Gluten really upsets my stomach 🙁

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Brenda,
      You could certainly use corn starch in this recipe but you will not get the same consistency of the soup as Anna did. And you would need to do the slurry method (corn starch in cool water and then add to your soup) as cornstarch isn’t a good substitute in a roux.

      But, you can use your favorite gluten free flour for the roux which usually works at a one-to-one ratio with regular flour. I have done that a time or two for my daughter and it has worked, giving a good “roux like” consistency in other dishes.

      Reply
    • Dawn

      Hi there, have you ever frozen this soup?

      Reply
      • Tish Painter

        Generally, freezing soups with cream in them tend to not freeze well from a quality stand point. The cream can separate, clump, or change its texture and taste when frozen. When I want to freeze some extra soup from a big batch, I will remove the amount I want to freeze before adding the creamy part. And then when I reheat it, I add the creamy bit so it tastes good.
        The same is true for freezing a soup with pasta…. it is better to freeze the soup without the pasta. Adding pasta/noodles when reheating works best.

        Reply
  3. Marie

    Any chance you could amend your recipe to have an approx weight of the broccoli leaves? Or x number of cups? Since I am not growing the broccoli but relying on farmers markets I have no idea if the amount I have is close. I also don’t know how much florets to use if I sub out the leaves (or to supplement the little leaves I have).

    And 3 quarts broth plus a quart of cream? I guess this makes a bunch? 🙂

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Marie!

      I would estimate it at about 8 cups of chopped, packed leaves. Probably around 12 to 16 leaves or so, depending on size. If subbing florets, go for about the same amount (8 cups chopped florets or thereabouts).

      And yes, when I make soup I make a vat! This actually freezes pretty well too, even with the cream, although you could always add the cream in later. Or you can halve the recipe too:)

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

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If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

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To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

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I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reopening the Society doors for a limited time starting next week, and wanted to give you the heads up NOW so that you can get on the waitlist and make sure you don’t miss out when enrollment opens.

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Add a tablespoon or 2 of this syrup to your coffee or homemade latte for a better quality, better tasting PSL for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at a coffee shop.

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In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

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A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

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Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

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Let me know below 👇
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88 16

The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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32 3

When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to “throw a proverbial middle finger to the system” and live life on my own terms.

As a teenager, I was the girl who drove around town with punk rock music blaring from my car, Misfits sticker on the back and studs around my wrists. I felt misunderstood and angsty and like I desperately didn’t fit in with the world I grew up in.

I always knew in my soul that I wanted something different; Something more.

Today I’m the mama with stretch marks on my belly and battle scars on my heart. I’m the woman who gardens and cans food and makes her own tinctures and believes in something greater than herself and fights every day to stay free in a world that feels increasingly engineered to keep us hopelessly dependent.

Today I feel whole and at peace, and connected to a higher power and a higher purpose. I feel like I’ve finally found the place where I belong.

This journey has been about so much more than homesteading for me, and I've learned, lost, gained and loved so much more than I ever could have imagined.

Because, as I've said before, homesteading doesn't happen in a vacuum. Life is always happening at the same time.

This is the full, raw and unfiltered story of my homesteading journey, and how I've gained so much more than a pantry full of food along the way.

Click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to read more or check it out here >> https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-it-started-how-its-going
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