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This plant-based broccoli ‘cheddar’ soup mimics the creamy, cheesy flavors of your traditional soup while being filled with a hearty base of plant-based ingredients. This flavorful soup is made with a base of onion, garlic, coconut, and a vibrant broth bringing emphasis to the classical broccoli cheddar soup flavors.
Broccoli is a wonderful ingredient to have on hand as it’s nutrient-dense and also protein-rich for a vegetable. This soup is a simple, yet flavorful addition to your winter menu. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Tips On Blending This Plant-Based Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup
For this recipe, it’s important to blend the cashews into a perfectly creamy consistency which is ultimately achieved through the use of a Vitamix. Even if you don’t have one, these notes will provide you with details to ensure a smooth and creamy soup.
If you only have an emersion blender, you can still create this soup but it may have a thicker consistency. To create a silky broth base with chunks of veggies, use the below techniques.
- Blend the cashews first. To achieve a “cream-like” base, it’s important that the cashews are pureed fully prior to adding in any veggies to your pureed portion.
- If you desire a few veggie pieces, pulse your ingredients once the cashews have been fully blended. This means that you should not set your blender to an automatic low/high, but to a pulse to control the vegetable mixture consistency.
- Always start off with the dial set to low. We are working with a hot liquid which means the pressure is more likely to be created in the canister. Slowly build up the speed which helps to keep splatters down, as well as pressure build-up.
- Vibrant color tips and tricks. If you’d like your broccoli and carrots to be their most vibrant hue, blanch them and blend only a portion of the broccoli. Find these notes in the “notes” section of the below recipe!
How To Make This Soup
- Wash, chop, & slice your veggies. If we are mimicking the traditional broccoli cheddar soup, I always like to cut the carrots into matchsticks or a julienne cut which we would see in a recipe such as the Panera Bread broccoli cheddar. Wash and chop your vegetables into medium dice and slice your carrots to reserve. Be sure to chop your broccoli into a bite-size piece so that it cooks quickly.
- Soak your cashews. You may soak them overnight in the fridge, or soak them in boiling water until softened. Reserve.
- Steam and blanch your broccoli and carrots. This may be done together and removed to be cooled in an ice bath once the green and orange hues are the most vibrant. If you do not have a steamer, simply add a shallow bath of water to a pot & gently toss the ingredients if needed every so often. Keep covered if possible. They will cook quite quickly!
- Cook your onions, celery, zucchini, and garlic in a stockpot, adding in your other dry ingredients followed by your broth.
- Puree, pulse, & pour. Puree your cashews fully until a creamy milk has been achieved. Next, add a small portion of your broccoli and carrot mixture, and 1-2 cups of your soup. Pulse until desired texture is achieved and pour back into your stockpot to warm further. Add in additional broccoli and carrots to soup. Do not boil. Boiling may cause potential curdling.
- Serve & Enjoy!
Plant-based Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter/vegan butter
- 1-2 medium yellow onion about 2.5 cups
- 2.5 cups celery
- 2 medium carrots about 1 cup
- 7-8 cups chopped broccoli florets + stalks (remove any woody pieces of stalks)
- 8 large garlic cloves
- 2 liters Dee's Vibrant Veggie Broth linked at top of post
- 2 cans whole foods 365 coconut milk (full fat top portion) (about 4 cups of coconut milk) whole foods brand is the most mild coconut flavor!!
- 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 cup salt or beautiful briney sea potato salad salt (read notes)
- Freshly cracked nigella seeds optional
- Freshly cracked black pepper optional
DF/GF Roux Ingredients (optional)
- 1/4 cup gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup butter/vegan butter/extra virgin olive oil
- Wash, chop, and slice your veggies. Dice your celery and onions into small dice, broccoli to medium dice, and slice your carrots into matchsticks. Reserve.
- Next, bring a stockpot to medium-high heat and add in your oil of choice. Once hot, add in your onions and celery.
- While your onion and celery cooks.
- Next, blanch your carrots and broccoli and reserve. Once fully cooled, remove excess water and any leftover ice cubes.
- During this time, add in your garlic & your zucchini into your celery and onion mixture. Add in the nutritional yeast, salt, celery seed, and vibrant veggie broth along with your coconut milk. Bring to a boil & reduce to a simmer. Simmer until it reduces to 1/4
- Once reduced, add approximately 4-5 cups of soup to your Vitamix and pulse to desired texture. (I like for the mixture to still have some "chunks" to it.)
- Pour the blended soup back into your stock pot and allow the mixture to warm slightly without boiling. Serve & Enjoy!
- *If you would like to freeze this soup, it will freeze quite well but remember to not over-boil it (which will create subtle curdling due to its high fat content.) It's important to either defrost it overnight in the fridge, or heat it in a "low & slow" manner!
More Recipes To Enjoy
- Broccoli Salad That You’ll Love!
- Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce with Gluten-free Tagliatelle
- Dairy-free butternut squash soup
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