As part of our Monthly Caregiver Series, we are delighted to partner with Dr. Annie Fenn, founder of Brain Health Kitchen. Each month, Dr. Fenn will share with us recipes that we can make at home that encourage brain health…and taste delicious as well!
The demands of care-giving leave no time for self-care, including preparing delicious, brain-healthy meals. For this easy and hearty broccoli soup, sumac adds bright flavor and a pop of color. Sumac is a berry that is pulverized into a powder; rich in phytonutrients, it has been studied for its ability to enhance memory and cognition.
1 large head of broccoli end trimmed, about ¾ pound
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion chopped, about 1½ cups
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 large clove garlic minced
3 tablespoons raw pistachios soaked in water for about 1 hour
1 medium russet potato peeled and diced, about 5 ounces
4 cups vegetable stock
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sumac
Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
Cut 1 cup of the smallest florets from the broccoli head; set aside.
Roughly chop the rest of the head into 2-inch pieces, then peel and trim the stem and chop into 2-inch pieces. (You should have about 4 cups total of florets and stem.)
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over over medium heat. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Drain the pistachios and add to the pot, along with the onion, potato, and turmeric. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the vegetable stock and increase the heat to high. Scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Add the chopped broccoli (leaving aside the reserved cup of small florets) and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is easily pierced with a knife.
While the soup simmers, roast the reserved small broccoli florets. Toss them on a small rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Leave some space between the florets, which encourages them to get extra crispy. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the florets are brown and crispy.
Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, thinning with water as needed to adjust the consistency to your liking. Add the black pepper. Taste and adjust for salt. Add lemon juice by the spoonful until the soup tastes equally bright and acidic, salty, and peppery. If you want more turmeric flavor (spicy, slightly bitter) add more by the ¼ teaspoon.
Serve hot, topped with the crispy broccoli florets, a drizzle of olive oil, a dusting of sumac, and flaky sea salt, if you like.