So clueless am I about quite possibly the most important televised sporting event of the year, I was all in tizzy over making time in my schedule to watch the commercials this past weekend. Naturally, after getting so worked up trying to balance the few hours that stood between me and Monday, I found out the big game isn’t even due to take place until the following weekend. So much for being prepared!
But the good news is, it got me thinking about appropriate eats and treats, and now I have a recipe to share a few days early, instead of late. While gathering ideas for this most American and macho “holiday,” my thoughts inevitably circled back to one key ingredient: Cheese. Be it in queso dip, melted over pizzas, slathered on top of crackers, or, incomprehensibly, squeezed from a can, any gathering related to football that’s worth its salt is paired with a giant brick of dairy. Still in a rather cheesy mood myself, it felt like as good a time as any to unleash a creamy, savory solution for the vegan crowd.
Though it tastes indulgent and approaches an unnatural shade of orange, I assure you, this belly-warming bowl if soup is none of the above. Gaining its hue from nothing more suspicious than carrot juice, it packs a decent wallop of veggies, far more than the standard bowl of melted Velveeta topped with a few sad florets. Gaining its bulk not from processed cheese-type products, but white beans instead, this soup has some serious staying power, sure to keep you energized through a rowdy party, or just a chilly winter night. Still, don’t tell the guys what’s in it- They may not even guess!
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Chopped
1 – 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Cup 100% Carrot Juice
1 15.5-Ounce Can Cannellini, Navy, or White Beans
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Barley Miso Paste
1/2 – 1 Cup Vegetable Stock
4 Cups Frozen and Defrosted or Par-cooked Broccoli Florets
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
In a medium sauce pan, over moderate heat, lightly saute the chopped onion in the oil, allowing it to cook for 4 – 8 minutes, until translucent. Add in the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 minutes. Pour in the carrot juice, cover, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the beans, nutritional yeast, tahini, lemon juice, and miso in your food processor or blender. Once the mixture in the saucepan is ready, pour all of that in as well, and blend on high for 2 – 3 minutes, until completely smooth and creamy. Thin out the soup to your desired consistency with vegetable stock, starting with the lesser amount first and adjusting further if necessary. Add in the broccoli, and pulse just briefly to break it down into bite-sized chunks and distribute the pieces throughout the soup. Add salt and pepper as need, and serve hot.
Makes 4 – 6 Servings