Broccoli Stem Soup


I believe soup is made in the toppings. Whether it's a dollop of crème fraîche or a handful of roasted nuts, adding something extra to a comforting bowl of soup can make it into a delicious rounded meal. Perfect for lunch. Perfect for dinner. Perfect for breakfast...? (Okay I'm still working on that one). 

I'm all about the toppings in this recipe. Mini-crunchy-spicy-lemony-roasted broccoli bites with some toasted pine nuts? Yes, please. Plus, not having any florets in the soup means you get a much smoother consistency because there aren't tiny broccoli kernels floating around refusing to be blended. AND you don't throw anything away. Every last bit of broccoli gets munched. Great if you're me, terrible if you're my broccoli hating brother. 

This is a pretty simple soup recipe that you can play around with depending on what's in your fridge. Got some carrots? Throw 'em in. My roommate also made a version of this with a head of cauliflower instead of broccoli and it turned out great. 


Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the stems off the broccoli and set aside. Chop the florets into bite-sized pieces. On a baking tray mix the florets with juice from 1/2 the lemon, a good drizzle of olive oil, chili flakes, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven until crispy, turning half way through (approx. 20 mins total time, but watch them, you want to take them out just before they start to burn).

Dice the onion and garlic and sauté in olive oil on a medium heat. Roughly chop broccoli stems and potato, add these to the pan and season generously with salt & pepper. Sauté briefly then add the vegetable stock (adding more if you prefer a thinner soup). Bring to a boil, then simmer until broccoli stems and potato are tender. 

Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Add the other 1/2 of the lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste. In a small pan, gently toast the pine nuts. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with crispy broccoli and toasted pine nuts. 


2 heads of broccoli

1 potato 

1 onion 

2 cloves of garlic

3 cups vegetable stock 

1 lemon

pinch of chili flakes

handful of pine nuts

olive oil

salt & pepper


Pumpkin Beer and Goat Cheese Soup


I've been taken down by another cold... which means MORE SOUP! Not quite sure how restorative this one is since one of the main ingredients is beer but, hey, it checks all the warming and comforting boxes. This soup has been on my fall rotation for a while now (it's even a FOOD52 community pick), it came about after visiting the Dogfish Head brewery at the end of a late summer trip to Dewey Beach. We were all incredibly hungover and embarrassingly sunburnt. Ready to give up on summer for that year and fully embrace the cool fall weather, our friend order this soup from the restaurant and it blew us all away. 

We were so impressed by the soup we spent the rest of that fall trying to figure out the recipe (plus finding different toppings, adding sweet potatoes or squash, and experimenting with different beers). The additional toppings and autumnal vegetables were very successful but I stuck with Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Sure, other beers worked fine, but the Punkin Ale is my favorite fall beer and I like drinking it while I cook.


Stuff for Soup

1 sugar pie pumpkin

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (or other Pumpkin Ale)

2 cups vegetable stock

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

spoonful of brown sugar (optional)

olive oil 

salt & pepper


Stuff for Toppings

handful pepitas

olive oil

sage leaves

goat cheese






Preheat your oven to 425° F. Half and seed pumpkin. Rub with olive oil and season with salt, roast pumpkin in the oven until tender (approx. 30 mins). Let cool, then remove flesh from skin.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Dice onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add roasted pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the pan. Pour in beer. Increase heat and allow at least half the beer to burn off. Once the beer has burned off, lower the heat and add in vegetable stock. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until it's smooth (if you like a thinner soup, you can add some more vegetable stock). Add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is a little bitter, add sugar. 

In a frying pan, toast the pepitas until they are crunchy and remove from heat. 

Heat olive oil in a frying pan, drop in the sage leaves and fry until they are crispy but still green. 

Cut the goat cheese log into 3/4-inch chunks. Divide the soup into bowls and place a goat cheese chunk in the center. Drizzle the sage oil over the soup and sprinkle the pepitas on top of the cheese. Garnish the dish with a fried sage leaf.


Mushroom and Cashew Soup

I have a cold (boo), but that means it's definitely soup season (yay)! I love mushroom soup but I sometimes find it to be a bit meh... mushrooms have that great unami taste but they don't always hold up that well in soup. I find the soup often needs something to bulk it up. Something to give it that extra creamy warmness, you know, the thing that makes us hold steaming soup bowls between our hands on crisp fall days, so excited for the bowl of delicious warmth we're about to devour. 

So there I was, standing over a bowl of mushroom soup, thinking to myself 'what can I add to this?' And it struck me that cashews would be perfect. They're creamy, nutty, and not too strong. I threw in a handful of cashews and I've never looked back.  

I now soak the cashews in water overnight (or for a couple of hours in advance) and use the water they're soaked in for the broth. If I forget to do this (which happens all the time), I still add them, the soup just isn't quite as creamy. This recipe is vegan but if you're not, you can use butter to sauté the shallot and garlic and I'd highly recommend adding a big dollop of crème fraîche to your bowl of soup.   


1 packet of mushrooms 

handful of cashews (soaked overnight in water)

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves

few sprigs of thyme

handful of parsley 

2 quarts vegetable stock

a big splash of sherry

olive oil

salt & pepper




Dice the shallot and the garlic. Heat olive oil in a pot on a medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic until tender.

Roughly chop the mushrooms and the thyme. Add to the pot, season everything with salt and pepper, and stir. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add sherry and turn up the heat. Let the alcohol burn off then add the cashews with the water they were soaked in and the vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 

Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes then blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and check for seasoning. Roughly chop the parsley.  

Serve with a dash of olive oil and sprinkling of parsley. 

Pssst... looking for a great CSA in the DC area? Look no further! I use From the Farmer and have all my lovely produce delivered to my door! These mushrooms came from them and so do most of the ingredients on this blog. If you want to try them out, use the code HUNGRIESTBEAR for 50% off your first two orders!