Creamy vegan broccoli cheese soup that’s made from healthy, plant-based and whole food ingredients! Seriously nobody can guess the nutritious base of this cheezy soup that makes it so creamy and delicious.
My creamy vegan broccoli soup is a staple around here, but recently I was more specifically craving a dish of my youth, broccoli cheese soup. Thick, creamy, and cheesy, with flavors of cheddar and crisp-tender broccoli. With a few simple tweaks to my recipe, I made the flavor cheezier and tangier and to be quite honest, we all went crazy for it.
For the sake of those who have read my blog before, I’ll skip the usual diatribe about store bought vegan cheese. This vegan broccoli cheese soup is made without Daiya or anything like that, although I did garnish my bowl with a few shreds for the purpose of these photos.
The brand pictured is Parmela aged cashew cheese shreds. My housemates both love them, I think they’re fine enough, but thus far they’re definitely the only vegan “shred” product that I’m willing to eat. They don’t melt super well, but they taste pretty good.
That is totally an aside, of course! The actual dairy-free cheddar-style base of my vegan cheesy broccoli soup is made from a blend of cashews, cannellini or navy beans, Russet potato, and roasted red peppers.
Compared to my standard brocco soup, this one also has more nutritional yeast. I promise that it’s not an overpowering amount – I always avoid that. But a little bit more than usual is needed in order to balance out the sweet and tangy red peppers. However, a bonus is that the nutritional yeast (nooch) adds a lot of extra protein and vitamins.
This healthier broccoli cheddar soup recipe is easy and simple. After blending the cashew cream mixture you simply saute some onion, celery, and carrot, add veggie broth, and stir in the cream base and broccoli, cooking it until tender. Dinner is served!
We love this vegan broccoli cheese soup served with cooked rice (especially a wild rice blend!) but here’s a top secret hint – I recently discovered that it’s also pretty amazing combined with leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving… nope, no shame about my love for carbs.
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup (Secretly Healthy!)
Nobody would guess that this creamy vegan broccoli "cheese" soup is made from a base of healthy whole food ingredients! Naturally dairy-free, plant-based, gluten-free, and easily made soy-free.
For the cashew cream mixture:
- 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked overnight, or quickly in hot water
- 1 medium russet potato cooked and peeled
- 1 3/4 cups cooked white beans of any variety (equal to 1 standard can, rinsed and drained)
- 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp white or yellow miso
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 3/4 cup roasted red peppers (liquid drained before measuring)
For the vegan broccoli cheese soup:
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow or white onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced or thinly sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced or thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups finely-chopped broccoli (about 2 broccoli crowns)
- salt to taste (I use about 1 scant teaspoon, usually)
- chopped fresh parsley or chives, crackers, and/or vegan cheese shreds, for serving (optional)
Make the cashew cream mixture:
Drain the cashews and add them to a food processor or blender along with the cooked potato, white beans, and roasted red peppers. Blend until completely smooth. This may take a couple of minutes with stopping to scrape down the sides, especially if using a food processor. If you need to add extra liquid to blend, use some of your 3 cups of vegetable broth. Then, add the nutritional yeast, miso, and lemon juice, and blend to combine. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
Make the vegan broccoli cheese soup:
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt, and stir. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant.
Add the vegetable broth, and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Stir in the reserved cashew cream mixture, all of the broccoli, and some salt. Cover the pot, and cook covered for 12-16 minutes, stirring occasionally (making sure to scrape around the bottom and sides when you do), until the broccoli is bright green and tender, or cooked to your liking.
Add more broth if desired to thin the soup, or simmer with the lid off for a couple of minutes to thicken it a bit. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve hot. Leftovers store well in the refrigerator for a few days.
Peeled and finely-chopped broccoli stems can also be added!
ROASTED RED PEPPERS: I use the jarred kind that's just packed in water, with no added oil or seasoning. You can also use other types if that's what you have. If you want to roast your own peppers this is equal to approximately 3 whole medium sized peppers.
BROCCOLI AMOUNT: It's not too important to measure the broccoli precisely, in fact sometimes I add extra - just try to get in this ballpark quantity.
SOY-FREE: Use a chickpea-based miso or simply omit the miso.
Adapted from my creamy vegan broccoli soup.
You might also like my vegan wild rice soup: