A super satisfying, cheddar-cheesy vegan broccoli soup that’s ready in about 30 minutes. Top it with crispy broccoli croutons for an extra burst of crunch and flavor.
Why I Love this Vegan Broccoli Soup
Back when I was vegetarian, cheesy broccoli soup was one of my favorite things to eat. What’s not to love? It’s rich, creamy and so dang comforting.
I love this soup because even though it’s vegan and made without dairy, it really does satisfy those cheese cravings. It’s a lot like my Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup, but without the beer, and loaded with gorgeous, green broccoli.
Because as fabulous as broccoli is all by itself (I could eat plain steamed broccoli all day long), a lot of folks like it even better with a bit of cheese in the mix. Behold this rich and creamy vegan broccoli cheddar soup.
What Makes this Soup So Nutritious?
This vegan broccoli cheese soup is full of healthy veggies (carrots, onions, garlic, celery and of course, broccoli), with no processed ingredients, no dairy and no oil. It’s 100% homemade goodness you whip up in your own kitchen.
Like I’m always saying, cruciferous veggies are extra good for us, and this soup can help you get your daily serving. (Check out this video for some pretty tips on how to preserve the most nutrition when chopping your broccoli!)
How to Make This Broccoli Cheese Soup
- First, saute your diced veggies (except the broccoli) until they’re almost tender.
- Second, add broth and the broccoli florets, and simmer until everything’s cooked.
- Third, while the soup simmers, make the cheddar cheese sauce in a blender.
- Fourth, stir the cheese sauce into the soup. Then, add the soup back to the blender and process in batches. Or, blend the soup right in the pot with an immersion blender.
- Optional: toast some reserved broccoli florets in the oven to make ‘broccoli croutons.’
Texture. Think about the consistency you prefer before blending any soup. If you like your soup a little thick and chunky, blend it just a little or even blend just ½ the soup. Blend it a lot for a smoother, creamier soup.
Cheese Sauce. This cheddar sauce is one of my favorite recipes, and it adds depth of flavor to this soup. But it does have quite a few ingredients, including nuts.
Stock or Broth. I always recommend tasting the broth before you use it in a recipe. If you don’t like the taste, you may not care for the final result in your cooking. I prefer to make my own stock, or use whole food, plant-based compliant powdered broth (so I’m not lugging home packages of stock).
This soup is perfectly comforting on a chilly day, makes an easy, satisfying supper, and is just the thing to help you get those broccoli servings in.
So grab your favorite oversized mug and slurp up those veggies.
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 yellow onion 1-inch diced
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes 1-inch diced
- 2 celery ribs 1-inch diced
- 2 carrots 1-inch diced
- 4 garlic cloves smashed and minced
- 5 cups broccoli florets about 1 pound (Optional: reserve some florets for a broccoli crouton garnish, if desired To maximize nutrition, chop 45 minutes or more before cooking, see notes.)
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
For the Cheddar Sauce
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashew pieces soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper for heat, if desired
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cover your cashews in hot water and soak for 15 minutes for the cheddar sauce.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and potatoes with about a tablespoon of water on medium high heat until the vegetables begin to get soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add water a little at a time if things begin to stick.
- Add the broccoli florets and 5 cups of stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- To Make the Cheddar Sauce. While the soup is simmering, drain the soaked cashews, and add them to a high speed blender. Add 1 cup of broth, the apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and optional cayenne pepper. Blend on high speed until smoth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
- When the vegetables are tender, add the cheddar sauce to the pot, and stir well.
- Turn the heat off stove. Add soup to the blender in batches, and process until blended but still a little chunky--or to your desired consistency. (Or use an immersion blender ro blend in the pot.)
- Return the blended soup to the pot and heat through, about 3-5 minutes.
- To make the optional broccoli croutons: place a handful of reserved broccoli florets on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, or until just tender and lightly browned.
- Cheese Sauce. This recipe makes a rich, cheddar-flavored soup. But you can use any vegan/compliant cheese sauce. For example, my Easy Cheezy Sauce is a simpler version, or my Chickpea Cheese Sauce is a high fiber, low fat version.
- Broccoli. To maximize nutrition, chop 45 minutes or more before cooking. See this video for details.