Use the freshest, deepest green broccoli you can find for this recipe—just chopping it will make you feel more fit! A little bacon adds a smoky savor to the soup, but for a vegan version, eliminate the bacon, increase the amount of olive oil to 3 tablespoons, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
1. Heat a medium sized soup pot over medium flame. Chop the bacon into small pieces and add it to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until bacon is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon bits to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pot.
2. Add olive oil to the pot and heat briefly. Stir in leeks and carrots; cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften. Stir in broccoli, curry powder, basil, and cayenne; continue cooking a few minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
3. Add chicken or vegetable stock and bring mixture to simmer. Cook soup until broccoli is tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the bacon and soy milk, season to taste with salt, and heat through. Serve each bowl with a sprinkling of slivered almonds.
For a smoother, slightly thickened texture, partially puree the soup with a hand-held immersion blender after adding the soy milk.
Copyright by Terese Allen