I have scary memories of all of those “Cream of” canned soups.
For some reason my dad used to love those canned soups. Depending on the day it could’ve been Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Broccoli, or Cream of Chicken. He’s probably eating one right now, actually. I’d watch in fear as he cranked open the can, plunked the soup into a pot (which of course, came out in a single can-shape), and added a can of milk to break apart the “soup jello”.
I was not down with that, even at the wise age of 8.
I always preferred to eat soup that didn’t come out in a single lump. Clear broths, like vegetable soup, were more my style. I also loved canned tomato soup like nobody’s business, especially with a million saltines crumbled over top. The saltines would get all mushy and saturated with tomato soup, allowing me to crush even more on top. Paired with a grilled cheese, that was just about my favourite meal as a kid.
Even though I never did take a liking to those creamed canned soups, I will admit a creamy soup sounds so comforting this time of the year. I figured I could probably come up with something a lot healthier and less processed in my own kitchen.
And with any luck…something that didn’t look like grey Jell-O.
After the weekend’s crazy holiday hijinks, I was craving comfort food, but I also wanted something that snuck in a bit of green. My recipe brainstorming session was pretty short because I was working at 30% functionality.
Idea #1: Roast broccoli and pour my 5-min cheeze sauce all over it. That sounded wonderful, but not quite a meal.
Idea #2: Make Cream of Broccoli soup made with cashew cream instead of dairy cream. I wasn’t really feeling the cashew cream though, so I tossed that idea for now.
Idea #3: I combined my broccoli and cheeze idea with my soup idea to make creamy Broccoli and Cheeze soup.
Idea #4: Toast bread and slather Earth Balance and garlic powder all over it. Forget the greens.
If it hadn’t been for this 12 days of healthy dinner challenge, I would’ve gone for idea #4! But my goal was a meal, so I compromised and combined ideas #3 and #4…
Broccoli & Cheeze Soup
Healthy comfort food at its finest! This soup combines my love for broccoli and cheeze sauce, while doing without the cream or cheese. The prep is quite lengthy due to all the chopping, so I suggest using an electric chopper or processor if you want to speed things up. I finished the soup with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and Daiya cheese. Enjoy with your favorite croutons or even some breadsticks for dipping would be lovely. I didn’t have any croutons so I just double toasted some bread, spread it with Earth Balance, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Yum!
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4-4.5 cups chopped broccoli florets (2 heads, stems removed)
- 1.5 cups peeled & chopped potatoes (about 3)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
- Low-fat vegan cheeze sauce, divided (see below for recipe)
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
- herbamare & onion powder, to taste
- Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley, plus more to garnish
- Daiya cheese, to garnish
- Smoked Paprika, to garnish (optional)
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, onion, and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5-6 mins.
2. Add in the celery, broccoli, and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Now, add the broth, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper and simmer for another 15 mins or so until the potatoes are just fork tender.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your cheeze sauce (see below) while the soup simmers.
4. Carefully transfer the soup (in two batches) into a blender. Blend until almost smooth (I left it a bit chunky, but you can blend as much as you wish) and place back into the pot. Stir in the cheeze sauce, reserving 1/3 cup for later.
5. Stir in optional lemon juice, salt, pepper, and optional herbamare all to taste. Finally, stir in the minced parsley and spoon into bowls.
6. Top the soup with croutons, Daiya cheese, remaining cheeze sauce, and smoked paprika.
This soup was quite a lot of work, due to all the chopping. If you want to save time you can use a food processor or electric chopper to speed things up. Or maybe bribe your loved one to do it for you?
If you figure out how to do that, please let me know.
While the soup is simmering, make the cheeze sauce in a medium-sized saucepan. This sauce comes together in under 10 mins, so it’s the perfect busy work while you are waiting for the soup.
Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce (double batch)
Adapted from here. I basically just doubled my old recipe and added a couple extra spices.
- 1.5 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup milk until all clumps are gone.
3. Whisk in the remaining milk (1.25 cups) as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot. Now whisk in the nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to low-medium.
4. Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently over low heat until the sauce thickens up, for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat once thick.
Set aside the cheeze sauce, and carefully transfer the soup in a blender in two batches (or just use an immersion blender!) and blend until almost smooth. I left it a bit chunky, but you can blend as much or as little as you wish.
Now stir in the cheeze sauce, reserving 1/3 cup for later:
Now we’re talking.
I also stirred in about 1/4 cup of Daiya cheese, but that is optional. Add the rest of the spices and seasonings to taste.
Serve with croutons, remaining cheeze sauce drizzled over top, a sprinkle of Daiya cheeze, and smoked paprika.
It’s creamy, filling, and healthy while satisfying a major craving for comfort food. Sadly, it didn’t last long…
Previous 12 Days of Healthy Dinner Recipe posts:
1) Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole
2) Over The Rainbow Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing
Many of you may know that I use (and love) Recipage, the recipe organizational system for bloggers. I wanted to pass along the exciting news that Recipage is now FREE for all users!
Want to see it in action? Check out my recipage and see how easy it is to search for ingredients, courses, and specific recipes.
I found this recipe an hour ago and HAD to make it immediately. I just finished my first bowl…WOWZA! I will be sneaking this into my Thanksgiving casserole for sure! I added a heaping tablespoon of Vegenaise to cream it up a bit more…I do this to all of my creamy dishes and it works wonders.
mmm veganaise would be amazing!
Hi! So I tried the broccoli and cheese soup but it turned out bland. I did use frozen broccoli so maybe that was why. Has anyone else tried this recipe with success?
All the other recipes I have tried were amazing!!
Hi Renee, Do you think the frozen broccoli may have diluted the soup? Maybe it would benefit from extra seasonings or a bit of vinegar to finish in this case. Goodluck if you try it again!
This was an absolutely delicious soup! Very hearty and filling. I made a savory cornbread studded with roasted corn to go along with it. It was actually pretty easy and quick to come together – since I knew I was going to blend it, I chopped everything fairly large. Thanks for a great recipe!
I just made this soup and it’s a keeper for sure! My husband, who is almost anti-vegan, liked it too! Thank you.
I’m new to your site which I love by the way. I made this soup tonight and it was out of this world. My husbands first words were you have to make this again. I made it without the potatoes because I didn’t have any, and it was still really creamy and delicious. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Angela, just made this soup and it is absolutely fantastic!!! I’m finding that I spend more time on your blog now than any other, and I’ve made well over 10 recipes now that all have been exceptionally delicious!
Really, I don’t know how you do it but your recipes are guaranteed hits not just with me but with my husband, who each time I have made something from your site tastes it, shakes his head and says “Is this REALLY vegan?” It makes me laugh each time, and this soup was a big hit with him as well as with me! Thanks again!!
This soup is sublime! It’s creamy, a little spicy, really delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! My husband loved it!
I know this recipe is old, but I’m a new vegan and I just stumbled upon your site a few weeks ago. I am eating this soup right now, and I just couldn’t help but leave a comment over how delicious it is! I love it. Also, I saved some of the cheese sauce to make a spaghetti squash “mac & cheese” tomorrow! My taste buds are so glad you do what you do!
EVERYONE loved it. made it for the whole non vegan family. 2 -7 year olds and non vegan hubbie..!!
So glad to hear this Amanda!
I made this soup and the 4 layer avocado sandwich for supper and even my omnivore hubby LOVED them both! Woot!
These are dishes I’ll be making over and over again.
Thanks so much
Just came across this soup and it looks delicious! I want to make this soup for dinner tomorrow but I was wondering what your take is on me substituting the potatoes with sweet potatoes? Do you think it would work?
Thats a good question – to be honest I’m not sure! It’s worth a shot probably. Or you could sub half the potatoes for parsnips too?
I made a modified version of this last night and it was delicious! I’m so excited I made enough for leftovers today for lunch! Thank you for bringing broccoli cheese soup back into my life, it’s something I thought I’d never have again after giving up dairy and meat!
I just made this soup for my mom and we couldn’t get enough of it!! I can’t tell you how much I truly love your blog! I am never disappointed when I use your recipes (and I use your recipes almost exclusively)! Thanks so much for your hard work!! :)
Fantastic Soup! This is the best broccoli cheeze soup I’ve eaten. I’ve been struggling with turning vegan and haven’t been able to get the “right” taste yet. This soup did the trick. It was one of the first times I didn’t miss dairy. I hope this is in your upcoming cookbook.
Just made this soup on this cold snowy day. I just love it. It is a labor of love but SO worth it. I made a double batch of your double batch of cheese sauce so that I could make a good Mac & chs later. I also didn’t have any white potatoes so I subbed sweet potatoes and it was still just as great. My husband came in from clearing snow to a nice hot bowl and said, Did YOU really make this? Oh, nice…Thanks, hon. So thanks again for a great recipe that my husband thinks I couldn’t possibly have made. Haha
Made this tonight. It was a big hit! Some liked it with the smoked paprika, but most preferred it without.
Thanks for another great recipe!
Made the recipe but substituted canned chickpeas for potatoes and it turned out great! Was initially dubious regarding the nutritional yeast but am a convert now! Love this site and colorful photos!
Yum, super Delish. I used sweet potatoes, it’s all I had on hand. Satisfied my craving. Thanks for an easy yum recipe.
This is one of my favorite soups I’ve discovered since changing my diet! My husband and I love it! I did add a little extra dijon mustard to the soup though! My husband loves this soup too!
Just made this soup (2+ years after everyone else) and it’s divine. I don’t know if my nonvegan boyfriend will agree … he was excited to hear I was making Broccoli Cheese soup and triple-checked that it was going to be “real” … but if he doesn’t like it, alas, more for me.
We didn’t have raw potatoes but did have leftover roasted yukon golds, so I chopped and added those. I also used the broccoli stems after trimming the funny-looking bits off. The food processor makes this very easy to prep. I pureed about 3/4 of it and left the rest chunky, as I like texture. It’s very, very thick. I like my soup a little “spicier” so added more cayenne. I am this minute finishing my first bowl and resisting having a second!
Now I HOPE we get more broccoli in our weekly farm box, rather than dread it! Thanks, Angela.
So glad I stumbled across this recipe! Just made it and it’s delicious :) thanks!
I too ate lots of cream of…..in casseroles. Never did care for those either! Your soup, like all of your other dishes looks fantastic! When making the cheese sauce, would it still come out good/the same if I left out the Earth Balance? I eat WFPBNO. I always sub oil for broth but not sure on this butter thing. Thanks! And Thank You for your wonderful recipes!
I wish there was a way to make this a recipe for two :(
Wow this is great! worth the effort- very comforting!
This was a wonderful recipe. My daughter even loved it (and took seconds) and she usually turns up her nose at anything “vegan”. :) Thank you so much for your website! I love following along and being able to make delicious nutritious food for my family.
This was yummy! It especially gets better the longer you eat it. I would def make again! Thanks!
I love your recipes and use them to make my weekly meals beforehand. This is one of the few recipes that didn’t work out for me. I’m not sure if it’s the nutritional yeast, but the flavor is very off putting and the result was a bit watery. Any advice?
Your recipes never fail me! I was looking for a broccoli soup that was dairy free but still creamy delicious and this is it.
Also, I can’t wait to douse some roasted broccoli with that cheeze sauce soon. So good. Thanks for sharing!
I cooked this for my family last night/ it was amazing!
I have been craving this soup that places do not sell gluten or dairy free/ but that’s ok now bc this one is way better!
I used sweet potatoes and left it chunky.
Great job Angela, it’s now one of my fav soups! And it was easy!
Just made this (a few years late!) And its unbelievable!!! Reminds me of broccoli cheddar from my panera pre-vegan days!!!! New winter staple for sure!!!
Absolutely love this soup! Made it last week for the first time and today again :) Your cheeze sauce might be my new favorite thing :D
I made extra Yukon gold potatoes and mashed them up on the bottom of each bowl with a little salt, pepper, and earth balance since I didn’t have croutons or bread. I followed the recipe for the soup almost exactly and it is absolutely wonderful.
I just made this for the same reason you mentioned in the blog – post holiday, still in need of comfort food but desperate for more veggies! It was getting a little non veggie carb heavy over here. Thanks for keeping me happy and healthy!
I made this last night and it turned out great! Just blitzed it with my immersion blender without dramas. I will definitely be making it again! The only thing I would recommend to others would be to perhaps just add the 1/4 tsp cayenne to the soup or cheese sauce initially, and then add more if you feel you need it. I found adding this to both components made the spice overpower the broccoli and it’s more like spicy cheese soup. Still delicious though! Thanks for another great recipe!
AMAZING RECIPE!! I made this Broccoli and Cheese Soup recipe and served it in bread bowls. Turned out to be one of our family favorites instantly. I love the cheese sauce recipe and plan on using it again on taco night – just adding some spices to turn it up!
Thank you for all of the great dairy free recipes! Your Mac & Cheese is awesome too!!
Hi Angela! Do you think I could substitute the all purpose flour with arrowroot powder? Soup looks amazing :)
Two great recipes in one with this soup. I’ve just made it and thinking about how else I might use the cheese sauce. Most delicious! I added extra cayenne and I highly recommend this.
I am absolutely making this soup tonight after work! I’ve made soo many of your soups in big batches to take for work lunches throughout the week and I currently have all the ingredients for this one!I :D Next up will be your tortilla soup…mmmm can’t wait to give it a whirl. I have yet to be disappointed with a recipe..
This soup was amazing! I made it for me and my non-vegan boyfriend tonight and we both agreed that it was the best soup that we have ever tasted! It was perfect on a cold night!
This is th ebest soup ever! And our 6 years old kid loved it too! I replaced the celery with fresh lovage leaves from our veggie patch.
This soup was a big hit! My husband and I both loved it. It was surprisingly quick and easy to make on a weeknight! I used two decent sized russet potatoes and two bunches broccoli, and the pot was stuffed to the gills! Because of all the veggies I decided to toss in an entire container of veggie stock (32oz) and it worked perfectly. The cheeze sauce was also to die for. Don’t skip the lemon juice – that really enhance the cheesy flavor! I luckily had an end of a several day old baguette that I chopped up and tossed into the oven for croutons. Didn’t have any parsley or daiya but smoked paprika is my favorite spice so that was a perfect finishing compliment! We will definitely be making this one again – I feel stuffed after two big bowls but not bloated like I would after a bit of dairy soup!
I made this yesterday and I replaced the flour with cornstarch. I felt that it tasted too much of nutritional yeast. And I love nutritional yeast.
Girl! I just got done making this now and holy.. mother… of….. God. Usually if I make something vegan it’s just “okay”, my boyfriend reaction is usually “meh, it’s alright” and I never make it again. I had 2 tubs of nutritional yeast sitting around that I never use because I have no idea how to incorporate it with something and I’m afraid of ruining an entire recipe based on one false move. Not the case with this. Omg I am licking the spoon as I write and I don’t care! I added a bit more cayenne because I love everything spicy and I didn’t have the right mustard but it still worked out. Yes it’s a bit of prep work but not too bad and may I say worth it? Than you a million times for making this and taking the time to share! I swear this newfound “cheese” recipe is going to make future appearances in other recipes, this is def a keeper as is the dish as a whole. If trying out vegan recipes seems scary and overwhelming def try this one, I am in love! Thank you thank you! <3 <3
Forgot to mention that not only did I use broccoli but cauliflower as well since it was about to go baf, still a winner!
I’m going to make this for my Christmas Eve starter thank you! Looks delicious! x
Omg sooooooo increasibly amazing. Can not stop eating it.
Can this soup be frozen? Looks delicious!
This turned out delicious! It’s surprising that you can give it a cheesy flavor. I didn’t make the cheese sauce as I can’t eat almonds or flours, so I just added in the spices and dijon to the soup. I would consider a bit less cayenne next time for my personal tastes. Thank you again for an amazing recipe
I’ve made this before but I’ve actually made this today and this soup is AWESOME! Oh She Glows recipes are my fave and a hit everytime. I am never disapointed. My meat and potatoes bf is heating up a bowl right now..shhhh don’t tell him it’s vegan lol ??❤???
Lol, our secret, Nia! ;) So glad the soup’s a hit.
Hi! I am dying to make this soup, but I have to avoid almond milk because of a nut allergy in the family.What would be a good nut-free substitute for the almond milk?
You could probably use an unflavoured unsweetened rice milk, or maybe oat or quinoa milk? I haven’t tried either though. Let me know if you try anything out!
This looks so delicious and I plan on making it later this week.
Have you frozen this one before? Does it freeze well? I am hoping to load my freezer this next week!