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Vegan Broccoli Cheese soup in a white cup with toast

Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup

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This Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup tastes very rich and sinful, but it’s actually a healthy soup. Don’t let the word healthy scare you off. It’s stealthy-healthy. The magic is in the chickpeas blended into the soup base. This soup is so yummy and so great to come home to on a cold day!

I have a friend in another state who is convinced that Ryan and I “eat broccoli leaves all day.” I would love to make her this soup, which actually doesn’t have broccoli leaves in it. I pull the leaves off when I prep the broccoli. However, I’m not sure how to ship soup across state lines and soup might be a weird thing for her to get in the mail. The point is — this soup is amazing and meant to be shared.

Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup is even better topped with:

Salt level

Recently I learned (from the internet) that people, including but not limited to military people, were once paid in salt. I used to think the expression, “worth his or her salt” had to do with the salt content of actual human beings as opposed to the salt human beings were paid as a salary. It was very Soylent Green of me to think that way.

A few things to consider about salt when making this soup:

  • You can lightly salt your broccoli when roasting it.
  • Miso, lemon, unfortified nutritional yeast, and broth all contain salt or salt amplifying ingredients.
  • Your can of chickpeas might have added salt
  • When you garnish this soup with Garlic Shake, which is highly recommended, you’ll be adding a smack of garlic and salt.
  • If you are using 1 cup of water instead of 2 to make thicker soup, wait to salt until you have tasted the soup.

Nooch

Every time I post a recipe containing nooch, a.k.a. nutritional yeast, I end up explaining that I prefer and recommend Unfortified Nutritional Yeast. The fortified stuff can taste very synthetic and vitamin-y. This is especially true when using a lot of nooch in a recipe. This recipe uses a good amount of nooch. If you are convinced that you dislike nutritional yeast there is a very good chance that you have had the fortified kind. For me, there is a world of difference in flavor between the two.

Let’s Make This Yummy Soup

Roast That Broccoli

First, preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with a sil-mat or parchment paper. You can use a naked pan if you don’t mind a little more clean up.

Next, chop the broccoli head into florets and slice the stem into thin coins, removing the leaves. If using extra broccoli as a garnish, do the same with this extra broccoli, leaving it separate from the broccoli for the soup.

Stirring the broccoli to coat it with olive oil. By Plant Test Kitchen
Stirring the broccoli to coat it with olive oil

Coat the broccoli for the soup with oil and place it on the pan, spreading it out. Then coat the rest of the broccoli for garnish (if using) with oil and put it off to the side of the pan or on another lined pan so that you will know that it doesn’t go in the blender later. Lightly salt and pepper the broccoli.

I put stem pieces next to the garnishing broccoli so that I will be able to keep it separate.
This broccoli has been roasted in the oven for 8 minutes and is ready to flip and go back into the oven.
This broccoli has been roasted for 8 minutes and is ready to flip and go back into the oven.

Then, place the broccoli in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check and flip the broccoli at 8 minutes. The roasting time depends on the size of your florets and slices. Ideally, the broccoli will be browning and cooked through. Sometimes broccoli looks burnt when it is not burnt.

Broccoli that has been oven-roasted for 15 to 20 minutes
Close up of browned roasted broccoli
Water for in the pot for a double-batch of Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup
Gathered garnishing broccoli that has been set aside.

Gather garnishing broccoli (if using) and set aside, this broccoli will not be going in the blender.

Put The Water In The Pot

Add the 1 – 2 cups of water to your pot and set it aside on the stove.

Water for in the pot for a double-batch of Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup
Water for in the pot for a double-batch of Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup
Lemon cut half ready to juice next to the juicer with broccoli in the background.
Lemon cut in half ready to juice next to the juicer

Blender Time

In the blender combine chickpeas, unfortified nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, pepper, tomato paste, miso, liquid smoke, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, and broth. Blend until smooth. Then add the roasted broccoli, leaving out the extra roasted broccoli for garnish (if using). Blend until mostly smooth; small chunks of broccoli are nice.

Blending Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup in a blendtec blender
Blending Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup

Simmer & Serve

Not the prettiest thing ever, adding the blended mixture to the pot with water in it
Not the prettiest thing ever: adding the blended mixture to the pot with water in it

Pour the blended mixture into the pot with the 2 cups of water. Cook, stirring over medium heat, for about 2 minutes. Then reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 8 minutes, or longer if desired, stirring occasionally.

Simmering and stirring a double-batch

Taste and adjust salt, pepper to preference, if desired. Remove from heat and serve garnished with the extra roasted broccoli (if using), Garlic Shake or Coconut Bacon Flakes.  

A ladle of Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup
cheesy vegan broccoli soup in a white cup with bread
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5 from 2 votes

Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup

This Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup tastes very rich and sinful, but it’s actually a healthy soup. Don’t let the word healthy scare you off. It’s stealthy-healthy. The magic is in the chickpeas blended into the soup base.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, French, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword cheddar flavor, cheesy, classic, Comfort Food, creamy, healthy-ish, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings of approximately 2 cups
Calories 201kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Large head of broccoli including stems (about 1 lb or 500 g) more for garnishing if desired
  • 1 – 2 TBSP olive oil (non-virgin) or other neutral high smoke point oil like avocado oil
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz or 425g) rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup unfortified nutritional yeast I highly recommend unfortified, the fortified stuff can taste vitamin-y and synthetic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (the juice from one lemon)
  • 1 TBSP white miso you can sub chickpea miso in you have a soy allergy
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups prepared better than bouillon no chicken vegetarian base 2 teaspoons base + 2 cups water or 2 cups other "no-chicken" broth or base
  • 1-2 cups water this doesn't go in the blender (for thicker soup use 1 cup water and skip salting until you've tasted it)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (may want to skip if using only one cup water) You may want more if using "no salt added" chickpeas, I like to start low and add to taste preference. The miso, broth and lemon juice bring some salt vibes already, so salt with caution.
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper more to taste if desired.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with a sil-mat or parchment paper.
  • Chop the Broccoli head into florets and slice the stem into thin coins removing the leaves, if using extra broccoli as a garnish, do the same with this extra broccoli leaving it separate from the broccoli for the soup. Coat the broccoli for the soup with oil and place it on the pan, spreading it out. Then coat the rest of the broccoli for garnish (if using) with oil and put it off to the side of the pan or on another lined pan so that you will know that it doesn't go in the blender later. Lightly salt and pepper the broccoli.
  • Place the pan(s) of broccoli in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check and flip the broccoli at 8 minutes. The roasting time depends on the size of your florets and slices. Ideally, the broccoli will be browning and cooked through. Sometimes broccoli looks burnt when it is not burnt. Gather garnishing broccoli (if using) and set aside, this broccoli will not be going in the blender.
  • Add the 1-2 cups of water to your pot and set it aside on the stove.
  • In the blender combine chickpeas, unfortified nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, pepper, tomato paste, miso, liquid smoke, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, and broth. Blend until smooth. Then add the roasted broccoli, leaving out the extra roasted broccoli for garnish (if using). Blend until mostly smooth; small chunks of broccoli are nice.
  • Pour the blended mixture into the pot with the 2 cups of water. Cook, stirring over medium heat, for about 2 minutes. Then reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 8 minutes, or longer if desired, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust salt, pepper to preference, if desired. Remove from heat and serve garnished with the extra roasted broccoli (if using), or croutons, Garlic Shake or Coconut Bacon Flakes.  

Notes

For a Double-Batch: This recipe can be doubled, but you will have to blend it in batches because it won’t all fit into the blended once its been doubled. I double it a lot, it freezes well and it’s a nice soup to come home to in the fridge to heat up. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2Cups (approximate) | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1381IU | Vitamin C: 142mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe adapted from But I Could Never Go Vegan by Kristy Turner.

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

My favorite take-it-up-a-notch garnishes for this soup are:

Did you make this Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup? Any fun garnishes, alterations or serving suggestions? Would you make it again? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

Moon Juice

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! This was easy to make and super flavorful!!

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