Satisfy your craving for comfort food with this super creamy and ultra cheesy vegan broccoli cheddar soup! This soup is made with all plant-based ingredients, it's ready in less than 1 hour, and it's free of dairy, gluten, and oil. Slow cooker instructions are also included.
This vegan broccoli cheddar soup is rich, loaded with broccoli, and it has the best cheddar cheesy flavor! It’s super creamy without using any butter, processed vegan cheese, or heavy cream. If you love satisfying, plant-based, comfort food meals that are easy to make and are ready in less than one hour, you should definitely give this delicious vegan broccoli cheddar soup recipe a try!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This vegan broccoli cheese soup recipe is easy to make with a combination of fresh vegetables and pantry staples. Let's go over the most important ingredients and substitutions if you need them.
- Potatoes - These starchy root veggies make the texture of the soup so thick and creamy! I like to use russet potatoes, but you could also use Yukon gold potatoes. Cauliflower can be used for a low-carb option.
- Carrots - This ingredient is used for flavor and for color. You can substitute red bell peppers.
- Cashews - These creamy nuts make the soup taste rich and buttery. Make sure to use raw nuts. You can substitute raw sunflower seeds for a similar texture.
- Nutritional Yeast - This is what gives broccoli cheese soup its cheesy cheddar flavor!
- Almond Milk - Nut milk adds to the creaminess of the soup. You can use any nut milk that you have, as long as it's unsweetened and not vanilla-flavored.
- Broccoli - You can use fresh or frozen broccoli to make this soup.
- Turmeric - A little bit of turmeric gives this soup the perfect yellow cheddar cheese color!
How to Make Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
In a large dutch oven, saute the diced onion and garlic. (Photo 1) Add the potatoes, carrots, raw cashews, salt, and water (Photo 2). Bring it to a simmer and then reduce the heat and let it cook until everything is soft and tender.
Add all of the cooked vegetables, dry seasonings, apple cider vinegar, and almond milk to a high-speed blender (this is the Vitamix blender that I use) and blend it on high until it’s smooth and creamy (Photo 3 & 4). It should look like melted cheddar cheese.
Pour the cheddar cheese sauce back into the pan along with the rest of the almond milk and increase the heat until it's bubbling a little bit (Photo 5). Add the broccoli and lemon juice and let it cook until the broccoli is tender but not mushy (Photo 6).
I usually serve the soup with a couple of slices of toasted crusty bread to dip or in a bread bowl with a side of avocado arugula tomato salad, but you could also serve it drizzled over baked potatoes or rice. Trust me, it's delicious. Any of the following side dishes would be delicious with it too!
- Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts
- Lemon Garlic Asparagus
- Roasted Beetroot and Feta Salad
- Lemon Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
- You don't need to pre-soak the cashews because they'll soften when they're cooking with the potatoes and carrots.
- Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to blend the soup in batches.
- If your blender cup doesn't have a heat vent on the top, you should wait for the hot vegetables to cool completely before blending them.
- You can also use an immersion stick to blend the soup, but it might take a little bit longer to get a smooth texture.
- Cut the broccoli florets into small, bite-sized pieces so the soup is easier to eat.
- Don't discard the broccoli stems, they are 100% edible! You can cut them into small pieces and add them to the soup along with the rest of the florets. If you only want the florets for this recipe, you can freeze the diced stems and use them to make vegetable barley soup.
Sure! I often use frozen vegetables instead of fresh and it tastes just as good. You can add the frozen broccoli directly to the soup or you can let it defrost in the fridge overnight if you want to cut it into smaller pieces.
Sure! Put all of the ingredients (except for the broccoli) into a large slow cooker and set it to cook on High for 3 hours. Then puree the soup in a blender and pour it back into the slow cooker. Stir in the broccoli, replace the lid, and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
The vegan cheddar cheese sauce in this soup is made with veggies! You can add shredded vegan cheddar cheese if you want, but it's not necessary. It really won't add anything to the flavor or texture of this soup.
Store the leftover vegan broccoli cheddar soup in the fridge for 3-4 days. You could also freeze leftover soup. Put the soup in an airtight and freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for 2-3 months.
When you're ready to eat it, take the soup out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge for 24 hours. Then you can reheat the soup in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat on the stovetop. You may need to add a little bit of broth or water to the soup if it's too thick.
Want More Creamy Vegan Recipes?
- Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Sunflower Seed Vegan Cream Cheese
- Zesty Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
- Creamy Mushroom Soup
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Large Stock Pot or 6-Qt Dutch Oven
- ½ cup vegetable broth or water (to saute)
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 5 medium garlic cloves minced
- 3 ½ cups russet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 ½ cups carrots sliced
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chili pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt divided
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 lbs broccoli (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- In a large 6-qt dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the diced onion in ½ cup of broth or water until it's soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add a little bit more liquid if it gets too dry.
- Next, add the potatoes, carrots, cashews, ½ tsp salt, and 3 cups of water to the pot. Bring it to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium and cover it. Let it cook for 20 minutes or until everything is soft.
- While the vegetables and cashews are cooking, prep the broccoli. If you use the whole broccoli crown, cut 1 ½ - 2 inches off the bottom of the stem (it's really tough and fibrous) and then dice the rest of the stem. You don't need to peel it first. Cut the florets into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Carefully transfer the vegetable and cashew mixture to a large blender cup along with 1 cup almond milk, ½ cup nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp chili pepper flakes, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Blend on high until it’s smooth and creamy. You may need to work in batches if your blender cup isn't big enough.
- Pour the puree back into the pot and stir in the remaining 3 cups of almond milk. Increase the heat to medium and bring the soup to a low simmer. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and put it into the pot. Let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the broccoli is tender but not mushy.
- Finish with 2 tbsp of lemon juice and add more salt and pepper to taste. Add more broth or water if the soup is too thick.
*This recipe was originally posted on 5/2/17 but I updated it on 2/23/21.