Mashed Potato & Broccoli Soup

Really! You might not think that this would be very good, but it’s a pureed soup, and broccoli and potatoes play well together.

I wound up with a lot of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving, and once I tired of eating leftovers, I knew I needed to do something with the potatoes. Searching the internet for ideas, I mostly got hits for frying them into potato cakes. But I didn’t want to reformat them into a slightly different side dish, I wanted to incorporate them into a meatless main. Before it occurred to me to try a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, I spotted a recipe for a soup with broccoli, cheese and mashed potatoes. I treated it as a starting point – I wanted it to be somewhat healthy, so two cups of cheese was out. Instead, I upped the amount of broccoli, dropped the cheese to a garnish, and added onion and spices for depth. Surprisingly delicious! 

Before you start cooking this, think about what’s in your mashed potatoes. If they are very salty, you may want to omit the salt with the onions, and possibly substitute some of the chicken broth for water. It’s better to err on the side of caution – you can always add salt at the end, but you can’t take it out. If they’re the super rich, sour cream/cream cheese/heavy cream/two sticks of butter type, you may want to skip the spices and just let that tangy, creamy, buttery flavor carry the soup.

I went with a tex mex theme to my spices, and sprinkled a little shredded taco cheese over the top of the soup, which was quite delightful. You could also take this in other directions – curry powder, garam masala, etc. Plenty of good options! Here’s my recipe:

1 small onion, chopped
1 TB olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb broccoli florets
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups mashed potatoes

Heat the oil and salt in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over medium or low heat until soft. It’s OK if they get a little brown, but you don’t want to burn them, so just watch the heat. Once the onions are soft, add the cumin, chili powder and pepper, and let them cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the broccoli and stir to combine. Immediately add the water and broth. Cover, turn the heat up to medium or medium high, bring to a boil and let cook until the broccoli is soft.

Take the pot off of the heat, and using either an immersion blender or a regular blender, carefully puree the soup until smooth.

Turn the heat back on to medium, and add the potatoes, stirring to blend. Bring the soup back up to a simmer. If your mashed potatoes were lumpy, you’ll probably want to blend again. If they were perfectly smooth, you probably don’t need to. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Makes about 2 quarts of soup, which this hungry girl will eat in three servings (dinner tonight was big).