Before going gluten-free and dairy free, a good broccoli cheese soup was one of my favorite easy meals on a cold night. It has taken a while, but I've finally come up with a vegan broccoli cheddar soup that may be better than my original recipe. Not only is it filled with broccoli and cheesy flavor, but it also has cauliflower, carrots and potatoes - so more of a hearty vegetable soup. The whole time my son was eating his bowl, I was feeling proud inside for all the vegetables I was feeding him under the guise of "cheese sauce".
How do you make cheese sauce without milk and with no nuts?
In this particular recipe, the cheese sauce is made up of blended potatoes and cauliflower, full fat coconut milk and nutritional yeast. I got the idea when making a potato soup. There are no thickeners added to potato soup, because potatoes are naturally starchy and make their own creamy thick texture when blended. I decided to try thickening the cheese in this soup with potatoes and it worked wonderfully.
This recipe uses a variety of vegetables, spices and coconut milk to create a creamy, cheese soup without cashews.
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Dry Mustard
- Lemon or Lime Juice
- Cauliflower Florets
- Russet Potatoes - I chose Russet variety because they have a little more starch and they break down easily when cooked. I have also made this soup with red potatoes and it turns out well.
- Broccoli Florets
- Coconut Milk - Use the full fat kind in a can and shake it well before opening. If you don't want to use coconut milk, the non-dairy creamer (silk brand is good) would also work well. You will need about 2 cups.
- Nutritional Yeast - While the recipe calls for ¼ cup of yeast, if you love the flavor feel free to add more. I have made it with up to 6 Tablespoons because I find some brands have a stronger flavor than others.
See the recipe card below for measurements.
STEP 1: Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the onions and cook until softened.
STEP 2: Add the garlic, spices and lemon juice and stir together. Cook about 1 minute more.
STEP 3: Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, cauliflower and carrots to the onion mixture. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until vegetables are fork tender.
STEP 4: Remove half of the cooked vegetables to a separate bowl.
STEP 5: Add the broccoli florets to the broth and remaining vegetables. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
STEP 6: Add the coconut milk and nutritional yeast to the cooked vegetables.
STEP 7: Puree the vegetables until smooth using an immersion blender. It should resemble a thick cheese sauce.
STEP 8: Pour the vegan cheese sauce into the pot with the cooked broccoli. Stir well and cook uncovered for 5 minutes more.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you're a fan of smoother soup, then feel free to puree all of the potatoes, cauliflower and carrots instead of leaving half as chunks.
- Likewise with the broccoli, you can chop it into smaller bits instead of florets to have a finer texture.
Can I make this soup without an immersion blender?
Absolutely. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can simple add your cooked vegetables directly into a countertop high speed blender. Keep the lid cracked to prevent an explosion. Blend until smooth.
If you're in the market for an immersion blender, I highly recommend this model from Cuisinart. I have had mine for almost 10 years and it gets a lot of use. It works as well as the day I opened it and it can go in the dishwasher. Win!
How long does homemade broccoli cheddar soup last?
As long as you keep your leftovers refrigerated in a closed container, this soup will last at least 4 days. The flavor is actually better on day 2, in my opinion.
I would not recommend freezing this soup, as potato soup gets weird in the freezer so the texture will probably change.
More great soup recipes:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Yellow Onion diced (½ a medium sized onion)
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Dry Mustard
- Pinch of Thyme
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice or Lime Juice
- 2 Cups Cauliflower cut into florets
- 4 Cups Potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Cup Carrots sliced to ¼" thin
- 4 Cups Broccoli cut into florets
- 15 ounce Coconut Milk full fat in the can
- ¼ Cup Nutritional Yeast up to 6 tablespoon according to your taste
- Pour oil into a large heavy bottom pan. Heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent - about 7 minutes.2 Tablespoon Olive Oil, 1 Cup Yellow Onion
- Add the garlic, spices, salt and pepper and lemon juice., again stirring occasionally, cook for 1 -2 minutes. If the onions or garlic begin to stick at any time add a small amount of broth.
- Once the onions are cooked through, add the broth, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are able to be pierced by a fork.2 Cups Cauliflower, 4 Cups Potatoes, 4 Cups Vegetable Broth, 1 Cup Carrots
- Remove half of the cooked vegetables and place in a large bowl.
- Add the broccoli to the broth and cover. Continue to cook for 10 minutes more.4 Cups Broccoli
- While the broccoli is cooking, add the coconut milk and nutritional yeast to the vegetables in the bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree them until smooth.15 ounce Coconut Milk, ¼ Cup Nutritional Yeast
- Uncover the pot. Add the "cheese" sauce mixture to the soup and stir together. If you want it to thicken, cook without the lid for up to 5 minutes more.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.