Nana Recipe Wednesday–Simple Broccoli and Vegetable Soup

by Sarah on September 18, 2013

Before I went to New York, I had an informal poll over at the UC Facebook page on what recipes people wanted to see next.  Out of all the recipes I listed, this simple broccoli soup was the big winner.  Who’d have thunk?

Have I shown you this photo of Nana with her brothers and sisters before?  Only baby Marie is not in this photo–she must not have been born yet.  Nana is that darling girl with the curls on the right.  There is a story–who knows how much is true–that after Nana’s mother died when she was six years old, a neighbor couple wanted to adopt my Nana.  And only Nana.  “Oh, sorry Wilber, your wife just died and you have six kids to care for–how ’bout we take this cutie off your hands”?  How very strange.  Needless to say, this did not happen, the Smith family did not disown their neighbors and they all lived mostly happily ever after.  Till Wilbs married Nana’s evil stepmother.  But that’s a story for another day.

This is the easiest soup to make in the world.  Cook vegetables in stock.  Blend.  Add cream.  Salt.  Devour.  Easily adapts to vegetarian with different stock and seriously, it’s a decent way to clean out the veg drawer.  Just don’t forget the broccoli, that’s the main thing.

Nana's Simple Broccoli and Vegetable Soup


  • 2 bunches broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch or a bag of spinach
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp butter or oil
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 lemon (for juice)
  • nutmeg, black pepper, salt


  • Heat oil or butter in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft.
  • Add broccoli, carrots, celery and stock. If the stock does not cover the veggies, add some water so they are just barely covered. Cook until the vegetables are about halfway cooked.
  • Add tomatoes and spinach and continue to simmer until all the vegetables are quite tender, approximately an hour all together.
  • Puree with a stick blender or in a normal blender.
  • Add cream and stir through.
  • Add lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

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