Simple Broccoli Soup


Today we harvested what might be the last broccoli of the year. I used it for soup. It feels like I’ve been using everything for soup lately. It was a very simple recipe, calling for only three ingredients; broccoli, salt and water. No heavy stock or roux or long caramelizing needed. The soup has a deep, radioactive, space-mutant green color and it’s flavor is outstanding.

Fans of Gordon Ramsey’s excellent BBC program Kitchen Nightmares will remember this soup. He made it in the Clubway 41 episode. It’s a classical puree. The kind of recipe culinary students learn in their first week at school(or should show up already knowing if they’re worth a scratch). Here’s the method in one sentence: boil broccoli in salted water, puree it in a blender and adjust salt to taste.

That being said, there are some details that matter. First, don’t use any more water than it takes to cover the broccoli. As the broccoli boils, it looses flavor and color to the water. Throwing away extra water means throwing away flavor. It’s also important to salt the water. It’s become fashionable to add all the salt at the end of a recipe. But I believe this diminishes the depth of flavor one can achieve. For me it’s important to cook with salt throughout. Lastly, cook the broccoli as fast and as hot as possible. Make sure the salted water is boiling violently before adding the broccoli. Then cover the pan with a lid, it keeps the water hot and everything cooks faster. If broccoli is cooked too long or too slowly it can get stinky and bitter.

Simple Broccoli Soup


  • Broccoli florets
  • Salt
  • Water


Cut broccoli florets from the stems. Salt just enough water to cover the broccoli and bring it to a rapid boil. When the water is boiling violently, add the broccoli florets and cook quickly (4-5 minutes, absolutely no more). Strain the broccoli retaining all the cooking water, and transfer to a blender. Blend with enough of the cooking water to produce a smooth puree. Adjust the salt to taste and serve hot.

Cooking time (duration): 8

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