Lemony Spinach Broccoli Soup

Lemony Spinach Broccoli Soup
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With the passing of the equinox, spring is in full bloom. The world is filled with little buds and leaves growing bigger. On spring days where it is sunny but still cool, a bowl of soup seems to warm my spirit. Inspired by all the green bright energy of the season, I bring you my lemony spinach broccoli soup.

This soup is a light but filling everyday soup. By gently simmering/steaming the vegetables, you coax out flavor without the brash char of oven roasting nor the malodorous sogginess of overboiled vegetables. The soup itself is both vegan and nut-free so the vegetables shine through. If you wanted more body, you could add cream or nut butter for richness although I rather prefer the soup in its lighter form.

By its nature, this soup is low waste. It doesn’t require a lot of precision in terms of the vegetable ratio so feel free to round the ratios to accomodate what you need to use up. It also uses up broccoli stems. However, I think the greatest benefit of broccoli stems are not that they are low waste but that they are so delicious!

To me, broccoli stems taste like an almost entirely new vegetable. I’m tempted to say that I like the stems even more than the florets but then I remember how much I love broccoli stir-fries & malai broccoli. Instead I’ll say I like them both as their own individual selves. In any case, please don’t throw your stems away. If soup isn’t your thing, this broccoli stem salad and this broccoli stem and carrot slaw look delicious and I hope to try both soon.

Cooking Notes

To prepare the broccoli for this soup, I cut off the florets and then I use a vegetable peeler to remove the tougher outer layer of the stem. With many vegetables, you can save the scraps to make a stock, but honestly I rarely make homemade stock broth and if I do make it, I don’t include cruciferous vegetables.

I finish the broccoli spinach soup with generous squeezes of lemon juice. I happen to love savory lemony things but if you like a more subtle flavor, start with less and serve a wedge on the side. To serve to adults, consider garnishes of parsley oil, croutons or drizzles of cream.

In terms of toddler friendliness, my toddler very happily eats pieces of roti dipped in this soup and proactively asks for more. Vegetables for the win.

Lemony Spinach Broccoli Soup

Recipe by Preeyanka


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 Tbs olive oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 large broccoli stalks

  • 1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • Salt, pepper to taste

  • 1 lemon, juiced (or to taste)


  • Over medium-low heat, add olive oil to a medium sized pot and saute onion.
  • Remove florets from broccoli stalks and peel stems to remove the tough, fibrous outer layer. Slice the stems crosswise into thin rounds. After the onions have cooked for about 7-10 minutes by themselves, add the stems and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Cut the florets into large but not unwieldy pieces. Add about 2 cups of water to the pot and 1 tsp kosher salt (less if you are using a different kind). Bring the pot to a boil over medium and then reduce to medium-low. Add the broccoli and spinach to the soup. Cover the pot and then cook for 10 minutes until the broccoli is cooked through and tender but not overcooked.
  • With an immersion blender puree the soup. You can alternately use a traditional blender and/or strain the soup if you want a smoother soup. Add lemon juice, salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm with accoutrements. A sprinkle of croutons or a drizzle of cream would be nice basic ones. I think a swirl of gremolata or even some parsley pureed into olive oil would elevate the soup.