Straightforward Broccoli Soup with Nutty Rye Bread Croutons

Thomas Edison was said to interview potential research assistants over a bowl of soup. The inventor wanted to see if they added salt and pepper before tasting their food or afterwards. Premature seasoners failed the test, as it showed they were overly reliant on assumptions and lacked curiosity.

Inc. magazine

I’d just been carrying out a lot of experiments concerning the best way of blanching green vegetables (post to come), and I had mountains of broccoli remaining. What to do?

Broccoli soup, of course.

Rye bread makes great croutons (it’s nutty and crunchy). For a dish where they form more of a part of the main event, go to The North Wind and the Sun, rye bread salad.

I also happened to have some Himalayan pink salt which I dropped onto the rye croutons at the end – the salt went very prettily with the green soup.

You could throw in some chopped, dry fried walnuts; and if you had a stalk of celery lurking in the fridge, you could de-string, and chop, and add at the beginning with the shallot.

What do you do with any leftovers? Make it into a pasta sauce! Grind the croutons, and sprinkle them over the top. Shave over some cheese, drizzle with nut oil – walnut or hazelnut. Wonderful…

what to do with leftover broccoli soup
You can use any leftover sauce with pasta…or even if it is not too liquid, with grilled white fish.

Recipe for straightforward broccoli soup with nutty rye bread croutons and nut oil

Serves 2


  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 300 ml/1 ¼ cups stock – made with a chicken or a vegetable stock cube
  • 60 ml/¼ cup dry vermouth
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 80 ml/⅓ cup single cream
  • 300g/11 oz broccoli – this a generous medium-sized head – leftover already-cooked is fine
  • 1 slice of rye bread to make into croutons
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Hazelnut oil for drizzling
  • Spring onion – ideally pink – for garnish
  • Generous grinds of Indonesian long pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  2. In a medium saucepan, preferably not one with a non-stick surface as you will be using the stick blender, fry the shallot.
  3. Peel and crush the garlic, if you haven’t already, with the salt. Add to the shallot.
  4. Pour in the stock and vermouth.
  5. Add the broccoli – cook until soft – if it’s already been cooked it will be a couple of minutes, if it’s fresh it will be six-eight minutes.
  6. Meanwhile cut the rye bread slice up into squares. Spread out onto a silicone-lined baking tray, drizzle over a little olive oil, and put in the oven for five minutes.
  7. Blend the broccoli in the saucepan with your stick blender – you may need to tip the saucepan a bit to make a good amount of liquid for the blender. Of course you can make this in an ordinary blender but it’s more washing-up. If it seems a bit solid add more dry vermouth.
  8. Serve out.
  9. Grind over some black pepper.
  10. Snip over a few spring onions
  11. Drizzle over some nut oil – hazelnut or walnut
  12. Enjoy!

Music to cook to

Florence Easton sings Comin’ Thro’ the Rye


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