Broccoli Stalk Soup

Ever wondered what to do with those leftover broccoli stalks when your recipe only calls for the florets? Well, as befits the times we are currently experiencing, this simple soup gives you a delicious means of doing so. Despite the humble ingredients, the soup is rich tasting and sophisticated enough to serve at any dinner party. One supermarket chain near us gives customers a small hacksaw to chop the stalks from broccoli crowns. It’s a bit like people only wanting chicken breasts and discarding the legs and wings. So far, I haven’t plucked up the courage the ask the shop if I could take stalks off their hands.

I’ve left the type of stock up to yourself. If you want a vegetarian version, use a vegetable stock: otherwise use a nice chicken stock. If you can’t get crème fraîche, you can use sour cream. I have specified white pepper, but this is mainly for aesthetic reasons, as this does not leave specks in the finished soup but don’t worry too much if you’ve only got black pepper: the flavour won’t be affected.

Note: You can also make a similar soup from cauliflower or asparagus stalks.


Makes: 4 generous portions
Preparation: 5 mins
Cooking: 20 mins


1 litre
Broccoli stalks (about 500g)
Fresh white pepper
Crème fraîche
Chives to garnish


Trim the dry ends and cut the stalks into small chunks. Place in a medium saucepan with the stock and add the butter. Crack a little white pepper into the pan. If you know that your stock is not salty you can add a little salt now, but it’s better to leave the main seasoning until the end.

Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer gently until the broccoli is soft (about 20 mins). Liquidise the soup and adjust the seasoning. A tablespoon of white wine vinegar can also be added to give more depth. Put back on the heat to bring up the temperature for serving.

Serve in warmed bowls with a blob of crème fraîche, which helps to cut the richness, and garnish with chopped chives.

Here’s a link to a delicious chilled version for the summer.

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