Broccolini also known as baby broccoli is a hybrid form of broccoli. It has longer, thinner stalks, and smaller more tender florets. The taste is slightly different than broccoli. When broccoli first arrived in England it was known as, "Italian Asparagus". The origin of broccoli is in the Mediterranean and was derived from the cabbage family. It is considered a cruciferous vegetable.
Cruciferous vegetables are a wonderful source of carotenoids which studies have shown that specific carotenoids in this family of vegetables may help to fight cancer cells. These vegetables are not consumed enough in our diets and adding more can help to reduce many diseases and illnesses. If we cook them down slightly the bitterness is reduced, and this is one of the reasons many people dislike cruciferous vegetables. They really are wonderful for you since they help to boost your immune system, regulate hormones, balance blood sugar, support detoxing the liver, reduce inflammation, and also protect the brain to name a few of their benefits.
Since I am feeling a bit under the weather today and have been under some stress along with a packed schedule, I figured making a large batch of broccolini and Italian white bean soup would be the way to go. This will not only help to restore my immunity but also a hearty meal of all vegetables. And if you know me and my nutrition, health, and wellness philosophy is that vegetables are the base for a nourished mind, body, and soul!
Yields 5-6 1 1/2 cup servings
2 stalks of broccolini or baby broccoli - lower part of the stalk removed
1 small yellow sweet onion - small dice
1 can of cannellini beans - rinsed and drained
2- 3 cups of frozen leafy spinach
1 box Organic Beef or Chicken Stock - I used Pacific brand
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons Zaatar seasoning
1 teaspoon harissa
Salt and Pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 fingerling potatoes - peeled and quartered
In a large pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil.
Add the onions with a pinch or 2 of salt and let them sweat until they are just translucent.
Then add the broccolini and season again with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Then add the white wine, turn the heat up for a minute or 2. You can lower the heat back to medium and add the spinach, beans, and potatoes. Season with the harissa, zaatar, and more salt and pepper. It is important to season with every layer to make sure your dish is well seasoned.
Add the stock and bring it to a simmer or light boil.
Over the pot and let this cook for 20-25 minutes. Make sure that the dish is not boiling rapidly. You want this to be a gently simmer.
Once the soup is cooked and the potatoes are tender, let it sit either on a very low temperature or off. Keep the pot covered.
Once you are ready to serve it, heat it up and serve.
If you'd like this is an appetizer or as part of meal serve about 3/4 to 1 cup per serving and best with chicken or beef.