A couple years ago, right before starting to eat vegan, I tried Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup for the first time and fell in love. After my diet and lifestyle change, however, it was to my dismay that I discovered the soup wasn’t even vegetarian! I then had to accept that particular soup as no longer being an option to order anymore. But just like all the other non-veg foods I “gave up”, as delicious as the soup was, it couldn’t compare to how happy and healthy I felt after removing meat and dairy from my diet.
That being said, I wasn’t ready to give up the soup entirely. So after some research and inspiration (mostly from the great Chef Chloe), I have created my own vegan version of Broccoli Cheddar Soup! This recipe takes the wonderful creamy and comforting aspects of Panera’s version, but it’s heartier, healthier, and has a fresher flavor that I honestly like better. This is a great soup for the cold winter months that is completely guilt-free when serving seconds.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, roughly chopped
- 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 2 cups Unsweetened Nondairy Milk
- 1 head of Broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 3/4 cup Vegan “Cheddar Cheese” Shreds (I use Daiya brand)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, generously season with salt, and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add broccoli florets, and stir until ingredients are well mixed. Pour in vegetable broth and nondairy milk, and bring soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until broccoli becomes tender.
- Use an immersion or standard blender to partially puree the soup, so it will mostly be blended with some pieces of broccoli remaining intact. If using a standard blender, blend the soup in batches, and return it to the pot once finished.
- Over low heat, add the shredded carrot, nutritional yeast, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix well. Then stir in vegan cheese until completely melted and incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Choose to serve in normal bowls or sourdough bread bowls. Garnish with vegan cheese, shredded carrot, and parsley leaves.