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Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup


A most decadent, CHEESY & COMFORTING Soup, and it's all VEGAN! Way BETTER than Panera!


Panera was one of those places that I begrudgingly used to go to on my lunch break when I was a working stiff. Y'know, it's edible, it gets the job done. But I was never like "HELL YEAH, we're going to PANERA for LUNCH!"


Now if the soup there was as good as this, then yes, I might've played air guitar and high fived everybody on my way to eat lunch, but that was not the case. Not only is this Broccoli Cheddar soup way better, it's also super easy to put together (maybe not as easy as ordering from Panera, but you'll be a lot happier whilst cooking it!)


This soup is perfect for Fall and Winter, and it begs to be scooped up with some crusty bread. You can do a bread bowl of course, but I always find that the bowl overshadows the soup, but that's just my personal preference naturally!


 

RECIPE NOTES


The Cheese


I'm using 8 oz of shredded vegan cheddar cheese. However, if you don't have access / don't want to use that stuff, feel free to simply add in more nutritional yeast until it's as cheesy as you like. The soup is honestly pretty good before adding the cheese, so I think that will be a good substitute!


The Veggies


I'm using a traditional medley of carrots, celery and shallots (onions work too) and garlic, but you could totally throw whatever you like in there. For the broccoli, I took a short cut and used some bagged broccoli so I didn't have to deal with the bulky stems. I also tore them into smaller bite size pieces. I recommend doing 2 - 3 cups worth, I prefer more broccoli so I used 3 as 2 felt like it was missing some broccoli.


The Cashew Cream


To make the soup extra decadent we'll be making a quick cashew cream. You can also use any vegan heavy cream you like as well. In fact, you should be able to use some full fat coconut milk instead of cashew cream too. I've never personally used it, but I've seen others use it for this soup with success.

 

here's a HANDY DANDY video too!


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RECIPE

Makes about 6 Servings


Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk

Soup

  • 5 Tbsp vegan butter (divided)

  • 1 cup grated (or chopped) carrots

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup chopped shallots or onion

  • 2 - 3 cups broccoli florets (broken up into bite size pieces)

  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 5 Tbsp flour

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 Tbsp mushroom seasoning

  • 3 cups vegan chicken broth (veggie broth is fine too)

  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk

  • 3/4 cup Cashew Cream

  • 8 oz. shredded vegan cheddar cheese (or more nutritional yeast to taste)

  • Salt & Pepper to taste


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. To make the cashew cream, soak the cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes. Then drain them and blend in a high speed blender with the 1 cup of unsweetened plant milk. You'll probably have some leftover cashew cream to use in other dishes too.

  2. Next melt 1 Tbsp vegan butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and then add in the celery and shallots / onion. Stir to get them all nice and coated and cook down for about 8 minutes or until they begin to soften a bit.

  3. Add in the mushroom seasoning, nutritional yeast and then the minced garlic. Stir around and cook for 1 minute making sure to not burn the garlic!

  4. Add 4 Tbsp of vegan butter and stir to melt. Once melted, whisk in the flour. I recommend doing this a tablespoon or so at time and whisking in, and then adding in more flour once it's combined. Repeat this process until all the flour is whisked in.

  5. Next do the same with the vegan chicken broth, add about a 1/2 cup or so and whisk to combine, then add in more until it's also whisked in. Repeat this with 1 cup of unsweetened plant milk and 3/4 cup of the cashew cream.

  6. Next add in the carrots and broccoli, stir to distribute, then bring to a heavy simmer. Cover and simmer for 8 - 15 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you like your veggies. I would say check every 5 minutes or so.

  7. Once veggies are cooked to your liking, add in the vegan cheddar shreds and whisk to melt. Once melted, taste and adjust for seasoning, add in more plant milk if the soup is too thick, and serve immediately!

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