This vegan broccoli cheese soup recipe is rich, creamy, and packed with cheese flavor – but dairy-free! It is a quick, satisfying, and healthy weeknight dinner.
We now live in a world where broccoli cheese soup is not only delectable, rich and creamy but is also HEALTHY and QUICK. We are currently winning at a weeknight dinner. This healthy spin on broccoli cheese soup is every bit as crave-able as the real deal, but is lower in calories, dairy-free, and is packed with nutrients. This is a soup you can feel good about serving.
With a few simple swaps, we can take this soup from a sinful supper to a healthy well-rounded dish. We forgo the cheese and cream in traditional recipes and turn to some healthy plant-based ingredients: cashews and nutritional yeast.
Raw cashews, when soaked in water overnight, can be blended into a thick and luscious cream sauce. We use this to our advantage in this soup. The cashews are simmered with the soup and then blended all together at once to reduce the steps in this recipe and amp up the creamy factor.
Then a combination of nutritional yeast and lemon juice creates that signature cheese flavor. If you want to take this to the next level, add on a sprinkle of dairy-free cheese to achieve that oh-so-delicious melty cheese texture.
Not only do these swaps create a delicious broccoli cheese soup, they also help pack in the ingredients.
Cashews are full of monounsaturated fats that can protect our hearts and boost brain function. Cashews can also help you shed excess weight and help you maintain healthy bones.
Nutritional yeast is a newcomer onto the mainstream health food scene and is gaining popularity quickly. In addition to lending a cheese-y flavor to this recipe, it also contains 16 different amino acids which can aid in muscle health. This superfood also improves digestion and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Broccoli, the base of this recipe, also deserves a closer look as it is one of the most beneficial, and affordable, superfoods on the market. One serving of broccoli contains notable amounts of over 24 nutrients and minerals. Broccoli can prevent cancer, reduce cancer growth, help detox the body, support your digestion and cardiovascular health among other benefits.
The cheese-y flavor of this soup, and the crunchy croutons, also helps mask the bold flavor of broccoli for any reluctant vegetable eaters, so that they can get all the nutrients and you get none of the regular complaints.
Now that is a soup we can feel good about!
Ingredients for a vegan broccoli cheese soup recipe:
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped (including stems), about 4 cups
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- For the croutons:
- 4 slices bread, cut into cubes
- Oil to coat
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Directions to make the vegan broccoli cheese soup :
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with the oil and seasonings. Spread them out on a sheet pan.
- Bake the croutons for 10 minutes, stir them around, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the croutons are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- While the croutons are baking, add the oil into a Dutch oven or large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is warm, add in the celery, onions, white pepper, and salt. Sautee, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add in the broccoli and sauté until softened and bright green.
- Add in the broth and cashews. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Return to the pot and whisk in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and extra salt, if needed.
- Serve with croutons.