“I live on good soup, not on fine words.” Moliere
These words mirror my own feelings about soup; give me a good book and I’m content, give me a good bowl of soup and I’m happy. And with fall fast approaching, I’m ready to dust off my special cool weather soup recipes and ladle, and get busy making some body and soul-nurturing soups so welcome this time of year.
I’ve lived in several climates in the last 10 years and it never ceases to amaze me how appealing soup is in all of them. Maybe it’s because soups have been around so long (the first real soup may date back as early as 20,000 years ago), or that they are open to including so many flavor combinations. Or maybe it’s because soup can be a satisfying meal in a pinch. Probably all of these. Soup just seems to hit the contentment spot fairly easy and quickly, and often attracts good company as a bonus. Soup is definitely on when you want a whole slew of goodies.
Blended raw soups are at the very top of the nourishing soup chain. They are delicious and healthy, and require little preparation. With a bit of chopping and/or blending you can have a hearty bowl in minutes. But just so you don’t feel that you’re missing out on the cozy warmth, you can heat your raw soup for real comfort food experience. As long as you don’t boil just warm, you’re in the safe enzyme zone. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying this recipe.
I created this dish because the idea of using both broccoli and cauliflower really appealed to me. I thought they would compliment each other beautifully and even play off of one another. They seem so natural together: two cruciferous vegetables combining their super powers in one delicious bowl. I never ate either vegetable growing up so they are must-haves in my life now. If you’re a bit squemish with the strong flavor of broccoli, you can steam it (and the cauliflower) before blending or just reduce the amount of broccoli recommended. Thawed frozen broccoli and cauliflower also work very well since frozen items tend to be more muted in flavor.
I included fresh parsley, spices, and seasonings to give my soup some bite and a little Whipped Non-Dairy Butter for extra body and richness however you can use any butter substitute you want. For the broth I used a rather quirky and potent herb; dried jasmine blossoms.
Jasmine blossoms are usually steeped for drinking but in this recipe they are used as broth. It may seem strange at first but I assure you it works. Jasmine has a gorgeous subtle flavor and healing properties that gently enhance the soothing qualities of this heart-healthy soup.
Also known as Jasminum officinale, Jessamine, and Poet’s Jasmine, Jasmine is a perennial climbing plant native to the Mediterranean and India. Jasmine produces white and yellow flowers which are highly-scented and produce costly oil for the perfume and bio therapy industries. Once dried, the scent of Jasmine blossoms are considerably reduced and they produce a mild and pleasant tasting tea often mixed with green tea.
Among the many benefits of drinking and using dried Jasmine blossom tea are:
- lowering blood pressure
- increasing sex drive
- improving digestion
- aiding in detoxification
- accelerating your metabolism
- increasing circulation
- calming and rejuvenating
- soothing your eyes when applied as an eye wash
I garnished my soup with an assortment of ingredients that brought out the flavors and added to the complexity. It turned my soup into a meal, and a heck of a satisfying one at that. Smooth, buttery, and filled with the bold flavors of both broccoli and cauliflower, this tempting soup is both classy and edgy. I hope you will enjoy the brilliance of these two vegetables, especially in this heart-warming and heart-loving dish.
This recipe is dairy and gluten-free, and serves 2 persons. The recipe can be easily doubled.
Seasoned Cauliflower & Broccoli Soup w/Jasmine Blossoms
- If jasmine blossoms are not available, you can use plain water. The tea is a nice addition but not necessary to enjoy this wonderful soup.
- I freeze the cauliflower and broccoli florets ahead of time then thaw before using. This reduces bitterness and smooths out the flavor. You can also steam gently before using.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 – 2 tsp dried jasmine blossoms (flowers)
- 1/3 cup Whipped Raw Non-Dairy Butter or other butter substitute of choice
- 1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen cauliflower florets, thawed
- 1/4 slightly packed cup of fresh parsley leaves or other herb of choice
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- chopped or sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- any color peppercorns
- extra virgin olive oil or other oil of choice
- chopped fresh parsley or other fresh herb
- Steep the jasmine tea in the one cup of warm water for 15 minutes.
- Remove the jasmine blossoms and add the tea to the blender with the remaining soup ingredients.
- Blend until very smooth.
- I usually let the soup stand afterwards for a few minutes to let the bubbles dissipate.
- Pour into serving bowls.
- Garnish as desired and serve.
- Yields abbot 4 1/2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 5 days.