Every season is soup season in our house, but we like to keep our soups seasonal, like this Roasted Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Toasts. It's a great way to use up some of that winter broccoli that you had big plans to snack on all week but has instead gotten a little limp in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It tastes rich and creamy without containing a drop of cream, and it's packed with flavor from all that roasted broccoli and a bit of my Lemon Pepper Spice Blend, which uses whole lemons for the extra punch of citrus. If you are anti-carb or dairy, you can obviously skip the Cheddar Toasts, but I'm telling you they are magical, especially when dipped into the soup.
Let's get cooking, shall we?
Roasted Lemon Pepper Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Toasts
1 pound broccoli (stalks and crown)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Lemon Pepper Spice Blend plus another pinch or so for the Cheddar Toasts
3-4 cups vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
2 slices country sourdough or other hearty bread
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place it on the middle rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 425 F.
Separate the broccoli into florets and stems. Toss the florets with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Lemon Pepper Spice Blend. Transfer seasoned florets to the hot baking sheet in the oven and roast about 20 minutes, until the florets are charred in spots and tender enough for a knife to slide in easily.
Meanwhile, cut the stems into 1/2-inch dice. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a 5-quart dutch oven or pot. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until it becomes nice and fragrant. Add the Lemon Pepper Spice Blend and the broccoli stems and stir to coat. Add 3 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli stems are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Add half of the roasted broccoli florets to the soup. Puree the soup until it's completely smooth using an immersion blender, standing blender or food processor. Return the pureed soup to the pot if using a standing blender or food processor. Add more broth if you like your soup a little less thick. Season to taste with salt and additional Lemon Pepper Spice Blend. Keep soup warm while you prepare the Cheddar Toasts
Drizzle bread slices with olive oil and toast under the broiler (or in a toaster oven or air fryer) until just browned. Top toasts with cheese and a sprinkle of Lemon Pepper Spice Blend and return to the broiler/toaster oven/air fryer to melt the cheese.
Serve the soup topped with the remaining roasted broccoli florets and the Cheddar Toasts.
* This recipe was adapted from this one from The Original Dish.