As a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who is passionate about Intuitive Eating, I greatly appreciate that Intuitive Eating is a flexible approach to eating that revolves around tuning into one's inner biological cues - like hunger and fullness -in addition to experiencing true pleasure from eating. I adore the fact that Intuitive Eating is NOT a hunger/fullness diet. And that it's not a diet - at all.
There are moments when my family and I thoroughly enjoy eating pizza or cheesecake - like we did this past Valentine's Day - and there are times when we are over the moon for delicious plant-based meals. Thanks to Intuitive Eating, I no longer label myself as "good" or "bad" when I eat my produce or my pizza/cheesecake. And as a result, I enjoy all of these foods to the fullest. Like many Intuitive Eaters, this true pleasure and satisfaction that I experience from eating has actually resulted in me consuming a larger variety of foods than ever before. Including fruits and vegetables.
Which brings me to my next point. Normally my family and I are all about spicy dishes - which is reflected in many of my blog posts. But today I decided to post a more mellow meal. My gluten-free pureed vegan broccoli soup is not the least bit spicy, and is a scrumptious way to use up A LOT of broccoli that you might have sitting in your refrigerator - in addition to some mushrooms, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and beans! To read more about broccoli, click here. This dish is also delicious reheated and can be made a couple of days prior to serving it!
Speaking of beans, adding garbanzo beans gives this soup a subtle creamy effect - in addition to providing some protein. I happened to have garbanzo beans on hand in my pantry when I created this recipe - but feel free to experiment with different types of white beans. Since this soup contains a small amount of carbohydrates - and our body needs carbohydrates for energy - crusty bread or a sandwich is delicious with this soup!
And if you're a meat eater like me - and are wondering if you will enjoy this dish without the meat - the mushrooms in this soup will give you your umami-fix. Umami is the fifth taste - which is savory. It provides a meaty sensation. If you're craving cheese in this soup, feel free to add some. But I love this soup as is.
This soup is also incredibly simple to make! You simply cook the ingredients in a stockpot or dutch oven - and puree it in a high-powered blender or food processor - until smooth. Here's a video that provides tips on how to carefully puree hot soup. Using an immersion blender to blend this soup directly in the stockpot that you cook the soup in works well too. You can also switch up your seasonings in this dish. For example, I added some dry rosemary to this soup to provide an earthy effect. But parsley could work too!
Yield: Around 11 cups (Allow yourself to listen to your hunger/fullness cues).
2 tablespoons canola oil (Or olive oil)
3 cups white onion, roughly chopped (1 large onion)
3 celery sticks, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 tablespoons garlic, minced (Around 6 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper (Adjust to taste)
9 cups broccoli, chopped (Stems included)
6 cups vegetable stock (Or low-sodium vegetable broth)
2 cups water
1 15-ounce can no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (Or 1 3/4 cups cooked beans)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Adjust to taste)
Kosher salt (Adjust to taste)
1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven using the medium-high setting. When the oil is hot, add the onion and stir frequently for 3 minutes. Next, toss in the celery, carrot, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, and black pepper to the mixture - stirring continuously for 1 minute.
2. Add the broccoli, vegetable stock or broth, water, and beans to the mixture. Stir 3-4 times. Bring the soup to a boil, followed by simmering on low heat until the vegetables have softened (Around 15-20 minutes).
3. Remove the soup from heat, allowing the soup to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Next, carefully puree the soup - in batches - in a high-powered blender/food processor (This soup will be creamier if you puree the soup until it's completely smooth versus having chunks of beans visible in this dish). Or use an immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot. Then add the lemon juice to the mixture, stirring 2-3 times. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!