This year, I made a resolution to eat healthier during the holidays. One day a week, I plan to go meatless and let healthy veggies and nutrient-dense grains take center stage on my plate.
I will never be able to give up a juicy steak or smoky bacon, but I do know that adopting a vegan lifestyle for a few meals each week will be a bonus for my health and my waistline.
This Broccoli Almond Soup is from the kitchen of my good friend Nevada Presley. A certified vegan chef and vegetarian of more than 20 years, Nevada is full of ideas and recipes for tasty dishes so good that I never miss the meat or dairy.
Traditional cream of broccoli soup is a decadent indulgence. This recipe has all the flavor but none of the unhealthy fat from heavy cream. Unsweetened almond milk replaces the dairy with less fat and the added bonus of a delightful nutty flavor. The potatoes thicken the soup to create that velvety creaminess that makes this soup so popular.
High in calcium, fiber and a slew of vitamins, broccoli is a super food. Since the broccoli will be puréed, you should use both the florets and the stems in this recipe. Broccoli stems are sweeter and higher in fiber than the florets. Be sure to peel the tough outer layer before using them in any recipe.
Jennifer Chandler is the author of "Simply Salads" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99) and "Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99). She is the national spokeswoman for French's Mustards and French's French Fried Onions. She lives in East Memphis with her husband and two daughters.
Broccoli Almond Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Sauté, without browning, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, white wine and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the temperature to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the broccoli and almonds. Continue to cook at a simmer until the broccoli and almonds are very soft, about 20 more minutes.
Add the milk and bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat again to medium and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Purée the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender. If using a food processor or blender, return the soup to the pot. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through over medium-low heat. Serve warm.
Source: Nevada Presley, "Get Fresh Memphis"