Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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With tender broccoli florets, a rich and creamy texture, and zippy cheesy flavor, you’ll never miss the dairy in this luscious vegan broccoli cheddar soup!

When I was growing up, I literally used to buy a box of prepackaged powdered broccoli cheese soup mix (intended to feed around four people) cook it up, and eat the whole pot, all by myself. Oh, the joys of being young.

This vegan broccoli cheddar soup is SO much better than those boxed soup mixes I used to eat. My sixteen year old self would’ve gladly taken this over the junky packaged (but, let’s be honest, delicious) stuff I was so fond of eating at the time. And I think I wouldn’t have even known that this version dairy-free.

Let’s talk about how it’s made!

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  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Cheesy Vegan Soups
  • Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute with another high-heat oil, such as canola or coconut oil if you’d like.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Vegetable broth.
  • Potato. We’re using a russet potato because it’s super starchy and will give our soup the best silky texture.
  • Carrot.
  • Raw cashews. It’s really important that they’re raw. Roasted cashews will mess with the flavor of your soup.
  • Non-dairy milk. Use something that’s unsweetened and unflavored. I like this soup best with almond milk.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes. Don’t confuse these with baker’s yeast — they’re two totally different things! Nutritional yeast will add a savory, cheesy flavor to your soup. Look for it in the natural foods section of your supermarket.
  • Hot sauce. A mild, vinegar based hot sauce works best, and will actually add to the cheesy flavor of your soup. It will add a little kick though, so if you can’t handle the heat add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice instead. I’m a big fan of Cholula in this soup.
  • White miso paste. This will also make your soup taste extra cheesy. Look for it in the international foods section of your supermarket. If you absolutely insist on skipping this ingredient you’ll need to season the soup with extra salt.
  • Broccoli. The recipe calls for fresh broccoli, because that’s what works best in this recipe. However, if you happen to have some frozen broccoli on hand that you’d like to use up, just thaw it and drain any excess water before adding it to your soup. It will only need a very brief simmer to heat up once you add it to the soup.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Fresh chives. These are totally optional, but they make a great topping for vegan broccoli cheese soup.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by heating your oil in a large pot and adding diced onion. Sweat the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to soften up, then add the garlic and cook everything for a minute more.
  • Stir in the broth, chopped and peeled potato, chopped carrot, and raw cashews. Bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup until the veggies are soft.

Note: Lots of recipes will have you soak your cashews in water before getting started, but that’s not required here because we’re boiling them instead. Soaking won’t hurt anything though, so feel free to do it if you’re concerned about texture. Just cover them with water and let them sit for 4 to 8 hours, rinse, then drain them.

  • Transfer your soup to a blender or food processor and blend everything together until smooth. Always be super careful when blending hot liquids.
  • Return your soup to the pot and stir in the milk, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, miso paste, and milk. Keep stirring until everything has been incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the broccoli florets and continue simmering until they’re bright green and tender.
  • Take the pot off of the burner, season the soup with salt and pepper, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
  • Top your soup with chopped fresh chives and dig in!

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan broccoli cheddar soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing this soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this soup gluten-free?

It is!

Can I blend this soup with an immersion blender?

I don’t recommend it. Getting cashews smooth with an immersion blender would probably be challenging, and because they’re so small you’ll probably miss a few.

Why isn’t there any vegan cheese in this soup?

Because instead of using store-bought vegan cheese for this recipe, we’re basically making our own vegan cheese with the mixture of cashews, veggies and seasonings. No prepackaged, processed vegan cheese needed!

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