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Washington Post

Versatile soup

Everyday soup-making doesn’t have to be complicated. You combine broth with vegetables and aromatics. Let the whole thing cook until everything’s tender, and serve either as is or with rice, pasta or grain added for substance.

This soup can pair with grilled cheese for lunch, make a nice starter to a roast chicken dinner, or, if you double the serving size, stand on its own as a simple supper, with some warm, rustic wheat bread.

Because the broccoli will discolor with time, this soup looks (and tastes) best served just after it is made.

Garlic-Infused Broccoli Soup With Ditalini

1 tablespoon olive oil

About 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped ( 1/4 cup)

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 -inch dice (about 1 cup)


Freshly ground black pepper

6 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

12 ounces broccoli crowns, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces

6 ounces dried ditalini or tubetti pasta

Water (optional)

Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat the oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and decrease the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, stirring and adjusting the heat so the garlic does not brown.

Add the onion and carrot; increase the heat to medium and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Add the broth and broccoli. After the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cook for about 10 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain.

When the broccoli is tender, use an immersion (stick) blender to process just until the broccoli is chunky. Stir in the cooked pasta. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the soup is too thick, add water as needed.

Serve hot, along with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes eight 1-cup servings

Nutrition per serving: 140 calories, 6 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar

– Stephanie Witt Sedgwick, special to The Washington Post