This is a really lovely and simple paleo broccoli soup recipe. It’s thick and creamy without using any dairy or coconut cream. The starch in the potato is great for both thickening and making this soup more satiating.
If avoiding nightshades, feel free to use sweet potato or swedes/rutabaga instead. The carbohydrate count for this soup, using white potatoes, is about 25-28 grams per serving.
To go with the soup, I made a green olive and nut pesto which is similar to an olive tapenade. It’s used as a bit of a condiment in this dish. It’s nutty, salty, garlicky with a note of bitterness. The soup is tasty as is, but this pesto adds a more intense and interesting flavour and a some crunchy texture.
These toppings would also work well instead of the pesto: crispy bacon bits, fried shallots, shredded chicken or diced smoked chicken, sun-dried tomato pesto or bail pesto.
Cook’s notes: Instead of using the vegetable stock and water combo, you can just use 1.5 litres of water and two organic, natural vegetable stock cubes. If the stock you’re using is quite salty, reduce the amount of salt added at the beginning and taste for seasoning at the end instead. Beef or chicken bone broth is also fantastic to use and will make this soup even more nourishing. Cauliflower can be used instead of broccoli.
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 350 g white potato, peeled and diced
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- 500 ml water
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 large head of broccoli, broken into florets (sliced large florets in half)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the nut & olive pesto
- 1/2 cup nuts (I used walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3-4 tablespoons of diced green olives (I used 5-6 large, meaty Greek green olives)
- Add olive oil, onion, salt and lemon zest to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Sauté for 3 minutes until softened and lightly golden. Add celery and diced potatoes, stir and cook together for a minute.
- Add the stock, water, and cumin powder and stir through. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and bring the heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes until broccoli has softened but hasn’t lost its green colour.
- Remove from heat and transfer the contents of the soup – in batches – to a food processor or a blender (remove the bay leaves). Process into a smooth puree, then return to the saucepan and add stir in the lemon juice.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the pesto. Place the nuts into a food processor with an S-blade attachment and grind into crumbs. Add the rest of the ingredients and process together until ground up and blended into a course, pesto-like consistency. Remove to a bowl.
- Serve the soup in bowls with tablespoon of pesto stirred in.
Related: Are Olives Good For You?