Vegan Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup
SOUP! I haven't been this excited about a recipe in a while. I was actually going to post this next week but it's so good, I couldn't wait to share!
Soups are hands down my favorite thing to make. They are easy, can be packed with nourishing ingredients, and can develop a really deep, complex flavor. Oftentimes soup is better the second or third day once the flavors have had a chance to meld together. That is...if it lasts until the second or third day (insert gritted teeth emoji + upside down smile emoji).
I'm all about easy peasy. Speaking of easy peasy, my motto for 2018 is to work smarter, not harder. Not that I don't want to work hard, but my goal is to really streamline things in my life so that I am not wasting unnecessary time doing things that don't make my life easier and/or happier. The thing is, I know I'll actually be working harder this year than I ever have before. I have a baby, a puppy (who is sometimes more work than the baby. Seriously.), and a new job (more on that so soon!!). I'm juggling more things this year than I ever have before. Why not do it all at once right?! There will be trial and error. There will be things that seem like a fantastic idea but end up being a complete waste of my time. There will be things I spend entirely waaaayyyy too much time on that I don't end up doing anything with (been there, done that a million times).
BUT, the goal is to do less of those time wasting things. The goal is to simplify. Streamline. Declutter. Be present. Do more. But more efficiently. Easy enough right? ;)
Not only am I trying to streamline things in my professional life, but also in my personal life. I want to work smarter, not harder when I'm running errands. I want to work smarter, not harder to keep my house clean, and I want to work smarter, not harder in the kitchen. Gone are the days (at least for now) where I try an elaborate new recipe. I need efficiency, simplicity, and of course something that still tastes really good. I have less time, not less tastebuds!
Enter this soup.
It's creamy, easy to make, filled with plant-based goodness, and delicious. REALLY FREAKING DELICIOUS. All caps were necessary, trust me.
What began as an attempt to make a great vegan broccoli cheddar soup resulted in a really great vegan broccoli cheddar soup. That doesn't always happen on the first try! I'm chalking it up to eating about 500 broccoli cheddar soups in a bread bowl at Panera when I was in high school. There was nothing better than broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl, am I right? That is until this soup. I know - bold statement. Especially for a vegan "cheese" soup, but I promise, it's an absolute dream! It's creamy and cozy and comforting, but with all nourishing, plant-based ingredients. AND it's easy to make! WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER.
I also made some homemade croutons. Because dangit, if I don't have a bread bowl, I will at least have some delicious croutons in my soup. And trust me, these are easy! I actually meant to buy nice, crusty artisan bread at the grocery but realized when I got home that I completely forgot. All I had on hand was Ezekiel bread so I used that and it actually turned out great! So just know that you don't need fancy bread to make good croutons.
Serve this to a group a friends and they will be impressed. Or do what we did and finish the whole big pot of soup between the two of us in 1 day. Whoops! Either way I think you will love this recipe. For the creaminess, taste, and ease. And for the nourishing ingredients that make your bod feel amazing.
Easy peasy broccoli cheesy!
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
| Makes about 4-6 servings |
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 small lemon
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch OR arrowroot powder
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 large heads of broccoli, chopped
Easy homemade garlic croutons (optional):
- 2-4 slices crusty bread OR hearty bread such as Ezekiel bread
- 1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, red bell pepper, cauliflower, and smoked paprika. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes.
- If making croutons, preheat oven to 375F. Cut the bread into cubes. Gently toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes.
- In a blender, combine the vegetable broth with the soaked cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, and the cooled vegetables from the pot. Blend until creamy and well pureed (it might take a minute or two depending on the strength of your blender).
- Once everything is blended and creamy, add the uncooked broccoli florets. Pulse until the broccoli is incorporated but still chunky. Pour the mixture back into the soup pot. Simmer until the broccoli is soft and cooked through, about 15 minutes. *The soup will not be very thick when you first blend everything together, but not to worry, it will thicken up very nicely once heated through back on the stovetop!
- Serve with easy homemade croutons and enjoy!