1/3 Cup store bought pesto (read the ingredients, makes sure it’s all natural)
2 16-ounce bags of frozen broccoli florets (don’t defrost)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
zest and juice of 1 lemon
cheddar cheese or chives to garnish (optional)
Dice the onions and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
Add the onions and 1/2 tsp salt to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until translucent.
Thinly slice the shallot, cook with the onions for 6-8 minutes until starting to brown. Lower the heat to medium if the bottom of the pan is browning too quickly.
Once the onions are browned around the edges and the bottom of the pan is brown, add ¼ cup water and scrape up the brown fond (browned food bits) from the bottom of the pan.
Cook over medium heat until the water evaporates.
Lower heat to medium and add ⅓ cup store bought pesto.
Cook the pesto with the onions until very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add 2 16-ounce bags of frozen broccoli florets into the pan.
Add 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, increase heat to high, cover the pot and bring the stock to a boil, about 10 minutes.
Continue to cook until the broccoli is tender – a fork should easily pierce the broccoli and come back out again.
Once the stock is boiling and the broccoli is tender add 1 cup cold filtered water to the soup and turn the heat off. Cooling down the soup will make it easier (and safer) to blend.
Use an immersion blender to blend the broccoli. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup into a blender and blend.
Add 2 cups more of chicken stock, turn the heat on to high and bring the soup to a boil, about 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan and lower the heat to medium low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
After the soup has been simmering for at least 30 minutes, adjust the seasoning (adding ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp ground black pepper). Taste before adding more salt. Off the heat, add the zest and juice of 1 lemon.