This Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup is creamy and cheesy, even without the dairy! It’s made with simple ingredients and ready in only 30 minutes.
Easy and cheesy vegan broccoli cheese soup
This Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup is my go-to comfort food. Each spoonful is so thick and cheesy. It’s hard to believe that it isn’t made with dairy!
All you need are a few simple ingredients, a large pot, and a blender to put a batch of vegetarian broccoli cheddar soup together. It starts with a luscious, pureed cheese sauce base, then is elevated with fresh broccoli and vegan cheese shreds. In the end, your bowl is filled with a golden batch of cheesy, broccoli goodness!
Not only is it a sneaky veggie-packed meal, but it’s comforting too! Enjoy your creamy soup as-is or pair it with artisan bread and kale Caesar salad for a simple and cozy meal both adults and kids will love.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Olive oil – Or use vegetable broth if you want to saute the vegetables without oil.
- Potatoes – The creamy, cheesy base of the soup is made from potatoes, carrots, cashews, and nutritional yeast. Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold are best but you can use any variety you already have at home.
- Carrots – Just like this vegan cheese sauce, carrots give the soup a yellow color and slight sweetness.
- Raw cashews – Blended cashews thicken the soup like a dream. If you don’t have cashews on hand, use macadamia nuts, blanched almonds, or sunflower seeds instead. A little coconut cream works for a nut and seed free option.
- Vegetable broth
- Nutritional yeast – A must for vegan cheesy soup.
- Smoked paprika – Or use regular paprika.
- Broccoli – Chop the broccoli yourself or save a little time by using frozen broccoli or pre-chopped broccoli. You could even add more vegetables for more substance and texture, like peas, cauliflower, black beans, or celery.
- Shredded vegan cheese – Optional, but delicious! The cheese melts into the soup, making every bite super cheesy.
How to make vegan broccoli cheddar soup
Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
Start by sauteing the onion and garlic in a large oiled soup pot until they’re soft and fragrant.
Next, add in the potatoes, carrots, cashews, broth, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, and salt. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer until the vegetables are fork tender.
We boil the cashews right in the pot to get them super soft for blending!
Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth or use an immersion blender in the pot instead. Pour the blended soup back into the pot and thin it out with a little water if needed. Finish by stirring in the broccoli and vegan cheese.
Bring the broccoli soup back up to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer to cook the broccoli. Serve in individual bowls with more cheese on top, then enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Blending the broccoli – If you’re a fan of extra creamy soups, feel free to add in half of the broccoli florets when you add the potatoes. Blend until smooth, then add the rest of the broccoli. This way, the soup will have less texture and a smoother consistency.
- Nut free – The soup won’t be as thick and creamy without the cashews, but they can be left out if you need it to be nut free. Use a little coconut cream instead.
- Toppings – Top each bowl of soup with roasted broccoli florets, shredded vegan cheese, croutons, fresh parsley, or red chili flakes.
Frequently asked questions
- Can you make it in the Instant Pot? I haven’t tested this recipe in the Instant Pot. If you do try it, I recommend cooking and blending the soup without the broccoli and cheese first, then stirring them in and cooking at high pressure for a few more minutes.
- Do you have to soak the cashews ahead of time? Nope! Just throw them in the pot and the nuts will soften in the hot soup broth before blending.
- How long does vegan broccoli soup last? The leftovers will last for up to 3-4 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Can you freeze it? Yes, the soup freezes quite well.
Want more creamy and comforting soups?
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1-2 cups water, as needed (see instructions)
- 4 cups broccoli, finely chopped
- 2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese I used Violife, optional
- In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- To the pot, add the potato, carrots, cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until fork tender.
- Working in batches if needed, transfer the soup carefully to a blender and blend until very smooth.
- Return the mixture back to the pot. If your soup is too thick, add water until a desired consistency is reached (I used 1 cup of water). Add in the bite sized broccoli florets and cheese, if using, and stir into the soup.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, until the broccoli is soft and cooked. The cheese should also be melted into the soup.
- Serve, topping with more vegan cheddar cheese shreds, if desired. Enjoy! Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen.
- Broccoli – I prefer the chop the broccoli mostly super small for the soup. You can even use a food processor to chop it super small, but I usually do this by hand with a knife.
- Nut free – If you have a nut allergy, you may make this without the cashews, it just won’t be quite as creamy and rich. Stir in a little coconut cream at the end if desired for creaminess.
- Blend it – If desired, you may use an immersion blender once the broccoli is cooked to create a creamier broccoli cheese soup without chunks of broccoli florets.
This recipe was first posted in September 2018 and has been republished with new photos and the addition of vegan cheddar cheese shreds. Otherwise the recipe is unchanged.