This Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup is totally like a warm hug in a bowl. I love a good pureed vegetable soup and this one is nutritious and satisfying, thick and creamy and tastes just like cream of broccoli soup…but it’s dairy-free and delicious!
Why I love this Creamy Soup
I love a good veggie blended soup…and this Vegan Broccoli Soup Recipe goes to town with the creamy texture and simple ingredients. It’s hearty and satisfying, freezes beautifully so it’s perfect for meal prep and it’s so economical too. Yay for some healthy broccoli that’s turned into a complete meal, with just a few minutes of prep time. Throw in some nutritional yeast for some cheesy flavor and it’s more of a Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup situation that doesn’t make me mad…at all!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Fresh broccoli: You can use the florets and the broccoli stalks, so buy whatever looks freshest at the store with tightly packed crowns, firm stems and no yellow or brown spots. Use frozen broccoli florets or substitute with cauliflower for an equally satisfying and nutritious soup.
- Vegetable Broth: Use my easy recipe for veggie broth to save money and control what goes into this main ingredient. If you do buy pre-made broth, be sure to read the ingredient label.
- Carrots, parsnips, celery: These basic ingredients are a great way to bulk up and thicken the soup.
- Onion: Hello flavor builder….don’t skip, but substitute with leeks, spring onions or green onions. Onion powder won’t give the same oomph of flavor, but it’s ok in a pinch, and better than nothing.
- Spices: Salt, pepper and thyme. Turmeric adds a beautiful yellow color and together with the black pepper, some antioxidants.
- Cashews: Use raw cashews to make a thick cashew cream to thicken the soup instead of heavy cream. You could also buy almond milk, oat milk, soy milk or another non-dairy milk in grocery stores…but I think the cashew cream makes this dairy-free broccoli soup super creamy and is worth the extra step. Also, it has just the one ingredient…make sure to read the full list of ingredients if you’re going to buy any variety of plant-based milk.
The benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables providing the daily RDA of Vitamin C in just one cup. Additionally, it has potassium, B vitamins and even some calcium and iron. What’s more, broccoli is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Consuming cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, regularly can improve detoxification, reduce the risk of cancer, support healthy digestion and provide cardiovascular support.
How to make it
Start by pouring boiling water over some raw cashews. You’ll easily turn this into cashew cream while the soup is cooking…truly the best way to make vegan soups without any processed ingredients. See the recipe card for complete recipe with measurements and directions.
Next, you’ll prep your veggies. Peel and dice the onion, carrot, parsnips and celery. Use a microplane to grate the garlic.
Trim the broccoli. Cut the broccoli stems into thin pieces and then roughly chop the crowns into pieces of similar size.
Use a couple tablespoons veggie broth or a drizzle of olive oil to saute onion in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in spices and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Next add the other diced vegetables and the garlic. Stir until the garlic is fragrant and the spices have well coated all the veggies.
Use more broth as needed so the pan doesn’t become dry.
Now you’ll add the broccoli and veggie broth and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to keep it at a low simmer for about 15 minutes, until broccoli is tender enough to puree.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Then add the cashew cream and keep blending.
Continue to blend until thick and creamy. Alternately you can transfer to a high-speed blender or food processor for an even creamier texture.
Taste and add a pinch of salt or a bit of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and nutritional yeast if desired.
Serve warm. This delicious soup can be turned into a more cheesy soup with the addition of some nutritional yeast. I like to pass it around separately so everyone can put in their desired amount.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Saute some thinly sliced mushrooms and broccoli florets in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pass around as a topping to the creamy broccoli soup. Better than croutons….I promise.
- I do this in my leek soup without potatoes recipe too…it’s a brilliant way to add nutrition, taste and texture…without adding processed food.
- This recipe makes a big batch of soup….halve it or freeze some if you don’t need a large potful. This is one of my favorite soups, so I am always happy to find some in the freezer to reheat for an awesome lunch.
How to Serve, Store, Freeze and Reheat
- Serve this hearty soup as a main dish with some crusty bread and a simple salad for a complete meal.
- Store: Let soup cool to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container. Soup will stay good in the fridge for a week.
- Freeze: Transfer to freezer safe containers and it will stay good in the freezer for 3 months. Use zip top bags for individual servings, laid flat for easy storage. OR, use super cubes and then transfer to freezer safe bags once frozen solid.
- Reheat: Reheat gently on the stove over medium-low heat until piping hot.
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Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup
- ¾ cup raw cashews soaked in hot water
- 2 onions diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 parsnips peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 6 cloves garlic pressed
- 6 cups broccoli florets approximately 2 lbs.
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- Pour boiling water over the cashews and let them soak while you prep the soup.
- Prep Veggies: Peel and dice onions, celery, carrots and parsnips. Trim broccoli. Stalks can be diced. Trim crowns into florets, setting aside 1 cup to use as topping, if desired. The rest will be pureed after it's cooked, so you can roughly chop.
- Use a large soup pot or dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Saute onions until beginning to soften. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, thyme and turmeric.Use veggie broth or olive oil, depending on what suits your dietary preferences. Then add in celery, carrots, parsnips, and garlic. Cook, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add more veggie broth 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to keep the pan from becoming too dry.
- Add broccoli and mix well. Pour in veggie stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes, until broccoli is tender.
- While the soup cooks, drain and rinse the cashews. Place in a blender or food processor with 1 cup fresh water. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set the cashew cream aside.
- When vegetables in the soup pot are tender, turn off heat. Use an immersion blender to puree to a smooth and creamy consistency. OR, transfer to a regular blender to do this. Then stir in the cashew cream, and taste for seasoning.
- Serve warm, topped with the crispy broccoli florets and sprinkle with some nutritional yeast and crushed red pepper, if desired.