This Brussels sprouts soup recipe is a hearty and comforting dish bursting with vibrant flavors and nutrients. It’s perfect to make ahead so you’ll always have a bowl of warming soup available for a chilly day. Loaded with mildly sweet, fragrant and earthy flavors, this Brussels sprout soup is thickened by its own puree into a creamy and velvety consistency.
What are Brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are a leafy (northern hemisphere) winter vegetable in season from October until March. Did you know that sprouts are the edible buds of a long, tick and fibrous stalk? So even though they have a similar texture and look and belong to the same Brassicaceae family group as kale, cabbage and broccoli, they are not cabbages.
Even though sprouts have been around since Roman times, it was not until the 16th century when they became popular. During that time they were cultivated in Brussels, Belgium hence their name. At the moment they are still a highly underrated vegetable, although slowly gaining popularity mainly in Europe and the USA.
Most people dislike eating Brussels sprouts for their distinctive odor and bitter taste. However, when these green vegetables are properly cooked and prepared they only get a mildly bitter, yet slightly sweet and nutty taste. It is when the sprouts are cooked that they release sulphur compounds giving that typical cabbage smell. The longer you cook them, the stronger this odor.
Brussels sprouts can be roasted, cooked, steamed, boiled and stir-fried. When prepared correctly, like these balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts, or oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with butternut, they are mouthwateringly tasty.
Which ingredients to use
- Brussels sprouts: When in season, opt for the freshest Brussels sprouts with vibrant green hues and a firm texture. Discard any sprouts that appear aged and feel soft. Out of season, frozen sprouts are a great alternative. No need to defrost them in advance.
- Garlic and onions: Adds depth of flavor to this soup. Use at least 2 cloves of garlic for the best results.
- Potatoes: Adding a potato will help to thicken the soup, making it naturally creamy, but without adding any cream. Opt for a starchy potato, such as russet, as they break down easier when cooked. Just 1 medium-sized potato is sufficient for this recipe.
- Olive oil: Add a dash of olive oil or any other oil you prefer, for sautéing the vegetables
- Stock: I use vegetable stock, but chicken stock works fine as well. Up to personal preference.
- Thyme: Thyme, both fresh and dried, combines wonderfully with Brussels sprouts.
- Seasoning: Apart from thyme, I just use salt and pepper.
- Garnish: I use any loose leaves to garnish the soup when serving. It offers a nice crunch to this soup. You can cook or stirfry them for 2 minutes if you don’t like to add them raw. Fresh parsley also works wonders for color and a fresh taste.
How to make Brussels sprouts soup
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The key to making a delicious Brussels sprouts soup, often wrongly called Brussel sprout soup, is to first roast the onions, Brussels sprouts and garlic until deliciously fragrant after which the vegetables are simmered in a hearty stock together with the potatoes and pureed until smooth.
To make this soup, follow these steps:
- Clean the sprouts: Rinse the sprouts in cold running water to remove any sand or debris. Trim off the stem ends and remove any discolored and loose leaves. Set aside some clean loose leaves for garnish. Then cut the sprouts in half. You can use them without cutting, but this will increase the total cooking time. This step can be omitted when using frozen Brussels sprouts.
- Chop the other vegetables: Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel the potato and cut in cubes.
- Sauté the vegetables: Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté the onions for five minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and the Brussels sprouts and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and stir to combine.
- Simmer the soup: Pour in the stock, add the potatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Check with a fork to see if the potatoes and sprouts are fork-tender.
- Puree the soup: Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion or stick blender to mix the soup until smooth. Or transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until velvety smooth. If the consistency of the soup is too thick, add more water or stock and blend again.
- Season and serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste, add toppings of choice and serve while still hot. Fresh parsley or thyme and some raw Brussels sprout leaves are great for garnish.
How to store
Brussels sprout soup is great to make extra ahead. Or, if having any unintended leftovers you can store in the fridge or freezer for later use.
- In the fridge: After cooking and blending, allow to cool to room temperature and store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- In the freezer: Allow to cool to room temperature and store in smaller portions in airtight bags or freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
- To reheat: Reheat the soup in the microwave oven or in a pan on the stove top on low heat.
What to serve with this soup
Soup with Brussels sprouts can be a stand alone meal served with a choice of bread like baguette, toasted ciabatta, farmers loaf or roasted chickpeas as croutons. Or serve this soup alongside a nice winter salad like this pear and gorgonzola salad, grilled halloumi salad with sweet potatoes or Belgian endive salad with ham and feta.
More winter soup recipes to try
Below are some of my favorite winter soup recipes, but also have a look at all my other yummy soup recipes here.
- Leek and potato soup or potage Parmentier
- Savoy cabbage soup
- Belgian endive soup or chicory soup
- Curried Belgian endive soup with apple
- Sweet potato soup
Brussels sprouts soup
- 11 ounces (300 grams) Brussels sprouts trimmed weight
- 1 large potato peeled and chopped
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3¼ cups (750 ml) vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon thyme fresh or dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the Brussels sprouts with water, trim off the ends and remove any yellow, discolored or loose outer leaves. Cut the cleaned sprouts lengthwise in half.
- Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Peel and cube the potato.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and sprouts and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly softened. Then add the potatoes and stir to combine
- Pour in the stock with the thyme and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.
- When the soup is cooked, take the pot off the heat and mix with a handheld or immersion mixer until smooth. (See notes for mixing with a blender). Add more liquid if the soup is too thick.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some chopped sprouts leaves and parsley.
- Mix the soup with a blender: You can also pour the soup into a soup blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if the texture is too thick.
- Leftovers: Leftovers can be kept in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 3 days. Or keep in the freezer for up to 3 months in freezer safe containers at the right freezing temperature, at least -18 Celsius.