Broccoli Soup

Bugs In The Broccoli Soup

I would drive my mother crazy when she made this soup. I never wanted to eat it. I was never a picky eater, but when my mother made this soup she would pour all of us a bowl, and I would pick up my spoon and start to dip it into the soup and shout, “there are bugs in my soup!”  “You’re crazy”, my mother would reply. “I washed the broccoli very well, those aren’t bugs, it’s just the little bits of broccoli”. I would answer, “then why do they have legs!?? Look, see!”.

My father would just keep on eating his soup while my mother was reasoning with me. But eventually my brother and sister would find the same critters.

I don’t know if we just use better insecticides today, or my eye sight has just gotten worse, but as an adult the bugs in the broccoli soup have disappeared. But I’m telling you, as a child, I would always spot the little buggers. My mother would go through amazing lengths to wash and re-wash the broccoli to avoid this revolt at dinner time.  She would soak them in salted water, soak them in the sink for hours, even show me she was washing them. And when she served the soup, I’d find the bugs. Eventually, my father would eat everyone’s soup.

Today, I love this soup. I love broccoli. I’m glad someone took care of this problem because there are no more bugs in the broccoli soup.


Broccoli Soup

  • 2 pounds broccoli, stems peeled and cut into small pieces, tops cut into florets.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 pound broken spaghetti
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Grated Romano cheese

Do not be afraid of the anchovy in this dish. It takes on a whole new flavor when combined with these ingredients. I assure you, without it, this dish is not the same.


Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. While the broccoli is cooking, in a small fry pan, add the olive oil and anchovies over medium heat, stirring constantly until the anchovies almost melt. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Now add the anchovy and garlic oil to the pot of broccoli along with the parsley, bouillon cubes,  marjoram, and thyme. Gently combine and bring to a boil.  Break the spaghetti into about 2 inch pieces right into the soup.


Stir in the pasta and cook over medium heat at low boil until the pasta is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with  plenty of grated cheese.


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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4 Responses to Broccoli Soup

  1. Sharon M. says:

    OK – I tried the “fried” chicken, which was delicious, BTW. This one’s next. Seems healthy, too. I’ve heard of cream of broccoli, but never this – sounds good!

  2. Wendy says:

    you are my Hero !! I love you!
    This is perfect for my family , although my 11 year old will find bugs in it>

  3. Paul D says:

    This is very well done. about as authentic Italian as you can get too. I have made this several times. It’s now a regular.

  4. Pingback: Lentil Soup with Spinach | cookingitaliancomfortfood

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