Creamy coconut, broccoli and wild mushroom soup
A twist on the classic, this broccoli and wild mushroom soup uses coconut milk instead of heavy cream to achieve that velvety creaminess that I’ve been craving as the weather turns. While I use a mushroom chicken bone broth for the ultimate flavor, you could substitute vegetable stock (and omit the bacon) to make this entirely vegan.
This past week in the Bay Area has been making me crave comfort food.
If you haven’t heard, our neighbors in the North Bay have been hit hard by uncontrollable wildfires. The fires have destroyed entire towns throughout wine country, including hundreds of homes and local businesses, as well as thousands of acres of farms and wineries.
In San Francisco, we’re constantly reminded of the situation with stories of friends, neighbors and colleagues whose family homes or businesses have been affected. There’s also a thick, unhealthy cloud of smoke that keeps drifting in and out of the city, itching our eyes and throats, and forcing everyone to stay inside as much as possible.
Right now, it seems there are a few things we can do to help those affected. Donations are being collected by a number of organizations offering food, shelter and resources. Once I gather all the info, I’ll write a separate post on that for anyone interested in helping. For the meantime, I’ll continue to cook and share the successes that might bring any of my local friends (or anyone, for that matter) some comfort, as well.
With all the time spent inside, Lulu and I have been experimenting with new dishes, attempting to reinvent old classics and baking lots of (healthy-ish) cookies. (And by “Lulu and I,” I mean that I am cooking, while she helps add the salt and occasionally stirs).
A classic, creamy broccoli soup on the menu at one of our neighborhood restaurants was what inspired me to work on a slightly healthier, yet just-as-comforting version of this soup. Coconut milk — a staple in my pantry — was the obvious choice for a non-dairy substitute. I added spinach for more green. And because I like the look of fancy mushrooms, and assortment of wild mushrooms made the cut, as well.
If you’d like to simplify this soup even further and save yourself one more thing to wash, you can skip the blending step on this entirely. However, there is a catch. While just as delicious, the whole broccoli florets won’t keep as well the next day. If you want to keep your leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week, I suggest blending the whole thing up and leaving a few little pieces for a nice bite.
PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes TOTAL TIME: 40 mins
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 strips bacon, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small serrano chile, stemmed and minced
2 sprigs lemon thyme, leaves removed
8 ounces wild mushrooms (large pieces sliced)
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into small florets and stems sliced
4 cups chicken stock (I recommend Kettle & Fire's Mushroom Chicken Bone Broth)
1 small bunch spinach
1, 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plain coconut yogurt (optional)
- In a large sauce pot over medium heat, warm the coconut oil until melted. Add the bacon and cook until rendered and just slightly crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, chile, thyme leaves and a couple pinches of salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
- Toss in the mushrooms and cook until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove about a quarter of the mushrooms and set aside.
- Add the broccoli and cook until just soft and bright green, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove about a quarter of the broccoli and set aside with the mushrooms.
- To the pot, add the chicken stock and simmer until the broccoli and mushrooms are very tender, but still green, 8 to 10 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook until just wilted.
- Stir in the coconut milk, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for salt and citrus and adjust, as needed.
- Ladle into individual bowls, and top with the reserved broccoli and mushrooms. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, for a little extra creaminess and tang.