Italian Broccoli Soup

This Italian Broccoli Soup is just like my Grandma used to make! No cream in this soup recipe so it’s comfort food that’s good for you, too!

Grandma’s recipes are the best, aren’t they? Not only do they taste amazing but they bring back so many memories of the food and the people that were making the food for you. One of our most popular recipes is our Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs and Sauce, perfect for those big Sunday meals.

Broccoli soup with parmesan cheese in a bowl

No Cream Broccoli Soup Recipe

This Italian Broccoli Soup recipe is made without any cream, so it’s a lot better for you than most broccoli soup recipes with heavy cream and/or cheese. We’re calling this “Italian” broccoli soup only because it’s how my Italian Grandma and aunts used to make it and we absolutely loved it.

There’s no “al dente” broccoli treatment here, either. This broccoli is cooked to death, as my dad always says. Mushy, even, in the best way possible. Top this soup recipe with lots of nutty parmesan cheese, fresh black pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and you’ve got a giant bowl of comfort food.

How To Make Italian Broccoli Soup

This broccoli soup recipe is so simple, but you can add your own twists too! Start by cooking broccoli florets and stems in chicken broth with a few cloves of garlic. Smash the garlic cloves but keep them whole so that you can remove them after the broccoli has cooked.

broccoli and garlic in a pot for broccoli soup recipe

Again, this is not the time and place for al dente vegetables. We want this broccoli cooked – like super soft and almost mushy. That’s how my grandma made it and that’s how were making it here for this Italian Broccoli Soup.

After the broccoli has been cooked, mash it with a potato masher to break it up into smaller pieces but leave some pieces larger for texture. Don’t break it up so much that it’s like baby food, just enough to make it soup-like.

Add orzo, ditalini, broken spaghetti or whatever small sized pasta you have on hand. Cook the soup for another 15 minutes until the pasta is tender and serve.

Broccoli soup with orzo in a ladle

How To Serve Our Italian Broccoli Soup

Serve this broccoli soup in big bowl with lots of fresh black pepper and good quality grated parmesan cheese on top. Crackers or a loaf of crusty bread for dipping is a must at our house, too!

This broccoli soup recipe is fairly light, not heavy like some broccoli soup that has cream or cheese in it, so this soup can also be served as a side dish to many main courses. My Grandma used to serve this soup with her famous Pot Roast Recipe or alongside a comforting Beef Lasagna.

We ate big in those days.

Italian Broccoli Soup with crackers

Other Ways To Make This Soup

This is the basic recipe, but there are many ingredients that you can add to this basic broccoli soup too!

  • Add in other vegetables like carrots or celery
  • Cook onion and garlic in olive oil before adding the broccoli for added flavor
  • Keep it vegetarian by using water instead of chicken broth (bump up the seasonings if using only water)
  • Use cauliflower rice for a lower carb soup option
  • Make this same soup recipe with cauliflower instead of broccoli
  • Add a touch of cream and/or stir in some grated sharp cheddar cheese

Broccoli soup with orzo on a spoon

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Broccoli soup with parmesan cheese in a bowl

Italian Broccoli Soup

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

This comforting Italian Broccoli Soup is just like my Grandma used to make! No cream, just broccoli, garlic and parmesan cheese so it’s actually good for you too!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into stems and florets
  • 4 cups chicken broth (can substitute vegetable broth or all water)
  • 2 cups water
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 3/4 cup orzo or ditalini pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil for garnish

Instructions

Add the broccoli to a soup pot or dutch oven. Pour in the broth and water along with the salt, pepper and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and then summer for 30 minutes, covered.

Smash the broccoli with a potato masher, or you can use an immersion blender but don’t blend until smooth. Leave larger and smaller pieces of broccoli for texture.

Stir in the pasta and cook uncovered for 15 minutes until the pasta is tender, stirring often so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add the nutmeg, taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and more fresh black pepper if desired.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information is without parmesan cheese and olive oil garnish.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: broccoli soup, soup recipes, healthy recipes, comfort food, dinner ideas

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