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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Looking For More Soup Recipes?
- Chicken Corn Chowder
- Beefy Tomato Soup
- Split Pea Soup with Ham
- Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli
- Turkey Soup From Scratch
Italian Broccoli Soup
- 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!
- 1 pound broccoli, cut into stems and florets
- 4 cups chicken broth (can substitute vegetable broth or all water)
- 2 cups water
- 3–4 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
- 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 simmer 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.
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
This is delicious, made it a few times now. Will be in regular rotation at my house! Even good with frozen broccoli, but I’m sure fresh would taste better.
We use frozen broccoli all the time!
Can you freeze this soup?
Yes, it freezes very well!
Is one serving 1 cup?
This soup recipe serves approximately 6, so 1 serving is probably closer to 2 cups.
This is a keeper ! Super easy to make. I would cut down on the salt a bit. Served w grilled brie sandwiches on a cold Feb. night !
Very good and healthy at the same time! I will be making it again!
The beginning of the recipe says 6 servings, but the bottom of the recipe says 4 servings.
Which one is it?
It’s 6 servings, I’ll have to see why the nutrition label is doing that. I’ll get it fixed!
Cool. Thank you. It was delicious and so simple.
Awesome, thank you!
Simply perfect! Fast, delicious, easy peasy…well easy broccoleasy LOL
best soup ever. sometimes i add mushrooms.
making this recipe for a tea, they requested no cream soup. I am finding it to be a bit bland, any suggestions? I will try adding some celery and carrots.
Too bland usually means that you need to add more salt, in this case I’d add more pepper and parmesan cheese as well.
Stumbled across this recipe as I was looking for a broccoli soup like Nonna (my mother in law) used to make, no cream and not blended. So easy and delicious & a hit with hubby, only difference is we fried the garlic first in olive oil & hubby stirred in a beaten egg at the end. Was amazing with fresh garlic & rosemary sourdough from our local artisan bakery 🤤!
We added diced carrots and celery, and it was a hit with the whole family!
Added cooked kidney beans and cauliflower. Also a dab of hot sauce. Was excellent soup for instant pot too
How did you cook it in the instant pot?
This isn’t an instant pot recipe so I don’t have those instructions for you.
This was delicious and SO easy! we used the stalks which was a mistake, but we’ll know for next time The nutmeg at the end was perfect! Thanks!
Always looking for Italian comfort dishes. Just FYI it’s simmer not summer ;~)
Would lemon be a good addition to this soup?
If you want a lemon flavor, sure!
Good recipe! I added more liquid to mine. I also added some cubed sweet and russet potatoes that I had in the fridge. I did the onion/garlic base as well. I also threw in an old Parmesan heel. Good stuff
Ah! Parmesan heel, perfect! I always have some in my freezer.
Delicious and simple. Even my picky children loved it!
Love this recipe! Making it for the second time today. I always start with my onions and grated garlic sautéed, to start with a flavorful base. Then I’ve added some thin sliced carrots and chopped mushrooms for added sweet and earthy notes. The broccoli with the cracked pepper and the Parmesan really are the hero’s of this dish though! So good! I like to fresh grate a Parmesan and Romano blend. Restaurant quality food!! My only complaint is there’s never enough!
Literally the best broccoli soup I’ve made! Amazing, super quick and easy to make. And nice and cheap which is good now that the price of groceries in Aus have gone through the roof
Highly recommend adding a Parmesan rind to the broth to steep that savory salty nuttiness into the whole batch.
Great soup. Thank you for sharing.
Yes, that is delicious, we do that often!
Made it after work and was simple prep and delicious. I used 4 cups veg broth, 1.5 cup of chicken broth and two cups of water. I added 1 can of cream of celery condensed soup to thicken a bit. Topped with parmesan cheese. DELICIOUS! Will be a regular on the rotation. I will make again! Thanks 😘
Wowee. I was skeptical with such few ingredients and no browning, but this soup is as incredible tasting as it is incredibly easy to make. I used homemade master stock (chicken & lamb + some shrimp shells) and threw in some cabbage (~1cup) and white onion (~1/4 cup) that I had lying around leftover in the fridge in addition to frozen broccoli, and am amazed and the complexity of flavor. The nutmeg, which I was also skeptical of, absolutely sings. This one-pot wonder is amazing for weeknights (hello, no dishes :) ), but fancy tasting enough for weekends. Thanks for this amazing recipe! Holy smokes.
If using this soup for dinner along with crusty bread what else could I serve with it to make more of a meal?
You could serve it with our homemade garlic bread instead of plain bread, or it can even be served as a side course to a pasta dinner, for instance. Let me know if there’s something specific that you’re looking for!
Love how simple it is to make, and it’s delicious! This is definitely going in the soup rotation. The nutmeg is *chefs kiss*
We love the nutmeg, too! Thanks so much!
Yummmm! Love that it has no cream/milk. Thumbs up from my 100 year old Italian mom!
What a compliment, thank you!
I’m just curious as to why it takes 15 minutes to cook the pasta in the broth? Can you cook pasta separately and then add it?
You can, but when you cook pasta right in soup it releases the starch from the past into the soup, naturally thickening it. We prefer this method, but if you’d like to add it separately you can.
Such a perfect, wonderful soup! I definitely kicked up the black pepper a notch for some kick and put a triple Italian blend cheese on top! (And lots of it) so good, will definitely be making again!! :)
Wonderful soup! Cooked a few parmesan rinds in with the broccoli and garlic. Had to add a little finishing salt at the end, as I thought the rinds and broth would add enough.
My husband added some beef & pork meatballs to his, as he can’t have dinner without it.
Will definitely be making this again!
Your husband sounds like Dan! Always needs some meat with dinner!
This soup is delicious! We love to add an egg to finish it off.
Is a serving 1 cup?
It’s about 1 1/2 cups
First off, it’s irritating when people say it’s “excellent” then go on to explain how they changed up the original recipe with a bunch of other ingredients. Now that I’ve vented, the soup was really good, as-is. Simple to put together. I DO use a vegetable peeler and peel the outer layer of the stalk part of the broccoli (the tough part) before I cut it up. My Mom always taught me to do that. Thank you for the fabulous recipe!