Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Feel like something cosy tonight, but there’s nothing in the fridge? Try this Cheesy Broccoli Soup – it is to die for. I’ve added cauliflower and cashews to the base, which create the most unbelievably creamy yet light and fluffy texture.
Here’s what could be hitting your taste buds this eve…
- A creamy silky soup, that’s light and fluffy at the same time
- Zero cheese, but super cheesy – using a creative combo of plant-based ingredients I’m going to show you
- Low in carbs, fat, and calories, yet seriously satiating
Why would we even care that this particular soup is lower on the carb and fat side? Because it means we can slap two glorious pieces of hot buttered toast (or these flatbreads) on the side. This is mid-winter perfection my friend – get ready to rock it in style.
How to make this Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Ingredients for this cheesy broccoli soup
So, I said you could make this with nothing in the fridge. Well – allllmost nothing. All you need that’s fresh is broccoli and cauliflower, the rest you should have stocked up already (and if you don’t, make sure you join my Cooking School to download my Pantry Staples Shopping List here).
Once you’ve got your pantry kitted out with the basics of plant-based cooking, most of my recipes should be super easy to achieve. For me – all I did before we filmed this soup, was grab a broccoli and cauli from my local fruit and vege shop on the way back from my morning run. With a teeny bit of planning and forethought (i.e. – me thinking the night before, tomorrow I’m going to make you broccoli soup), plant-based cooking can be super quick, easy, and stress free.
Righty – here’s what you’re gonna need:
- Olive oil
- Vege stock cubes/powder
- Nutritional yeast
- Dijon mustard
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Lemon juice
See? Easy right. All these things are pretty cheap too, bar the cashews, which I recommend buying in bulk to reduce the cost (we get them in 3kg bags).
Does broccoli soup actually taste good?
Before you, your kids, or your partner run for the hills, I promise this soup is freakin delicious. Here’s my proof. Night of filming this, my 7 year old Mila brought her friend home after swimming. They begged if said friend could stay for dinner, but I said, “probably not, cos I’ve made soup. “Soup?” the friend said – “I love soup”. Me: “Yeah, but it’s broccoli soup”. Friend: “I love broccoli”. Alright… here goes.
Needless to say, two bowls and four pieces of toast later, 7 year old friend had smashed back my soup, and when her mum came to pick her up, was raving about how delicious it was (and how her mum’s food needed some improvement). Well mama – here’s the recipe for you.
Nutritional benefits of broccoli
Now that I’ve convinced you on flavour profile, let’s chat nutritional stats. Starting with our humble friend, the broccoli.
Broccoli are part of the Brassicaceae or cabbage family, also home to cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens. Here are some of the reasons you’ll want to get these into your diet regularly:
- Rich in vitamin C – 100 grams of cooked broccoli contains 65 mg of vitamin C, 22% more than in the same amount of orange, and 44% over the (paltry) daily recommended intake of 45 mg/day. This equates to around 1 1/3 cups of cooked broc, which we’re easily getting per serving in this soup.
- Great source of vitamin K – 100 grams of cooked broc also contains 141 mcg of vitamin K, twice the daily adequate intake for men and women. Vit K’s best known role is in the maintenance of normal blood coagulation (i.e. the ability of your blood to clot appropriately when you cut yourself, to prevent a bleed out).
- Contains sulforaphane – a magic compound which has been shown to have potent anti-cancer properties. Indeed, for my private naturopathic and nutrition clients that have cancer, broccoli and broccoli sprouts are two key foods I recommend increasing in their diet.
To keep these three nutrients at their maximum, it’s best to only lightly cook your broccoli, either by steaming, boiling with a little water (1-2cm, then drink the cooking water after with a dash of salt), or stir-frying. Which is great news for us, as it means we’re done and dusted with this soup in just 15 minutes.
Substitution ideas for this broccoli soup
How much do you love this section? I told you I got you no matter what. Here’s what to do when you haven’t got the above items in your possession:
- Broccoli – don’t make me sub this out too often, but brussels sprouts do make a wonderful alternative to broc. They have a similar nutritional profile too being part of the brassica family. You can otherwise double the cauliflower.
- Onions – swap in ¼ of a large leek, finely sliced.
- Garlic – don’t skip this, she’s critical for flavour.
- Olive oil – coconut oil, or you can sauté just in water to drop the calorie content even further.
- Vege stock powder – I like having vege stock powder or cubes on hand at all times, as they’re easy, cheap, taste good, and I’m lazy. But if you have your own homemade stock, then go wild – swap out the water and stock powder for your homemade stuff.
- Cashews – these make it for me, but you can also use hemp seeds or sunflower seeds. Or ½ a cup of thick coconut cream from a can.
- Dijon mustard – will happily switch for wholegrain.
Tips for making the best creamy vegan soup
In order to become the Jamie Oliver of vegan soup, you need to add a bit of pizzazz. Water and vegetables alone will not cut it.
Here are some of my top tips to make the best creamy vegan soups on the planet.
- Cashews, cashews, cashews – you probably already know this by now, but cashews are ingenious for making things creamy. Note – so many recipes I see whack in 1-2 cups of the things, but honestly, ½ cup is all you need. Save your pennies and skimp on your cashews!
- Cauliflower – way cheaper than cashews, but adds a creamy texture as well as a light fluffiness that’s hard to beat. You won’t understand me until you try it, but imagine a fluffy whipped through your soup – it’s the bizo.
- Garlic and onion – if you get digestive issues from alliums, I feel for you (they add so much crazy flavour with zero effort). However, do try them cooked, as often digestive discomfort occurs mostly when they’re raw.
- Blend for at least 1 minute – we want those cashews and cauliflower blitzed to the creamiest dairy cream we can, and your trusty blender will do that. Even a stick blender or bullet will nail this soup, as I’ve added the cashews in with the soup so they’re slightly softened before blending.
How to store your soup
Leftovers will not be available if you invite small humans over, as I experienced. However, if you do, keep them in a sealed glass jar or container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Any longer than that, and pop them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Want more cosy soup recipes? Check these out too:
If you make this Cheesy Broccoli Soup, please let me know! Leave me a rating and comment below (it helps the recipe become more searchable online), and if you want to go the extra mile, tag me @begoodorganics on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 broccoli (including stems and leaves) chopped
- ½ cauliflower (including stems and leaves) chopped
- 6 c boiling water
- 6 tsp vegetable stock powder
- ½ c cashews
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp dijon mustard
- squeeze lemon juice
- Grated vegan cheese, red chilli flakes, cracked black pepper, flaky sea salt
- Add the olive to a large pot on low, and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
- Set aside a large handful of the chopped broccoli florets. Then add all remaining ingredients (including broccoli stem and leaves), except the lemon juice, and simmer for 8 minutes or until the veggies are just tender.
- Transfer to a blender, blend for 1 minute until super creamy and smooth, then pour back into the pot with the reserved broccoli florets. Pop the lid on and cook for 3 minutes until the broccoli florets are bright green but firm to bite.
- Add the lemon juice, then season to taste with more salt, pepper, and lemon as desired. Serve in bowls, topped with grated vegan cheese, red chilli flakes, cracked black pepper, and flaky sea salt, with hot (vegan) buttered toast or flatbreads on the side.
- Nut free: Use sunflower or hemp seeds instead of cashews.
- I used a large broccoli here, and ½ a medium sized cauliflower. They can differ massively in size, so if yours are tiny or massive, adjust accordingly. You want a relatively large amount broccoli, with a smaller amount of cauliflower (around ⅔ as much) for the right flavour balance.