On the one hand, this is a cream of broccoli soup—because it's creamy and has broccoli. Yet it has no cream, and the broccoli flavor is deeper, thanks to roasting instead of blanching. A splash of buttermilk adds brightness, while a garnish of spiced roasted pepitas plays off the roasted broccoli flavor.
Note: As you shortcut, you can substitute the spices used for the pepitas with an equal amount of store-bought curry powder. If the store-bought curry powder is salted, be sure to taste pepitas before adding salt.
- 2 pounds broccoli, stalk trimmed and heads cut into florets
- 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, crushed (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 quarts homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread in an even layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Transfer to oven and roast until broccoli is tender and browned, about 25 minutes.
In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add roasted broccoli, buttermilk, and just enough stock to barely cover vegetables. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Working in batches if necessary, transfer vegetables and liquid to a blender. Starting on the lowest speed and gradually increasing to the highest speed, blend broccoli until a smooth puree forms. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons total olive oil while blender is running and return to a clean pot. Add as much of the remaining vegetable stock as necessary to thin to a creamy soup consistency. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, lower oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, toss pepitas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, cumin, mustard seed, and turmeric. Season with salt. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Scrape toasted spiced pepitas into a mixing bowl and stir in parsley, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Warm the soup, then spoon it into bowls. Top with spiced pepitas and some of their oil. Serve right away.