The vegan version of a classic comfort food that is lighter and healthier than the original, but still has all the flavor!
I have always loved broccoli cheddar soup. Especially growing up, when I was a very picky eater and had trouble eating out.
It was always a struggle to find something I liked to eat when we were outside home, and broccoli cheddar soup was always the answer.
Even as I grew older and I could eat almost anything, that soup was still my favorite. But, with that, I also felt extremely heavy and very guilty afterwards. I looked up the nutrition facts and felt even worse.
Depending on what restaurant you get it at, broccoli cheddar soup contains about 13 grams of saturated fat (65% daily value) and 1330 mg sodium (55%) per serving.
This homemade version has less than 2 grams of saturated fat and allows you to control how much salt you put in. It is also completely vegan with plant-based ingredients for even more nutritional benefits.
It all comes down to the ingredients.
For the cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is the way to go. It is known for its cheesy and slightly nutty flavor, but it also provides numerous health benefits. Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin B, antioxidants, and minerals. It is also gluten free and dairy free. Sounds like a win-win if you ask me! 😉
For the flavor: if you want to reduce the salt, there are plenty of other ways to get flavor. My personal favorite is garlic. I could eat garlic on anything, and it pairs perfectly with this creamy broccoli soup. I actually used 3 different types of garlic: garlic powder, garlic herb seasoning, and minced garlic. Sometimes I even use garlic pepper instead of black! You can cut down on the garlic seasoning if you would like, but I recommend keeping the fresh garlic. I also use black pepper and onion powder for flavor.
For the creaminess: this is my favorite part! Why bother using fattening thickeners like butter, sour cream, or heavy cream, when you can get ultra creamy soup with vegetables? Potatoes are the secret ingredient that makes this recipe so good. When blended, it will become smooth and creamy, and the perfect consistency.
A lot of vegan recipes call for cashews to achieve that thick consistency, but I feel that potatoes are simply a better option for a few reasons.
First of all, the price. Cashews are pretty expensive, usually around $13 per pound. Potatoes on the other hand, will cost you somewhere around 50 cents.
For another thing, cashews need to soak for hours. These potatoes will roast in the oven for 20 minutes and then they’re done. Not only that, but they will also develop a delicious flavor in the oven!
Finally, potatoes provide numerous health benefits. Cashews do too of course, but I love that you can add in another serving of vegetables to your day without noticing. Potatoes are full of potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Aside from the potatoes, you can find more vegetables in this tasty soup. Broccoli, carrots, and onions provide even more health benefits and pair perfectly with the flavors.
I love this recipe because of how delicious it is, and how many health benefits it offers. Plant-based, full of veggies, and dairy free, this broccoli “cheddar” soup is sure to please even non-vegans!
If you make this recipe, or any others, share it on Instagram and tag me in your post @nutritiousdelights! I’d love to see it! ❤️
Healthy Vegan Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup
- 1 ½ cup uncooked potatoes peeled and cut into medium sized cubes
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- ¼ tsp salt plus more to taste
- ½ tsp garlic herb seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp garlic powder optional
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small/medium onion
- 1 ½ cup organic vegetable broth
- 5 cups broccoli small florets
- 1-2 medium carrots grated
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potatoes on a baking tray and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ tsp salt, garlic herb seasoning, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a blender, combine the cooked potatoes, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder. Blend until combined.
- In a medium or large pot, heat the remaining olive oil with the onion on medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the vegetable broth, broccoli, and carrots. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and mix in the potato mixture, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Serve with fresh herbs.