This Cream of Broccoli Soup with Chicken uses less butter and cream than I would normally use, is loaded with fresh broccoli and lots of savory chunks of chicken. The pine nut breadcrumb topping sets it off nicely and is pure comfort food, without the extra calories.
I love a good creamy soup, but that usually means using lots of butter and cream. I used half the butter then I usually use when making the soup base and half and half cream instead of heavy cream. By puréeing the broccoli with the thickened broth it gave it some added weight and the sautéed chicken and the added chunks of broccoli made this a meal.
After all the heavy meals over Thanksgiving and dessert indulgences, I needed more salads and soups this week. Plus with the cooler weather outside it made it simple to go the soup route for dinner. Cream of Broccoli Soup with Chicken to the rescue!
To contrast the silky texture of the soup I thought some crunch would assist. In the form of some quickly toasted pine nuts and Panko breadcrumbs, the flavors worked.
This is completely optional of course, as is the squeeze of lemon at serving, because the soup is fine without… though I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
Cream of Broccoli Soup with Chicken
- 6 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
- 4 tbsp butter separated
- 1 lb chicken tenders chopped (See Note 1)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 onion small dice
- 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup half and half cream
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- lemon optional
- Either steam broccoli or place the broccoli in a microwave safe dish covered with a damp paper towel and cook on high for 3 minutes (See Note 1). Set aside, reserving 1/2 cup for garnishing.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large stock pot and brown chicken on all sides. Season with salt and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in same stock pot. Add the flour and whisk to allow flour to absorb the butter and turn a light golden color, cooking and bubbling for 3 minutes on low heat. Whisk in white pepper and chicken stock, whisk continuously to ensure thorough incorporation and no lumps. Season with salt.
- Bring the thickened chicken stock to a boil, add the onion and nutmeg and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add steamed broccoli to blender. Using a ladle, add thickened broth to blender along with the half and half cream. Carefully purée with lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Pour this mixture back into the stock pot along with browned chicken to simmer and keep warm until serving.
- In a small sauté pan lightly brown pine nuts and breadcrumbs in olive oil. Set aside.
- Divide reserved 1/2 cup steamed broccoli and optional nut crumb mixture over each bowl of soup and serve hot with fresh lemon (optional).
2. Optional: After cooking broccoli, immediately chill under cold water or ice bath to keep color and stop the cooking process. Drain excess water before adding to soup.