The latest findings in stem soup research are in: it’s bomb.
Something I’ve mentioned before is that wasting food is not on my agenda. As part of my mission to reduce the number of times I go grocery shopping, as well as the amount of money I spend on food, I am finding myself in positions where I must get incredibly creative with my meals and use all edible parts of the plant. It’s very satisfying using “scraps” to create a meal, yet it also makes me question why we are conditioned to only eat specific parts of vegetables. Why only eat the flowers from a head of broccoli, when the whole plant is edible? Sure, the stem is fibrous is tough, but when cooked down, there’s almost no difference.
I wanted to make a soup that was creamy, delicious, nutrient-dense, easy to make, and allowed me to truly get what I paid for. And this is it!
As the title suggests, this soup is made from the scraps of cruciferous vegetables. By scraps, we’re talkin’ about the stems and leaves from veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale.
When I purchase a head of broccoli or cauliflower, I usually trim off the florets and store them in an airtight container until they’re ready to be used. But instead of throwing away the stems and leaves, I roughly chop them up, place them in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag, and toss them in the freezer for future uses – such as this soup! Make sure you use a large, sharp knife for this, as the stems can be tough to cut through.
I will do the same with kale. When I purchase fresh kale with long stems, I chop off the leafy bunches on the top and save them for salads or whatever other application I have for kale. As for the stems, I chop them up so they’re about an inch or two long, and then I toss them in the zip-lock frozen bag with the other scraps.
You can keep adding to this frozen bag until you’re gathered enough scraps and are ready to make something delicious with them!
Veggie Broth from Scraps
Since we’re on the topic of using veggie scraps, the broth for this soup can also be made from scraps! Similarly, the scraps for your veggie broth can be stored in a zip lock freezer bag, but instead of cruciferous scraps, you will want to use the scraps from more neutrally flavored veggies, such as onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. These scraps are really easy to pile up, especially if you use these ingredients often in your cooking, or as a snack. Chop off the parts you don’t want to eat, such as the tops of onions, and toss them in the bag.
When you’re ready to make broth, dump your scraps in a pot and then fill the pot with water until the veggies are just submerged. Cover the pot with a lid, bring it to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 30-45 minutes. Once the time is up, strain the liquid into an airtight jar and discard the scraps. Add an appropriate amount of salt if you’d like and ta-da! Homemade veggie broth!
If you’re a TikTok user, there is a video tutorial on how to make veggie broth on my TikTok account, @plantbasedpotion. Check it out for a visual guide!
How to make Cruciferous Stem Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
This no-veggie-left-behind soup is:
Cook the onions and garlic
The first step to kicking off this soup is to sautee the onions and garlic. Start off by heating two tablespoons of oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the minced onions, and cook for about 7 minutes, until they’re soft and translucent. After 7 minutes, add the minced garlic and sautee for 3 more minutes. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
Add the remaining soup ingredients and simmer
Once the onions and garlic have cooked down and become fragrant, add the cruciferous scraps, veggie broth, nooch (nutritional yeast), salt, turmeric, and black pepper. Bring all the contents in the pot to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better, as this will allow more time for the frozen veggies to soften up and thus making them easier to blend!
Make the (optional) crispy air-fried chickpeas
While the soup is simmering, prepare the crunchy air-fried chickpeas to top off the soup! Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, and then add them to a bowl with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir to evenly coat the beans in the seasoning and then toss them into your air fryer basket. Cook them for about 15 minutes at 400°. Halfway through the cooking time, remove the basket, shake it up, and place it back in the air fryer to continue cooking for the remaining half.
When they’re done cooking, place them in a bowl and set them aside until you’re ready to dress up your soup!
If you can’t do chickpeas for whatever reason, feel free to swap them for white kidney beans, or really any other bean that you enjoy!
Add citrus and blend the soup
Once the soup has simmered for a sufficient amount of time, turn off the heat and add the juice of a lime. Once you’ve done so, whip out your immersion blender and puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy.
It might be difficult to puree at first, but be patient, and make sure to use the lid of your pot as a splash guard. If it is not pureeing easily, and you’re still left with big chunks, allow the soup to simmer for additional time to soften the veggies even further.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, fear not! Toss the soup in a high-speed blender and blend with the lid cracked (to allow the steam to escape) until smooth. You will most likely have to blend in batches if you’re choosing this method, but it will definitely do the trick.
This soup is best served fresh and with the suggested garnishings:
- Air-Fried Chickpeas: I would definitely recommend adding these, as they provide an awesome crunchy texture among the monotomy of the pureed soup. Additionally, they also add an additional layer of flavor, adding depth to the dish.
- Coconut Milk: This will add further creamy, richness to the soup and does a great job balancing out the citrusy zing, as well as the spicy heat of the cayenne on the chickpeas. Add about a tablespoon or two to each bowl of soup.
- Lime Slices: For an even more fresh and zingy flavor! Add one or two, or just squeeze the juice directly into the soup.
- Green Onions: These add a slight crunch and a wonderfully fresh flavor to each bite. Feel free to swap them out for chives, and add about a tablespoon or two to each bowl of soup.
- Broccoli Sprouts: For more fun texture! Plus, they work perfectly alongside a cruciferous dominate soup. Add a couple sprinkles to each bowl.
Storing and reheating
This soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. When it comes time to reheating in, place the soup in a smalls saucepan and simmer until warm.
If you have leftover air-fried chickpeas, you can also store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. They will naturally soften and lose their crunch after sitting for a while, so to regain the delicious crunch, pop them back in the air fryer at 350° until they’re warm. Cook for longer to regain that lovely crunch.
Macros & nutritional information
This soup contains 4 servings, each serving containing:
- Calories: 250
- Carbs: 32 grams
- Protein: 12 grams
- Fat: 10 grams (with 2 tablespoons of coconut milk), 8 grams (without the coconut milk)
More soup recipes you might love!
If you tried this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to comment below or reach out on Instagram.
May your future be bright and resourceful!
Cruciferous Stem Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
- Immersion Blender
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 oz frozen cruciferous veggie scraps (kale, broccoli, cauliflower)
- 4 cups veggie broth
- ¼ cup nooch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- green onions
- broccoli sprouts
- lime slices
- 1-2 tbsp full fat coconut milk
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and once it's hot, add the onion and cook for 7 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Add the frozen cruciferous scraps, broth, nooch, and spices to the pot.
- Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, allowing it to cook for at least 30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, prepare the (optional) crispy chickpeas. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, and then add them to a bowl with the spices. Stir to evenly coat the beans in the seasoning.
- Add the beans to the basket of an airfryer and cook them for 15 minutes at 400°, mixing halfway through. When they're done, put them in a bowl and set aside until the soup is done.
- When the cruciferous veggies have softened, turn off the heat and add the lime juice.
- Carefully puree the soup using an immersion blender.
- Garnish & enjoy!