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Filtering by Category: soups and stews

Broccoli Stem Soup

Patricia Reitz

 Broccoli Stem Soup - ButterYum

Broccoli Stem Soup - ButterYum

I don't know if you celebrated Valentine's Day this week or not, but we ate our weight in steak and seafood.  We didn't lose complete control thought - we managed to abstain from sweet treats this year, but I know many of you indulged in copious amounts of cream and butter and chocolate!  Time to lighten things up a bit.  

Enter the humble broccoli stem.  Do you say stem or stalk?  Anyway, my grocery store had a great deal on fresh broccoli last week so I bought a small forest and, after cutting all the florets away, I was left with all these lovely green tree trunks.  If I had just one or two, I'd cut them into coins or sticks and toss them into a salad, but since I had 1 1/2 pounds worth, I decided to make a batch of broccoli stem soup.  This is how it's made. 

 what to do with broccoli stems.  what to do with broccoli stalks.

To start, trim the dry ends from the broccoli stems, but that's all - no need to peel them.   

 how to make broccoli stem soup recipe with photos

Chop the broccoli into 1/4-inch dice.  Onions too. 

Heat a large heavy-bottom skillet with a good drizzle of olive oil.  (this is the skillet I used)

 how to cook with broccoli stems

Add the onions, broccoli stems, salt, and pepper.

 what to do with leftover broccoli stems.  what to do with leftover broccoli stalks.

Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to caramelize.

 how to use broccoli stems.  how to use broccoli stalks.

You'll notice a nice brown layer of "fond" will form on the bottom of the skillet.  Mmmmm! 

 is the stalk of broccoli edible?  Yes, and here's a great recipe to try - complete with how to photos.

Add chicken stock and scrape up the fond from the bottom of the skillet.  That's going to add wonderful flavor to the soup!  

Uh, you do make your own chicken stock, right?  No?  Try my recipe here.  It's about a gazillions times better than store bought.

 how to cook broccoli stems.  how to cook broccoli stalks.  broccoli stem soup.  broccoli stalk soup.  recipe with how to photos.

Bring the chicken stock to gentle boil and throw in a whole clove of garlic.  Continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

 turn those leftover broccoli stems or stalks into the most delicious soup - recipe and how to photos.

Remove skillet from heat and puree to the thickness you desire.  I like some texture to remain, so I used an immersion blender (like this one), but you could also puree the soup in batches using a blender or food processor.  

 Broccoli Stem Soup.  Broccoli Stalk Soup.  RECIPE and HOW TO PHOTOS.

That's all there is to it.  A healthy, frugal soup that's gluten-free, dairy-free, and practically fat-free.  Want to make it vegan too?  Just use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.  

Here are links to some of the items used for this recipe:

Broccoli Stem Soup

makes 6 cups

Printable Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli stems, diced
  • 1 pound onions, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock (try my homemade)
  • 1 whole clove of garlic, peeled


  1. In a very large skillet over medium heat, saute broccoli stems, onions, salt, and pepper in olive oil until caramelized.
  2. Add chicken stock and garlic clove; bring to a gentle boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and puree to desired thickness.
  4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. 


Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls

Patricia Reitz

  Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls - ButterYum

Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls - ButterYum

When one of my daughters visited Japan, she brought home a package of pink noodles (ume somen).  The noodles get their lovely color from plums and they have a delicately sweet flavor.  The noodles are hard to find in the US, but if you come across them, do yourself a favor and grab several packages.  If you can't find them, you can make the same tasty dish by substituting white somen or buckwheat soba noodles. 

If you're interested in seeing how these noodles are traditionally used, check out my recipe for cold ume somen with spicy dressing.

For this recipe we'll need the noodles, edamame (soy beans), instant dashi granules, shredded crab meat, salt, and scallions.

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water - they don't take very long to cook so keep a close eye on them.  3-5 minutes is all it takes.

Drain and rinse to stop the cooking process. 

Although the leftover cooking water is a lovely pink color, discard it and fill the same pan with 4 cups of fresh cold water.

Add instant dashi granules to taste - they are VERY STRONG so start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more if needed.

Stir and bring to a simmer.

 how to make hot ume somen noodle bowls - recipe and how-to photos

Ladle hot dashi broth into bowls and divide remaining ingredients between the bowls.

Hot Ume Somen Noodle Bowls

makes 2 servings

Printable Recipe


  • 8 ounces Ume Somen (plum noodles) or other noodles
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • instant dashi granules
  • 8 crab sticks, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. In a large pot, 8 cups of water to a boil; add salt and stir to dissolve.
  2. Cook noodles in boiling water, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes until soft, but not mushy.
  3. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process; set aside
  4. Discard the water used to cook the noodles.
  5. In the same large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  6. Add instant dashi granules to taste (I start with about 1/4 teaspoon or so).
  7. Ladel hot dashi into soup bowls.
  8. Add noodles, crab, and edamame to the bowls; sprinkle with sliced scallions.  


Skinny Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Patricia Reitz

Question - if you lighten up traditional potato soup, you can add extra toppings, right?  Right! And the fact that this recipe is fast and easy to make means you can sit down to a piping hot bowl of homemade soup in less than an hour.

Start by cooking chopped cauliflower in chicken stock until it's tender.  The smaller you chop the cauliflower, the faster it will cook.  

The cauliflower does not need to be completely covered with chicken stock - we're going to cover the pan and take full advantage of the power of hot steam.  Total cooking time should be about 10 minutes.

Add leftover cooked Idaho potatoes and ground black pepper (hold off on adding any salt at this time).  The potatoes can be boiled, steamed, mashed, baked - just be sure to peel them so the finished color of the soup stays light and bright (you know, for optimal eye appeal).  

I know some people think you should use white pepper in light colored soups, but I'm not fond of the flavor and I really like to see the specks of black pepper in my soup.  That's just me.  You do you.  

Add milk and plain Greek yogurt.  You can substitute sour cream or creme fraiche, but Greek yogurt adds a ton of protein.  

Turn off the heat and grab your handy-dandy immersion blender, aka stick blender.  You could use a food processor or traditional blender as well, but you have to be careful not to over-process the mixture to prevent the potatoes from developing a glue-like texture. 

Blend until smooth-ish - I like my soup to retain a little texture, and actually, a lump or two doesn't bother me at all.  Turn the heat back on and heat the soup for a few more minutes until hot.  Important, taste at this point and add salt if necessary, being mindful of the salt content of whatever toppings you plan to add.

 Skinny Loaded Potato Soup Recipe with How-To Photos 

Now for the fun part, garnish with plenty of traditional baked potato toppings like, chives, bacon, cheese - whatever floats your boat.  Enjoy!

Skinny Loaded Baked Potato Soup

makes 4 servings

Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/4 pounds chopped cauliflower
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 pounds leftover peeled and cooked Idaho potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream or creme fraiche)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • garnish:  chopped chives, shredded cheddar, cooked bacon, etc


  1. In a 5 or 6-quart casserole over medium heat, cook cauliflower in chicken stock, covered, until the cauliflower is tender.
  2. Add cooked potatoes, black pepper, milk, and Greek yogurt.
  3. Turn off heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.  
  4. Turn heat back on and heat soup for a few minutes until hot.
  5. Taste soup and add salt if necessary, being mindful of the salt content of the toppings you plan to garnish with.
  6. Garnish and serve.