Broccoli & Lemon Soup

Whether or not you correlate your resolutions with the start of a new calendar year, I think we all seek to make better choices regardless of the month. Even if it’s simply “I ate 7 rations of bacon for breakfast, better have a healthy lunch and dinner.” The balanced life–as those in the health and wellness community so often dub it.

Well, as much as I am part of the opposition when it comes to hip catch phrases–No, that meal you made on your instagram story is not LIT or ON POINT–the phrase balance is one I am completely behind. I frequently call in light pinch hitters for meals, in order to balance a day filled with or following indulgence. Soups made from fresh vegetables and pure stocks are perfect for this call of duty and are light on effort (most of the time, mind you.) This means that baked potato soup and New England clam chowder sadly don’t count as light, clean pinch hitters, just because they are soups–not that you didn’t realize this but I feel the need to clarify.

This beautifully green and bright soup takes 15 minutes, up and down, and keeps beautifully in the fridge for at least 3 days. I wouldn’t mind a block of cheddar cheese mixed into it but please refrain yourself. It is, after all, about balance.

Ingredients Serves 4
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
2 cups raw broccoli florets
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (about 3 cloves) or 1 teaspoon raw garlic (1 small clove)
1 1/2 cups baby spinach
4 cups vegetable stock (32 ounce box)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest, for garnish

Directions
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
4. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook broccoli until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. (If desired for garnish, set aside a few florets of cooked broccoli, at this point)
5. Remove from heat and stir in baby spinach, lemon juice, and salt & pepper. Blend the soup with a stick/immersion blender or blend in batches in a stand blender/food processor until just smooth.
6. Finish the soup with reserved broccoli florets and lemon zest.

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