Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup Topped With Crispy Kale

13 02 2014

Broccoli-cheese is such a classic soup, but if you’ve made it a few times like me, it can get boring. This twist offers something a little new for your palette by adding some Italian flair with parmesan, garlic and Italian seasoning. And topping it with crunchy kale adds a nice textural component, plus extra nutrients. Get this simple and tasty supper on the table “souper” fast!

Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup Topped With Crispy Kale

Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup Topped With Crispy Kale

The following makes 4 servings (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5-6 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bag frozen chopped broccoli (1 lb)
  • 1 brick (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Place chopped kale, a drizzle of oil, lemon zest from 1 lemon, a pinch of salt (don’t use too much), a pinch of red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of parmesan into a large bowl. Mix well. Make sure not to use too much oil, the kale should be just lightly coated. You may have to mix in two batches – it may look like a lot at first, but it will cook down significantly. Divide in one layer among non-stick baking sheets and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the kale roasts, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning and saute, until beginning to soften, 5 minutes.

Stir in the flour to coat vegetables; cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and add broccoli (if you happen to have fresh broccoli on hand, chop it along with the stems and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes before adding to the soup). Increase heat to medium-high.

Simmer soup until it thickens slightly, 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cream cheese until it melts. Add 1 cup grated parmesan; stir until it melts. Season soup with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the kale. Divide soup among bowls and top with crispy kale.