I’m always frustrated with how infrequently cookbooks call for frozen ingredients, especially given what nutrient powerhouses they can be—not to mention their convenience. Frozen broccoli doesn’t sit on trucks or the shelf losing nutrients for weeks on end, so it’s likely to be more nutrient-dense than its fresh counterpart—and often more cost-effective, and likely to be readily accessible (I don’t know about you, but my fresh broccoli often gets lost in my fridge before dying a mushy death). Of course, this recipe works with the fresh stuff, if you have it on hand. With just a few other pantry staples, broccoli turns into a herbaceous soup, brought to life with sweet and spicy cashews for a satisfying crunch in every bite. If you’re making this with a partner, have one of you handle the cashews and the other whip up the soup.
Frozen Broccoli & Basil Soup with Sweet and Spicy Cashews
PREP TIME00 min
COOK TIME00 min
1 tablespoon high-heat oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cups frozen or fresh broccoli florets
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (either full-fat or reduced-fat works fine)
Juice of 1 lime
⅓ cup raw cashews, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Make the soup: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir in the broccoli, ½ cup water, and the sea salt. Cover and cook until the broccoli is bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer half the mixture to a blender with the basil, coconut milk, and lime juice. Blend until very smooth, then add the remaining half of the mixture and pulse until it is mostly smooth, with a bit of desired texture. (You could also use an immersion blender to do this right in the pot; just remove half the mixture first, then add it back.) Return to the pot and rewarm to the desired temperature. Sprinkle with additional salt to taste.
Meanwhile, make the honey-chili cashews: Place the cashews in a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Cook until the cashews begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the honey, paprika, and salt, and stir until the cashews are well-coated. Remove the pan from the heat.
Divide the soup between 2 bowls, and top each with half the nut mixture (it’ll be a generous portion—you want cashews in every bite!).