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by Christel Swasey

Healthy Recipe Collection: Lemony Broccoli Soup

I’m always searching for perfect recipes.  They are hard to find, yes indeed, and often, I have to settle for plain old great ones.

When I say “perfect recipes” I mean the recipes that are the absolute healthiest, the most delicious, the least expensive, the simplest to prepare, require the fewest ingredients, and are the most likely to be loved and seconded by my family.

The reason that I usually settle for great, rather than perfect, recipes is that most great recipes are making big, huge, but necessary, concessions.  These concessions go like this: they’re delicious but also expensive, or they are inexpensive but too time-consuming to prepare, or they are very healthy but not very popular with every single family member.

But today I found another perfect recipe for my perfect recipe collection!

It is sitting in my crock pot right now, and dinner is hours away but as good as ready.  It took me almost no time at all.  It’s a throw-it-all-in-the-crockpot recipe.  Yes, really!  Anyone– I mean, anyone, can do this.

I found this recipe backwards;  first, I looked in my fridge and thought, “What do I want to cook with today?”  I decided to use up the broccoli and I saw that I had four giant, yummy fresh garlic bulbs and lemons.  (I have been purchasing superfoods on purpose).

So I put these words in a search engine:  broccoli garlic lemon soup and voila!  On a site called Care 2 Make a Difference, I found this perfect recipe.  I did change a few items because I didn’t have any fresh thyme (I used dried thyme), nor did I have any wine, so I skipped it.  But here’s the easiest, yummiest-smelling peasant soup you can brew using 6 ingredients and a crock pot.

Lemony Broccoli Soup With Garlic and Olive Oil

(Adapted from a recipe in  Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger  and Julie Kaufmann)

2 bunches broccoli (approx. 3 pounds) chopped into large pieces
1/2 c. olive oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) -optional
6 cups  good-quality vegetable or low-sodium poultry broth
4 tablespoons fresh  lemon juice

Optional:  salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Right before serving, I’ll puree most of it in the blender, to make it mostly creamy, and I’ll sprinkle some cheese on top.  That’s not difficult.

And with the well-documented disease and cancer-fighting properties of the superfoods broccoli, lemons and garlic, just feel your halo glowing as you serve your family this soup.

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