When you’re in the middle of summer and the sun is blazing while kids jump through sprinklers, you probably aren’t giving much thought to the chilly fall temperatures that are just around the corner. They will be here before you know it, though, and once the chill is back in the air, it’s great to have a delicious go-to recipe that’s easy to make and packed full of veggies.
This vegan broccoli “cheese” soup is so delicious, rich, and creamy that you won’t even know it’s good for you! It combines broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and white beans for a filling, nutritious, and hearty meal that will keep you warm and cozy once winter arrives.
Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly enjoy it in the summer, but maybe wait for one of the rainier days.
The trick to a good vegan broccoli cheese soup is all in the texture, and this recipe delivers perfectly. The combination of beans and cashews provide the thick, creamy quality that’s the signature of this delicious comfort food.
Starting with the creaminess of the base, the other ingredients add a delightful texture. A chunky version of this soup allows the chunks of potato and the crispness of the carrots to come through, creating an overall pleasant experience.
While this recipe does come together quickly, it requires a little planning and prepping, so make sure that you put it on your meal plan list a few days in advance. You’ll need to soak the cashews overnight to get them the desired texture for blending, especially if you have a smaller and less-than powerful blender. If you do it in something really powerful, like a Vitamix, the soaking step becomes less important.
You will also want to roughly cut the veggies. To make the cooking go a little faster, you can dice the onions, carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower in advance.
What elevates this dish into a truly savoury treat is the flavouring. A combination of garlic salt, paprika, and seasoned pepper gives it a little kick in a delicious blend.
Also, the nutritional yeast (also known as “nooch”) kicks the cheesy flavour into high gear without any actual dairy. It gives the soup an umami flavour that will make you think it has actual cheese in it.
This recipe makes for an excellent weeknight dinner, and it will likely yield enough leftovers to take for lunch the next day! It can be paired with a crusty French loaf for an even more decadent dining experience.
Even though those cold nights are still a distant thought, it won’t be long before we’re pulling out our warm socks, wrapping up tight, and craving something warm and comforting. Have this recipe tucked away and ready to pull out as soon as that crisp bite hits the air. You won’t be disappointed!
Quick Note: The directions here show you how to make the chunky version of this soup as seen in the photos. If you prefer a smoother soup, you can use a soup capable blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec) to puree everything. Blend on the lowest speed to leave some texture in or turn it up to make a puree-style soup. Just be sure to have the vented-lid on so pressure can escape – otherwise be sure to let all the ingredients cool before blending.
Let’s get started!
Vegan Broccoli "Cheese" Soup Recipe
- 2 cups filtered water
- 4 Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 celery stems
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk
- 1 box vegetable stock
- 1 can white beans
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup cashews soaked overnight
- 1/2 Tablespoon garlic salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon seasoned pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- (The night before) Soak cashews by placing them in a big bowl and covering them with an inch of purified water.
- Place large stock pot or kettle over low heat and pour in water and vegetable stock.
- Rinse all the vegetables in cool water. Dice broccoli and cauliflower into small pieces. Rough cut all other vegetables into large pieces. (Potatoes can be peeled or unpeeled to preference). Set aside.
- Drain the water from the cashews and place them in a high-powered blender. Blend until the cashews become creamy. Pour the cashew cream into the stock pot of water and vegetable stock.
- Open the can of white beans and drain them in a colander. Place the beans blender and blend until creamy. Add mixture to the stock pot.
- In small batches, add the potatoes, onions (peeled), celery, and garlic (peeled) to the blender and blend briefly until they are chopped but still chunky (using the pulse feature can be helpful). Pour into the stock pot.
- Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the pot.
- Add almond milk and yeast to the pot. Stir well.
- Sprinkle the soup with garlic salt and seasoned pepper. Stir well. Add paprika. Stir well.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and bring soup to a gentle boil.
- Once boiling, turn the soup down to medium low and simmer for about an hour.
- Serve with crusty bread or croutons.