So I baked bread, and made soup.

Homemade Roasted Broccoli Soup, Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread, comfort food in unsettling times.

It has been a difficult week for all of us here in the United States, and with so much still unresolved, the unease continues. Yesterday, after a restless night that followed a restless day of anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, and frustration, I decided I needed to immerse myself in my kitchen, turn away from the news for a while, and just cook. It always helps. I might not be able to control what is going on in Washington, but I can make something delicious to eat.

I baked bread. I made soup.

The aroma of yeast, a little Mozart

I also put on some lovely music, and was delighted to get some pretty pink roses from my husband. It all helped. There is nothing better than the intoxicating aroma of bread baking, the house filled with the smells of yeast, then later, roasting vegetables added their own deliciousness. My home, a shelter from many things these days.

It’s a good weekend project. Bake some bread, any kind you like. If you don’t have sourdough or are not experienced with yeast breads, bake a quick bread like banana or oatmeal. It’s all good. I made a sourdough whole wheat bread because my starter needed to be fed. I kneaded it by hand; it just made me feel better to do so. I didn’t stop there! I put together a batch of whole-wheat pizza crust and let it ferment in the refrigerator overnight. I’ll divide it into balls to store in the freezer for future meals. The extra kneading did me good.

A soup of comfort

A rather large head of broccoli sat in my refrigerator, so it was a quick decision to turn it into soup for supper. With the addition of a few other veggies I had on hand, a quick trimming of those vegetables to make a little stock, and in no time I had a lovely soup simmering, one that is also vegan, gluten, nut, and dairy free. It’s just over 100 calories a cup, and packed with nutrition.

Yes, I’ll keep checking the news, and hope that people in power will do the right thing. This weekend, I think I’ll dream up something else special to make and eat.

Roasted Broccoli Soup

8 cups or 4 hearty servings

  • 1 or 2 heads of broccoli, about 1 ½ pounds
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. crushed anise seed
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 can light coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prep the vegetables and make vegetable stock from all scraps. Peel the broccoli and chop it into florets, including the stem. Add the peelings and tough stem bottom to the stock pot. 

Peel and chop the carrot, dice the onion, peel and chop the celery, and add any peelings, skins, and leaves to the pot. Crush and finely mince the garlic, and place toss those in the pot as well. It’s a pretty easy routine. Fill the pot with water (you are going to want to end up with a quart), the bay leaves, a little salt and pepper, and star anise, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer for about a half hour.

In the meantime, add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a sheet pan and add the broccoli and mushrooms, pushing the stems to one side. Drizzle with a bit more oil, season, and roast for 15 minutes, flip, and continue roasting until slightly charred and cooked through.

While the stock is simmering and the broccoli roasting, heat a soup pot over medium high and add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until the vegetables have softened but not browned. Stir in the garlic, anise seed, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Cook another minute or so and set aside until the broccoli is ready.

Once the broccoli is cooked, reserve the mushrooms and two cups of the florets. Add the rest of the broccoli florets and stems to the soup pot. Strain the vegetable stock and add that to the soup pot. Bring this to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, then using an immersion hand blender (easiest) or regular blender or food processor, blend until nearly smooth. This will thicken the soup to a creamy consistency. Stir in the coconut milk and reserved florets and mushrooms. Taste for seasoning.

Serve with some crusty bread, put on some lovely music, and enjoy your home!

Some breads to consider:

Clockwise from upper left:

Maple Oat Bread

Buttermilk Biscuits with Herbs

Sourdough Bread

Hassle-Free Bread

Banana Bread or Muffins

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69 Comments Add yours

  1. Ive never combined broccoli and mushroom together in soup, this looks deliciious can’t wait to try it!!

    1. The mushrooms just add a little extra flavor and texture, especially if roasted. It’s really good, so I do hope you’ll give it a try.

  2. chef mimi says:

    Such a wonderful combination. Your bread is so pretty, and your soup very inviting! We are definitely needing comfort these days.

    1. I call it diversion cooking. Just immerse myself in creating something good to eat. It does help.

  3. Sarah Davis says:

    Perfect! It is cold and wet where I am. I want to reach through the screen and grab a bowl.

    1. Thank you! I’ll save you some!

  4. wonderful combo!! the bread looks amazing!

    1. Thank you so much! The bread came out wonderful, and we’ll nibble on it for many days in some form.

  5. I. Love. Bread. 🍞🥐🥖 And you do it justice. Who wouldn’t want to be standing outside your door waiting for an invitation to dinner. 😜🍂

    1. Ah, thank you, I love it too! I will be happy to open my doors and break bread with all my friends and family once we can all be together again!

      1. It can’t happen too soon, that’s for sure. 🙏🏻🍃

  6. Lovely comb

    1. Lovely combo

      1. Thank you so much! Two of the world’s best comfort foods.

  7. jrbrugh says:

    Your description is beautiful. I can almost taste the soup. And I feel you over that retreat to the kitchen. I was so stressed out I took a swing at making tamales. Unfortunately, my results were not as good as yours sound. Were your pizza crusts with sourdough too?

    1. Thank you! It is really good to have that refuge! I made the pizza crusts without sourdough as well, and whole wheat, with the addition of a little olive oil. I let them proof overnight in the refrigerator, and today I divided it into packets for the freezer, reserving one ball of dough to make Saturday night. Hopefully, it will have lots of flavor by then!

  8. Forestwood says:

    This look super divine and excellent comfort food in troubling times. I am a big soup fan. Usually it is far too hot here to have soup at this time of year, being summer, but I will keep this for making in winter. I have a lemon broccoli soup recipe which I love but the addition of mushrooms and other veges/coconut milk gets my taste buds tingling. Coupled with that beautiful home made bread, it is a winner for sure. I have a question though – the pizza crusts, do you make them from the sourdough starter?

    1. Thank you so much my fellow soup and bread lover! The pizza dough was made with starter, and once I fiddle with it, I’ll post the recipe. I have to feed my starter every week or two, so I always have some discard to play around with, which is good news for family and friends!

      1. Forestwood says:

        Every week? I thought to had to feed it every day? That is good news. I assume it is based on wholemeal flour?

      2. No, you feed starter once every week, two in a vacation pinch, as long as it’s refrigerated. It is quite forgiving, and doesn’t need as much babysitting as some people think.

      3. Forestwood says:

        I think I discovered that when I first made some, over at my second blog a few months back. I was babysitting it too much!

      4. If you feed it every day for a week (ah, what to do with all that discard!) you don’t need to refrigerate it, and it will develop more flavor. But I only bake bread once a week, or even two, so I just stash it in the refrigerator after its been fed. No need to tend to the pet any more than necessary!

      5. Forestwood says:

        Yes I had a lot of discard. And made a lot of discard fried pancake. I will keep it in the fridge from now on.

  9. Both soup and bread look so tasty. Perfect for the season. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! What’s better to comfort the soul in times like these?

  10. That soup and bread so comforting and delicious. Yes, we cant do much about Washington but we must not indulge in the sad news continuously. Love them all.

    1. Thank you! Good words my friend!

  11. You are so right! The kitchen sometimes is our savior! Cooking it takes you in another world where nothing bad can happen! It is relieving! I can almost feel the aroma of freshly baked bread 😋☺️
    Have a wonderful, happy and safe weekend!

    1. The cooking process keeps the hands busy while letting the mind settle. Kneading dough I find particularly calming. I think of the women (and men) through the centuries who did exactly this to fee their families. Keep safe in this crazy new year!

  12. CarolCooks2 says:

    The kitchen is my haven when I feel I need a break from the reality of life at that time..the soup and bread look and sound delicious, Dorothy …I hope you have a happy weekend 🙂 x

    1. Thank you Carol! You have a beautiful weekend too, make something delicious to eat!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Oh I will Dorothy its my day to make bread and as I have a glut of lemongrass maybe some Tom Yum soup or a lemongrass salad or maybe both …:) x

      2. Sounds wonderful! Have a joyous day in your kitchen and fill your heart with aromas and flavor!

      3. CarolCooks2 says:

        Nothing better as you know yourself its what we do best , Dorothy 🙂 x

  13. suzannesmom says:

    On Instagram, @spencercooks also turned to cooking to keep his equilibrium:

    1. Oh my! What a beautiful galette des rois, and so timely! My mom used to make this, but I don’t remember the top being anywhere near as stunning. Thanks for the link!

  14. Yum!! I agree that spending time in the kitchen and putting on some nice music really helps make one feel better. I’ll definitely will try your soup recipe next time I have some broccoli. But then again I could try using the cauliflower I have. That should work too I think. And your bread just looks divine! I have been making sourdough pizza all of last year and love the way the crust turns out. Thanks for all the cooking inspiration! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! Yes, cauliflower would be a perfect substitution! In fact, as I was eating the luscious soup, I made a mental note that the next time I had a head that was needing to be used, I’d make this soup with it. So timely that I got this, my sourdough pizza dough is just ready to be shaped!!!!!

      1. Enjoy your dinner! 🙂

  15. We’re friends here so dare I say keep the soup and pass the bread. Oh my goodness, but I love good bread and that looks wonderful. Fresh, homemade bread and real butter is almost as good as dessert. I know it certainly lacks the protein in the soup, but after this week, just pass the bread. 🙂

    1. Consider it passed my friend! I agree that a beautiful slice of bread and a luscious smear of butter is just about as good as it gets. In fact, Jacques Pepin said that is exactly what he would like for his last bite of food on earth! Keep safe my friend, and enjoy those culinary treasures that are keeping our bodies and souls fed through all this.❤️

  16. mitchteemley says:

    Wow! When is dinner served?

    1. Oops! All consumed. I’ll save you a bowl and a slice next time!

  17. Carolyn Page says:

    Nothing like great food and good company to ease the mind and warm the body, Dorothy. And this soup will definitely find its way to my table.

    1. Thank you! So true, soon we’ll have the good company part again!

  18. The ultimate in comfort food Dorothy, homemade soup with homemade bread! It is freezing in the South right now, how I would love these smells emanating from my kitchen! I haven’t made bread in ages…today just might be the day!

    1. We never regret making homemade bread, even if just for the aromas of the house! Have a beautiful Sunday!

  19. A yummy combination and healthy staple.

    1. Good for the body and soul!

      1. Absolutely. Happy blessed Sunday and gear up for a new week. Cheers!🌺🙏☕️☕️

      2. Already thinking…

      3. Me too!

  20. Kitchen Goss says:

    This looks insane I’m going to have to try it x

    1. Thank you! The roasting of the broccoli makes a big difference in flavor. I hope you enjoy!

  21. Love the roasted broccoli for sure…great idea and with the choice of breads this is a perfect cold evening meal. Soothing and comforting. Thank you for sharing. Happy to discover your blog.

    1. Thank you Teresa! I love soup and bread for supper, especially when it’s cold or when there are troubles about. I’m glad you found me too! Have a lovely Sunday!

  22. Fresh bread is the best.

    1. Nothing like it for comfort!

      1. That’s a fact.

  23. A tough week for everyone, Dorothy. The USA impacts all countries in the world. Thanks for this lovely soup recipe.

    1. You’re very welcome! Thanks for stopping by, connections are so important right now.

  24. Julia says:

    This soup sounds so good. I love the pictures of the your bread.

    1. Thank you Julia. The soup and bread were well received, and much needed.

  25. Karen says:

    I was very intrigued with the seasoning you used in your soup, the anise flavor is one I never thought of with broccoli.

    1. They go perfectly together! I hope you try the combination and like it as much as we do!

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