Savory vegan recipes of broccoli soup and sage biscuits, inspired by grandma’s kitchen
Broccoli — we have history.
When I think of this lifelong favorite vegetable, I’m back in my grandmother’s kitchen standing at her side. Purchased frozen, there was always some broccoli on hand and much to the chagrin of the rest of my family, she indulged my appetite for it and served it with every meal when I visited. She would simmer it for “a good 20 minutes” (I remember because she would let me set the timer) — and then proceed to smother it with a giant scoopful of melting margarine. YUM — soft, salty, pudding-like heaven.
Though my preparation style and palette have significantly evolved — broccoli remains my favorite vegetable and it makes me smile, reminiscing about the time spent with her.
Kitchens are sacred spaces that pulsate with life, dancing between creation and memory.
Today, I prefer it lightly roasted or sautéed to maintain its crunch, with olive oil, a little salt and fresh garlic.
As the seasons change, I miss my grandma and the time we spent together in the kitchen and the subsequent lingering at the table as we slowly ate and shared stories. Food has the power to connect us in beautiful ways. When I want to evoke this feeling of warmth and comfort, I cook up some Creamy Broccoli Soup, my version of my childhood delight.
This recipe may seem like it has a lot of vegan butter at first, but that’s OK, grandma approves. It helps keep it silky smooth when blending, and besides — it’s delicious. I use a soy-free vegan butter which tends to be a bit saltier than the other kinds. So, I add salt towards the end of the preparation, after tasting it, to avoid it being over-salted.
As for the potatoes, Yukon Gold are a good choice because of their creamy texture when blended, but feel free to substitute with others like Russets or another white-fleshed potato.
This soup goes great with homemade Sage Biscuits!
Creamy Broccoli Soup
Makes about 3 quarts
- 1 bunch (~ 2 lbs.) fresh broccoli
- 1 large onion (~ 1 lb.)
- 2-3 Yukon Gold potatoes (~ 1 ½ -2 lbs.) washed, unpeeled
- 3 stalks celery, ends trimmed
- 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
- 2-3 stems fresh thyme
- 1 TBSP black pepper
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 stick (4 oz. or 8 TBSP) vegan butter (soy-free)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Cut and prep all of your vegetables first.
- Wash and cut broccoli tops into 1” sized florets. With a vegetable peeler, peel the stalk and then cut into ½ “ thick cubes.
- Peel and coarsely dice the onion.
- Wash and cut the potatoes into ½” cubes, do not peel.
- Coarsely dice the celery.
- Strip the leaves of thyme from the stem and roughly chop to release the fragrance.
- Into a 4-6 qt soup pot, melt the vegan butter with the olive oil.
- Add in the celery, onions, and Sauté for about 5 minutes and then add the potato cubes. Stir gently to coat with the melted butter, oil and vegetables. Cover and let cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes.
- Stir, make sure to mix up from the bottom. The potatoes will stick a little, scrape that up, cover again and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, the thyme and black pepper, stir well and cover, let it cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir again and then pour in the vegetable stock and water. Add the bay leaves. Raise the flame and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and let it simmer 15- 20 minutes.
- Shut off the flame and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the 2 bay leaves and discard them.
- If using a blender, blend in small batches until all the liquid and vegetables have been blended together.
NOTE: It is important to leave the lid of the blender open just a touch while holding it in place using a kitchen towel as you turn it on. This allows the steam to escape. Some blenders have a removable part in the top of the lid for this purpose. Otherwise, the heat may force the lid off and spray hot soup when you turn it on.
You can use an immersion blender instead, following your instruction manual. It will give you a slightly chunkier soup, so if you want it super creamy, use the conventional blender.
Taste and add salt as needed.
Note: Take care to not overwork the dough to keep the biscuits light and fluffy. And fresh sage is better than dried for flavor. You can also add or substitute rosemary or thyme.
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups flour plus extra for working with dough
- 1 TBSP baking Powder
- ½ TSP baking Soda
- ½ TSP salt
- About 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 8 small to medium sized sage leaves left whole
- 4 TBSP vegan butter (cold) plus 1 TBSP separate for baking
- In a bowl, add the apple cider vinegar into the soymilk, do not stir; set it aside to curdle for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together very well until blended.
- Cut the 4 TBSP vegan butter into small pieces and add it into the flour. Using a fork or pastry cutter mix the butter and flour together until it has a crumbly texture. It is ok for there to be a few larger lumps of butter. Gently fold in the chopped sage.
- Using a whisk, mix together the soy milk and vinegar blend and then pour slowly into the flour mix. Fold together gently until the flour is just coated and then turn out onto a floured surface. It will be sticky. Using floured hands, fold the dough over itself 4-5 times, adding small amounts of flour to keep it from sticking. (Do not roll or knead.)
- Pat it into a 1” thick rectangle shape and then cut into 8 evenly sized rectangle shaped biscuits. Place each biscuit very close to the other onto a greased baking sheet. As they bake, you’ll want the sides to touch each other.
- Press one sage leaf onto the top of each biscuit. Divide the remaining TBSP of butter into 8 pieces and place one piece on top of each sage leaf on each biscuit.
- Bake in a 400F oven for 12 minutes. Turn the pan and bake for another 5-6 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve immediately.