Waste Not Want Not

What do you do when you find some sad looking, rubbery broccoli in the depths of your refrigerator? Me… I make soup. We’ve been eating out often lately due to our hectic schedule and I’ve been neglecting my crisper drawer in my fridge. Digging through, I found broccoli, zucchini, a little fresh basil and a few red peppers on the cusp of being inedible. So dinner was cream of broccoli and zucchini with roasted red pepper garnish. Contrary to popular belief, cream of broccoli need not be fat laden with tons of cheese. I finished the soup off with a little bit of half and half, but it was not really necessary. Too bad the parsley was well beyond salvage, because it would have made a nice fresh garnish… you can’t win ’em all!

Cream of Broccoli and Zucchini Soup

1 lb broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed and rough chop
4 c chicken stock (low sodium)
1/2 lb zucchini, cut into 1 inch rounds
3 tbsp basil, chopped
1/4 c half and half (optional)

1. Cut the broccoli florets into large (about 2 inch) pieces. Peel the stalk and cut into 1 inch pieces.

2. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring often for another 2 minutes.

3. Carefully pour the chicken stock in and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the broccoli stalk, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the florets and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Remove 1-2 florets to garnish the finished soup and set aside. Add the zucchini and simmer until everything is tender, another 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and very carefully, puree the hot soup, preferably with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, use a regular one, but only fill 1/2 way, and do not seal the top when pureeing. Instead, cover with several layers of kitchen towels. Otherwise, you will spew hot soup around the kitchen! After the soup is smooth, add the basil and puree a little more to incorporate the basil into the soup. Stir in the half and half and check your seasonings. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Makes 4-6 Servings



  • robin 10 YEARS AGO

    I love that this soup doesn’t look too creamy, and that the half-and-half’s optional (though I’m sure a touch would be great!). Most broccoli soups tend to be too heavy for me. Thanks for the recipe. : )

  • VeggieGirl 10 YEARS AGO

    Perfect usage of the vegetables!!

  • Chris @ Beyond Ramen 10 YEARS AGO

    Thanks for the blending tips! Since I don’t have an immersion blender, if I were to make this soup I probably would have made those exact mistakes using my sad little blender. And given all these thrift-centric articles in food media nowadays, I think your message of salvaging produce is a great lesson to learn now more than ever.

  • ash 10 YEARS AGO

    oh yum! this looks and sounds fabulous! gotta keep this in mind for some time when hubby isn’t around!

  • Lucy 10 YEARS AGO

    Ooh I love broccoli but have never thought of making it into soup. Looks yummy!

  • dori 10 YEARS AGO

    i’ve been promising my husband some cream of broccoli soup. great recipe!

    i always make a veggie marinara sauce with all my “sad” veggies. mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, celery, carrot…it all goes in.

  • Alicia 10 YEARS AGO

    Looks yummy! And about the parsley…well, you know how I feel about parsley as a garnish… Hahahaha!

  • My First Kitchen 10 YEARS AGO

    We have identical crisper drawers. I know what I’m having for lunch today!

  • Treehouse Chef 10 YEARS AGO

    Yum! this looks delicious! The photo is a work of art!

  • Kristine C 10 YEARS AGO

    You can raid my fridge anytime!!!!

  • Aran 10 YEARS AGO

    one of my favorites!

  • Elin 10 YEARS AGO

    Thanks for sharing this yummy soup. Now I know what to do with the leftover brocolli in the fridge :)

  • Mrs Ergül 10 YEARS AGO

    I love how this soup came about!

  • Mrs Ergül 10 YEARS AGO

    this is fantastic soup! I made it on Sunday and did only a few changes! Thanks for sharing!

  • ShortOrderBlogger 10 YEARS AGO

    Cool pictures

  • Sharon 10 YEARS AGO

    This was great. I did find I need to add more cream (used a combo of cream and milk because I had no half-half on hand) than the recipe called for…then I added about a cup of “four-cheese, grated package”. It was delicious. Thanks!

  • Gasparzinha 10 YEARS AGO

    I just love broccoli soup.
    this one seems so creammy!

  • Bazooka 10 YEARS AGO

    I made this tonight and replaced the zucchini with asparagus because that’s what I had hanging around. Absolutely fantastic recipe, I’m going to delve into your archives for more gems. Thanks!

Recent Comments

  • I visited your blog after a long time today and was so thrilled to see all these new posts and the new design. As always, your food looks gorgeous.
  • The best!
  • wow great pictures! the filling sounds really interesting.. I have lots of leftover egg whites that I've been wanting to use up...I'm definitely making them! thanks for the recipe : )
  • I did have this salad when we visited the Philippines! It was certainly delicious and very fulfilling. Although this dish is more Japanese in origin, that restaurant gave it its own twist. The Filipinos really have a good palate for excellent food! Anyway, thank you for the recipe. I will surely give this a try!
  • Absolutely mind-blowing. I tried doing spoons once.....do your spoons have a rounded bowl or a flat surface. Did many break if you were trying to push it in a little to make it have a little depth.

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