For The Press
Blending broccoli creates a wonderfully satisfying, healthy and creamy soup - although this soup actually doesn't contain any cream. Instead, it gets its great creamy texture from potatoes.
Research shows that broccoli may help prevent cancer, but its effectiveness is linked to how it is cooked. The reason is that broccoli contains an enzyme called myrosinase that can activate sulforaphane, a compound that has anti-cancer properties. Cooking methods like boiling and microwaving, however, destroy myrosinase. So how you prepare it can help broccoli protect you.
The best way to preserve myrosinase is to lightly steam broccoli for no more than 3 to 5 minutes. However, when making creamy broccoli soup, myrosinase is destroyed during the simmering time. But research shows that by adding a new source of myrosinase in the same meal, the sulforaphane in overcooked broccoli can be revived. That's why we are using tiny flower buds of broccoli to garnish the soup, instead of parsley. The finely chopped broccoli buds are pretty and purposeful!
So from now on, when making broccoli soup or cooking broccoli in ways other than a short steam, save a small floret or two to trim the flower buds and sprinkle them on cooked broccoli.
You'll also be glad to know that broccoli's beneficial fiber, other phytonutrients and minerals do survive the cooking process.
Serve this soup with a Portobello "burger" and you have a great meal. Simply saute the large mushroom cap. Then place it on some lightly toasted multigrain bread and stack it with lettuce, sliced tomatoes and some Dijon mustard. The myrosinase in mustard also revives the sulforaphane in cooked broccoli.