Vegan Broccoli Soup with Avocado & Jalapeno or Basil oil or Gremolata



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This recipe makes a lot  A LOT – of soup.  Be prepared to freeze some.  I had a 3 pound bag of broccoli from Costco & it had to be used & used fast.  I find freezing fresh vegetables renders them a yucky, mushy, unappetizing mess – but freezing dishes MADE with vegetables works out just fine.  I suppose you could cut this recipe in half easily – so maybe consider doing that.

This soup would be amazing with a homemade vegetable stock (there is a recipe at the bottom of the post HERE) but it works out just great using bouillon, too.


This soup can be served with all sorts of little garnishes from the avocado-jalapeno combo to the basil oil drizzle I show here to the gremolata that I also show here of with crispy bacon crumbles or some blue cheese crumbles or feta cheese.  Use your imagination!  Add some corn or steamed broccoli or tortilla strips.  Go nuts!  I found these red jalapenos at an Asian market & I love them because they are so PRETTY!  But green ones work just as well.



Vegan Broccoli Soup with Avocado-Jalapeno or Basil oil or Gremolata


2 large heads of broccoli (or two pounds florets)

2 large onions – chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1 large potato – cubed

8-10 cups of vegetable stock – depending on how thin or thick you like your soup

S&P to taste

2 TBS olive oil



1/2 cup parsley – chopped very fine

4-5 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup lemon zest



1 packed cup of fresh basil

3/4 cup high quality olive oil

Salt to taste


Sliced avocado

diced jalapeno



Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Cook the onions until they are soft & translucent.  Add broccoli, potato, parsley and the stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & simmer.  Once the broccoli & potato are tender – puree in batches or use an immersion blender.  Blend until very smooth.  If the soup is too thick – add a bit of water.  If it is too thin, cook it over med-low heat until it reduces to the thickness you prefer.

Zest the lemon, chop the garlic & parsley.   Blend them in a small bowl.



Blanch the basil in boiling water for 10-20 seconds than plunge into ice water.  Squeeze out the water & puree in a food processor with olive oil & salt to taste.  Go light on the salt.  Set aside.

Serve the soup with either the avocado/jalapeno combo or a drizzle of basil oil or a hefty portion of the gremolata.  MMMMM!



Vegan Herbed White Bean Soup with Lemon-Garlic-Parsley Gremolata

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012This soup is light & delicious.  It was very easy for me to make because I had TONS of leftover herbed white beans from my Kale Fettuccine recipe HERE and a lot of frozen, leftover vegetable stock from my Very Spicy Tortilla Soup recipe HERE.If you have leftovers of these things – good for you!  You are ahead of the game. If you do not & do not care to get into a prolonged soup recipe, just use vegetarian bouillon or a pre-made vegetable stock in place of the homemade vegetable stock & use canned beans rather than dry.  That should make this soup come together very easily.

Also – I am a huge fan of both celery & parsley.  I think they get treated as unnecessary embellishments but I think they are both full of important flavor.  Go heavy with them – whenever you can.  If you eat chicken – chicken stock can be used & you can even add some cooked chicken to this – though I don’t think it needs it.


Vegan Herbed White Bean Soup with Lemon-Garlic-Parsley Gremolata


4 cups of vegetable stock (either homemade (below) or a pre-made one – or use bouillon cubes)

2 cups herbed white beans (recipe below) or TWO 15oz canned white beans – herbed as outlined below

1 TBS olive oil

1 onion diced

2-3 stalks celery – chopped

4 scallions – sliced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp black pepper

4 bay leaves


2 TBS chopped fresh parsley

fresh lemon zest

1 garlic clove per bowl of soup – pressed through a garlic press or finely minced



Heat the olive oil & saute the onion, celery, scallions and 4 garlic cloves.  Once softened – about three minutes – add the broth, peeper, white beans & bay leaves.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat & let simmer at least 20 minutes – longer if you want the flavors to really meld.  Add S&P to taste.


If the soup seems too thick – add more water or stock. 

Chop the parsley, zest a lemon.  When serving – put soup in each bowl.  Press a garlic clove & place one in the center of each bowl.  Sprinkle some fresh parsley & top with a generous pinch of lemon zest.  Serve!





Herbed White Beans


2 cups dry white beans (small ones – not large ones) – or 2 15oz cans of small white beans

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp dry oregano

1 1/2 tsp dry parsley

1 1/2 tsp savory

1 1/2 tsp white pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic – sliced very thinly

4+ sprigs of fresh thyme – stems removed

4+ sprigs of fresh oregano – stems removed

S&P to taste


Put the beans & DRY spices (salt, oregano, savory, parsley, white pepper) in a large pot with enough water to cover them by at least two inches.  Bring to a boil.  Stir, then cover & lower heat to the lowest setting & simmer for at least two hours – or until the beans are tender.

In a small frying pan, heat the oil.  Add the sliced garlic, fresh thyme & oregano.  Heat for a few minutes on a medium flame – but stop before the garlic begins to change color.  With a wooden spoon, muddle the garlic & herbs into the oil by pressing down on them to release their flavors.  Remove from heat & let sit while the beans cook.

When the beans are done, drain them.  Put them in a bowl & mix in the herbed olive oil.  Set aside.




Vegetable Stock



a few carrots – chopped into big chunks

a few stalks of celery – chopped into big chunks

1/2 large russet potato – chopped into big chunks

1/2 small head cabbage – chopped into big chunks

1 large shallot – chopped into big chunks

2 jalapenos – chopped into big chunks

several sprigs of fresh Thyme

a handful of fresh cilantro

a handful of fresh sage

a handful of fresh oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

Salt & pepper


Fill a large stock pot with water.  Add all the other ingredients & bring to a boil.  Reduced heat & simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Strain (through cheesecloth if you have it – but this isn’t necessary) into another pan & toss all the ingredients away.  Voila!  You will likely use 4-6 cups or more in this.  Freeze the rest in smaller containers for future use.