Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Buttery, yet not butter, Broccoli Leek Soup

This blended — yet chunky, paleo, yet vegan soup — really satisfies the palate in taste and texture — such as: greenyness, butteryness, chunkyness, creaminess. And it’s quick and simple. I decided to use coconut oil for the flavor (vegans will enjoy this), yet wanted that butteryness — so — I reached for the fenugreek.

Fenugreek ups the ante (in regards to the soup’s complex flavor profile) with its butteryness, mustardyness and almost butterscotch-like flavors. It’s tangy, a bit bitter, yet in a sophisticated way. Just found this online: “For a hint of fenugreek’s flavors, consider that it is the flavor-making component of imitation maple flavoring.

Here’s an image of the soup in the blender carafe, just after I blended it. Half of the mixture is blended really well, a full minute, then I added more of the soup mixture and blended just a bit, using the pulse button until the pieces were just what I wanted.

Here’s how I made it:

1. In a soup pot on medium heat: cook, with no oil, until tender, about 5 minutes, stir often:

  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced (see Notes, below)
  • 3 large celery stalks, thinly sliced

2. When the leeks and celery are tender, move aside making a clear area in the center of the pot and melt:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (see image below showing the coconut oil in the center of the pot; also see Notes, below)


  • Use both the white stalk and the green leaves of the leek. Trim the roots and the ragged tips of the green leaves, cut the leek into three pieces, then cut down the center of each piece and wash well, then thinly slice.
  • I used unrefined coconut oil because I wanted that coconut-ty flavor. Refined coconut will be just as good, so go ahead and use the refined if you don’t want that coconut component.


3. When the coconut oil (see image, above, with celery and leek mixture moved aside with the coconut oil in the center) is melted, add and let cook for one minute:

  • 1 tsp fenugreek powder (see image, below, with the melted coconut oil in the center of the pot, the celery and leeks are pushed to the sides and the fenugreek is in the melted coconut oil)


  • The flavor of fenugreek varies in strength depending on its age, how it was stored and how it was used previously. This is similar to other spices, yet fenugreek seems to lose more strength faster and easier than other spices. I vote to always get whole spices, then grind them point of use, at the time you need the spice powder. I have a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding only spices and wipe it clean with a damp cloth after each use. If the flavor of the fenugreek is too mild, too recessed, hidden behind the broccoli and leeks, then add a 1/4 tsp at a time and taste as you go. The fenugreek should be neck’n neck, at the finish line the same time as the other flavors.


4. After a minute, add and stir well, cook for 10 minutes or until tender:

  • 4 cups hot water (see Notes, below)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (see image, below)


  • I add hot water from my electric tea pot, the water heats up soooo much faster in the tea pot than it does on the stove top. If using room temperature water, the water you add to the pot will take 5 to 10 minutes to heat.
  • Add the broccoli — ONLY — to hot water. Be sure to wait until the water is hot. Once the water is hot, add the broccoli.
  • The broccoli will become bright green, this is the reaction of the degrading cellulose structure of the plant pushing the chlorophyl to the surface to protect it. The broccoli will stay bright green for a few minutes and then turn brown. There is a short distance between green and brown, so stay near the pot and when the broccoli is soft turn off the heat.


5. Ladle the soup into a high-speed blender. I blended 1/2 the soup for a minute to create a very very smooth and creamy consistency. Then I added the other 1/2 of the soup and blended it just a bit until the broccoli, celery and leeks were in small-ish pieces.

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