Quick Tip: How To Use Broccoli Stems

photo by Flickr user: Trazy

Of course, the best part of the Broccoli plant are the florets, which make for a great quick side dish, cut off the stems and steamed with butter and salt.  But what do you do with the stems? Throw them away?  No way!  Here at Forkable, we like to use every part of the pig.  Underneath their woody skin, which can easily be removed using a potato peeler, lurks a soft and yummy interior.  To save time, I keep a bag in the freezer where I can throw the stems after I cut the florets off.  When I’ve collected enough stems, I then use them to make a big batch of cream of broccoli soup.  Yum!

Cream of Broccoli (Stem) Soup

  • broccoli stems,
  • equal amount potatoes
  • 1-2 large onions, chopped
  • chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • milk to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare broccoli stems: Using a potato peeler, remove stringy fibrous skin of stems.  I defrost my stems by leaving in the fridge over night, but I think it would work having them be frozen as well.  Chop stems up into approx. inch long sections.

Start Soup: Saute onions in 1-2 Tbs of olive oil until clear.  If you have  a lot of stems (3-5 lbs) you can use two onions, otherwise, one medium sized one is fine.   Skin potatoes (if you want, the skin is pretty healthy so I usually leave on), and chop into large chunks: quarters or sixths.  Add potatoes and broccoli to pot.  Add stock until all ingredients are just covered.  Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes until veggies are falling apart.

Mix soup:  Once all ingredients are super soft, blend either using an immersion blender or in a food processor until your desired consistency.  If you want it to be chunky, just a few light pulses will do.  Add a bit of milk to up the creamy-ness and season using salt and pepper.  You can start with just 1/2 c. milk and 1 tsp salt and add more from there to meet your needs.  Keep adding salt until you get the right flavor.  Remember, its easier to add more then to take away too much.

Eat your soup: Yum.  Feel good you just made a delicious soup from parts of the plant you might not otherwise have eaten.  Great job!  Its fun to feel good about being thrifty while you eat a delicious meal.  Enjoy.

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