It’s been a crazy couple a months. I’ve have school four or five days a week, and work 4 days a week. The last day off I had was the first week of January.
Those infamous, lazy days saw me spending time with an old friend. He invited me to a new friend’s home for dinner. This is the dish that stood out to me, a creamy Broccoli and Asparagus soup, flavored with the Indian spice blend garam masala, and topped with a sweet maple creme fraiche. Nafeez’s garam masala was fragrant, spicy, and homemade by his mother. I had all intentions of making my own as well, but with the 8 days a week of school/work, I took a short cut and used store bought. I added a bit of cayenne, since the blend I found wasn’t spicy, but feel free to leave it out – or add more if you prefer to burn your tongue off.
I changed the recipe a bit from the original, because no one wants asparagus in February. I also veganized it – using coconut milk for the cream, and veggie broth for the chicken. As for the maple creme fraiche – I imagine a vegan yogurt could sub in with good results, if you’re looking to make the entire recipe dairy free.
1 tbsp. coconut oil, or olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 large, or a few smaller, heads of broccoli, stems and florets roughly chopped
3 c. vegetable broth or water
1/2 – 3/4 c. coconut milk
sea salt, to taste
toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
1/4 c. creme fraiche
1 tbsp. maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
Warm the oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium low heat and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until they start to turn translucent, then add the garam masala and cayenne. Cook for another minute or two, and when it starts to smell amazing, stir in the broccoli.
Coat the broccoli in the oil and spices and add the broth or water. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is very tender. Take the soup off the heat and blend until smooth. I used an immersion blender to make quick work of it, but you can also transfer batches to a blender, making sure it is vented to let steam escape. Return to the pot, stir in the coconut milk and taste for salt. Add as much as you need to perk up all the flavors, then let it simmer for a few minutes to meld all the flavors together.
Meanwhile, mix the creme fraiche, maple syrup and a pinch of salt together and set aside.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls, top with toasted almonds and creme fraiche mixture.