Broccoli Rice Soup Recipe

by vitus
Broccoli Rice Soup

There’s something undeniably comforting about a bowl of hot, creamy broccoli rice soup. It’s the kind of meal that warms you up from the inside out, perfect for chilly evenings or whenever you’re feeling under the weather. But even on a bright summer day, a light and flavorful version of this soup can be a delightful lunch option.

What Is Broccoli Rice Soup?

Broccoli rice soup is a hearty and comforting dish typically made with broccoli, rice, and a creamy broth. Here’s a basic recipe:

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil (1 tablespoon): This healthy fat adds richness to the soup without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Onion (1, diced): The base of many delicious dishes, the onion provides a subtle sweetness and savory depth. Dice it finely for even distribution throughout the soup.
  • Carrots (2, diced): Adding a touch of sweetness and vibrant color, carrots also bring a subtle earthiness to the soup. Aim for a similar dice size as the onion for a cohesive texture.
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced): Aromatic and essential, garlic infuses the soup with its pungent bite. Mincing it finely ensures it releases its flavor throughout the cooking process.
  • Broccoli Florets (1 cup, chopped): The star of the show! Use fresh broccoli florets for the best flavor and texture. Cut them into bite-sized pieces for even cooking.
  • Rice (1/2 cup, uncooked): This can be brown or white rice, depending on your preference. Brown rice offers a nuttier flavor and more fiber, while white rice cooks faster and creates a smoother texture.
  • Broth (4 cups, chicken or vegetable): The base of the soup’s liquid, the broth provides richness and depth of flavor. Choose chicken broth for a more traditional flavor or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Milk (2 cups, or dairy-free alternative): Milk adds creaminess and richness to the soup. Whole milk creates the most decadent texture, but you can use low-fat or skim milk for a lighter option. If you’re dairy-free, choose your favorite plant-based milk, like almond or oat milk.
  • Cheese (1/2 cup, shredded cheddar or vegan alternative): A sprinkle of cheese adds a delightful cheesy element to the soup. Use sharp cheddar for a bolder flavor, or a milder variety like Monterey Jack. If you’re vegan, there are many delicious dairy-free cheese alternatives available that will still melt beautifully into the soup.
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste): These essential seasonings will enhance all the other flavors in the soup. Start with a little and add more to your preference.

Instructions:

  1. Sautéing the Aromatics: Begin by heating the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrots, and sauté them for 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. This step allows the vegetables to release their natural sweetness and develop a richer flavor.
  2. Introducing the Garlic: Once the onion and carrots are softened, stir in the minced garlic. Cook for another minute, until fragrant. Be careful not to let the garlic burn, as it can turn bitter.
  3. Adding the Stars: Pour in the chopped broccoli florets and your chosen rice. Cook for an additional minute or two, stirring occasionally, to coat the ingredients with the flavorful oil.
  4. Building the Broth: Next, pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. This allows the rice to cook through and the broccoli to become tender-crisp.
  5. Creating Creaminess: After the simmering time, stir in the milk and your chosen cheese. Heat the soup gently until the cheese melts completely, stirring constantly to prevent burning. This step adds a luxurious creaminess to the soup.
  6. Seasoning to Perfection: Finally, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it away, so start with a small amount and adjust gradually.

Tips For A Top-Tier Soup:

  • Boost the Flavor: For an extra layer of richness, add a tablespoon of butter along with the olive oil when sautéing the vegetables.
  • Protein Power: Want to make this soup even more filling? Shred some leftover cooked chicken or lentils and stir them into the soup before serving.
  • Smooth Operator: Prefer a creamier soup? Use an immersion blender to puree some or all of the soup after the broccoli is cooked. This will create a velvety texture.
  • Frozen Florets: Fresh broccoli is ideal, but frozen florets work in a pinch. Simply add

What To Serve With

  • Crusty Bread or Dinner Rolls: Serve warm, crusty bread or soft dinner rolls on the side. The bread can be used for dipping into the soup or to complement its flavors.
  • Side Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette or creamy dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty soup. Include ingredients like mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Quiche or Savory Tart: A slice of quiche or a small serving of savory tart (like mushroom and spinach tart) makes a great accompaniment. The flavors of the tart can complement the soup without overwhelming it.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A classic pairing with any soup, including broccoli rice soup. Choose your favorite cheese and bread for a comforting and satisfying combination.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes can add texture and depth to the meal. Season them with herbs like rosemary or thyme for extra flavor.
  • Protein Additions: If you want to add protein to your meal, consider serving the soup with grilled chicken strips, shrimp skewers, or even a slice of roasted turkey breast.
  • Fruit: A side of fresh fruit, like sliced apples, grapes, or a fruit salad, can provide a refreshing contrast to the warmth of the soup.
  • Cheese Plate: Create a small cheese plate with a variety of cheeses, crackers, and maybe some nuts or dried fruits. This can be enjoyed alongside the soup for a lighter but satisfying meal.
  • Stuffed Baked Potato: Serve the soup with a simple baked potato, topped with sour cream, chives, and a sprinkle of cheese. The flavors complement each other well.
  • Herb Focaccia: Instead of plain bread, serve the soup with a slice of herb-infused focaccia. The savory herbs and olive oil in the focaccia can enhance the flavors of the soup.

Health Benefits

  • Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Broccoli rice soup typically contains broccoli, which is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins C, K, and A, as well as folate, fiber, and antioxidants. Rice adds carbohydrates for energy and can be a source of B vitamins and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus, depending on the type of rice used.
  • High Fiber Content: Both broccoli and rice are high in dietary fiber. Fiber supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and feeding beneficial gut bacteria. A high-fiber diet is also associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Broccoli is particularly rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and various flavonoids. These compounds help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are linked to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
  • Supports Immune Function: The combination of vitamins and minerals in broccoli and rice, especially vitamin C from broccoli, can support immune function. Vitamin C is crucial for the production of white blood cells and antibodies, which help fight infections and keep the immune system strong.
  • Heart Health Benefits: Broccoli contains compounds like sulforaphane, which may help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Additionally, the fiber in broccoli and rice can help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Weight Management: Broccoli rice soup can be a satisfying and low-calorie meal option, especially if prepared with a broth base and minimal added fats. The high fiber content can promote feelings of fullness and satiety, potentially aiding in weight management and reducing the risk of overeating.
  • Bone Health: Broccoli is a good source of vitamin K and calcium, both of which are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Vitamin K plays a role in bone metabolism and helps improve calcium absorption in the body.
  • Versatility and Customization: Broccoli rice soup is versatile and can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences and needs. It can be made with vegetable or chicken broth, and the creaminess can be adjusted using milk, cream, or dairy-free alternatives. This flexibility allows individuals to tailor the soup to their nutritional requirements.

Final Thoughts

Broccoli rice soup is not just a hearty dish for a chilly day; it’s a versatile canvas for creativity in the kitchen. Whether you prefer it creamy and smooth or chunky with extra vegetables, this soup offers a comforting blend of flavors and textures that can be tailored to suit any palate.

Other Soup Recipes:

Broccoli Rice Soup

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 277.6 calories 12.9 grams fat

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil (1 tablespoon): This healthy fat adds richness to the soup without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Onion (1, diced): The base of many delicious dishes, the onion provides a subtle sweetness and savory depth. Dice it finely for even distribution throughout the soup.
  • Carrots (2, diced): Adding a touch of sweetness and vibrant color, carrots also bring a subtle earthiness to the soup. Aim for a similar dice size as the onion for a cohesive texture.
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced): Aromatic and essential, garlic infuses the soup with its pungent bite. Mincing it finely ensures it releases its flavor throughout the cooking process.
  • Broccoli Florets (1 cup, chopped): The star of the show! Use fresh broccoli florets for the best flavor and texture. Cut them into bite-sized pieces for even cooking.
  • Rice (1/2 cup, uncooked): This can be brown or white rice, depending on your preference. Brown rice offers a nuttier flavor and more fiber, while white rice cooks faster and creates a smoother texture.
  • Broth (4 cups, chicken or vegetable): The base of the soup's liquid, the broth provides richness and depth of flavor. Choose chicken broth for a more traditional flavor or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Milk (2 cups, or dairy-free alternative): Milk adds creaminess and richness to the soup. Whole milk creates the most decadent texture, but you can use low-fat or skim milk for a lighter option. If you're dairy-free, choose your favorite plant-based milk, like almond or oat milk.
  • Cheese (1/2 cup, shredded cheddar or vegan alternative): A sprinkle of cheese adds a delightful cheesy element to the soup. Use sharp cheddar for a bolder flavor, or a milder variety like Monterey Jack. If you're vegan, there are many delicious dairy-free cheese alternatives available that will still melt beautifully into the soup.
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste): These essential seasonings will enhance all the other flavors in the soup. Start with a little and add more to your preference.

Instructions

  1. Sautéing the Aromatics: Begin by heating the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrots, and sauté them for 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. This step allows the vegetables to release their natural sweetness and develop a richer flavor.
  2. Introducing the Garlic: Once the onion and carrots are softened, stir in the minced garlic. Cook for another minute, until fragrant. Be careful not to let the garlic burn, as it can turn bitter.
  3. Adding the Stars: Pour in the chopped broccoli florets and your chosen rice. Cook for an additional minute or two, stirring occasionally, to coat the ingredients with the flavorful oil.
  4. Building the Broth: Next, pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. This allows the rice to cook through and the broccoli to become tender-crisp.
  5. Creating Creaminess: After the simmering time, stir in the milk and your chosen cheese. Heat the soup gently until the cheese melts completely, stirring constantly to prevent burning. This step adds a luxurious creaminess to the soup.
  6. Seasoning to Perfection: Finally, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it away, so start with a small amount and adjust gradually.

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