The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Turn Whey into Cream of Broccoli Soup

February 11th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Posted in Recipes

Use fresh, local broccoli for your soup

Use fresh, local broccoli for your soup

Yesterday I described the simple process my wife used to make delicious ricotta cheese. Since she made it from fresh, whole milk, it produced lots of whey. That’s the liquid that separates from the protein solids in the cheese making process. We had a pot of whey sitting in the refrigerator for several days trying to figure out what to do with it, until my wife had the brilliant idea to use it as a soup base.

Just as the ricotta was simple, so is the cream of broccoli soup she made with only four ingredients–onion, broccoli, whey, heavy cream–and seasonings. First, roughly chop 1 large onion and sweat it in a heavy pot with about three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in two large heads of broccoli, the florets divided and the stems peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds. Saute a few minutes longer. Then add to the pot 2 cups whey. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is completely cooked through.

Run the soup mix through a food mill or blender until smooth. Then return to the pot and stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Do I really need to tell you this is the best cream of broccoli soup ever? You could add some garlic croutons, or a generous dab of sour cream. Perhaps you like other spices–a pinch of nutmeg, maybe? In any case, this is a great way to get another meal out of making ricotta. But as our friend El pointed out in a comment yesterday, you don’t have to use buttermilk to make your ricotta; you can use something else acid, such as El’s homemade cider vinegar, or even lemon juice, which would result in much less whey.

But we like our new whey-based soup. No way, you say?


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  • Daphne

    Great idea. In the past the only thing we could think of was adding it to compost, which we heard was good for dirt. I’d rather we eat it ourselves, for sure.

  • MzT

    Plants also like whey. Last year we watered all our seedlings with it to kick them off. Though, of course you’re not gardening yet with all that snow. Not to taunt or anything, but I’ve got spinach, peas, leeks, onions and radishes in the ground already…

    Okay, I’m totally taunting. But you have cream of broccoli soup, and that’s about the best solace I can think of.

  • April

    Great idea but … only 2 cups of whey? I have nearly a gallon of whey leftover from our mozzarella-making adventure!

  • Sarah

    April: Use the whey to make ricotta cheese ( then use the whey from the ricotta to make gjetost (

    Not a drop of whey wasted and three different cheeses!

  • Marisa

    I happened upon this when I was looking for something to do with vats of leftover whey. This really was delicious and so simple. Thank you!

  • Ed Bruske

    You’re welcome!

  • Caitlin Villasenor

    Absolutely Love this Recipe! Im very picky with my broccoli soup but this was so good last week i just milked my goat enough to get another gallon to make a huge batch to freeze! My only issue this time around is i dont have any heavy cream 🙁 So im going to try it without it and if nothing else i can just add in some goat riccota? haha i dont know but im going to try it! Thank you for this recipe!

  • Dominique

    I’ll try this. Saved the whey in the freezer from this afternoon’s cheesemaking session for soup. (The curds of what are (hopefully) going to be triple cream cheeses of sorts are dripping away in their moulds on the kitchen top.)