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.
If you enjoy the broccoli cheddar combination as much as I do, make sure to check out my “Chicken” Broccoli Rice Vegan Casserole and these Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Twice Baked Potatoes.
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.
Just WOW! I was blown away by how delicious, creamy and amazing this soup is. It didn’t need the vegan cheese shreds. We absolutely loved it and I already have 2 friends who have made it and loved it!
That’s wonderful to hear! Thank you for sharing your review and feedback!
Ong this was some of the best broccoli cheddar soup. I’ve made so far. I did tweek it a lil. I didn’t put the broccoli or cheddar in it yet but it’s absolutely delicious with just the base. I thank u. I’ve been wanting to try the Soups with the cashews n veggies n place of non dairy based cream. I love it. I will make it again & again 🙂
How great that you loved the cashew based soup! Thanks for your great feedback! I think you’ll love it with the broccoli and cheese added!
I love basically alllll of your recipes! Do you have alternative instructions to make this in the Instant Pot?
I haven’t tried this recipe in my Instant Pot, however, this is what I recommend: At step 2, cook vegetables without the broccoli on high for about 5-6 minutes. At step 5, add the broccoli and water, then cook at high pressure for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy, and let me know how it turns out! Thanks for using my recipes!
This was honestly amazing. I used just a few slices of Violife’s smoked Gouda cheese and the flavor was amazing although you could totally omit and just nutritional yeast as that’s what really gives it the cheesy flavor. Awesome recipe, s delicious and addicting soup, relatively easy (besides my messy blender). 10/0 would make again 😋
I’m so happy you loved the soup, Randiah! Thank you for the wonderful review!
What is the serving size in cups? For dieting.
I Amanda. This recipe makes six servings. I’m not sure exactly what size one serving is. You could divided by six and get the serving size. I hope this helps!
Our family loves all of your recipes, and I’m excited to try this one! Question tho – I’m not a big fan of the nutritional yeast flavor. Even a tiny bit can throw off a meal for me. Do you think this would work by just using more of the Violife shredded cheddar?
I am so happy your family loves my recipes, Anna! You can totally leave out the nutritional yeast and the soup will still be creamy and delicious. Add the amount of shredded cheese to your liking! Enjoy the soup!
This recipe was so simple, hearty and delicious! I found the extra water wasn’t necessary as I prefer a thick, creamy soup. I also added some cayenne, black pepper, and extra smoked paprika for some extra heat and depth of flavor. This will become a staple soup in our home for how easy it is to whip up and it’s a great way to get sneak extra veggies into the meal while tasting indulgent. Highly recommend serving it with some good crusty bread.
Thanks very much for your feedback and for sharing the changes you made, Johanna! I’m so happy you loved the soup 🙂
This is so good. I added 1/4 cup cashews instead and it is so good oh my gosh!
Hi Britt. I’m so happy you loved the soup! Thank you for sharing your experience with the recipe!
Does this soup freeze well?
Hi Dawn. Yes, it freezes quite well. Thanks!
First attempt at vegan soup. It was easy and instructions are easy to follow. Only a spoonful but it is delicious creamy and cheesy! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Louise. You are welcome! Soup weather is here, and I’m so glad you loved this soup! I appreciate you taking time to share your great feedback!
BUSSIN!!! My friends and I love it. Thank you, nora 🙂
Thank you for sharing, Carmen! I’m thrilled you are all loving the soup!
This soup is so easy to make and deliciously comforting! I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because I tend to not like store-bought vegan cheese, but the VioLife cheddar shreds worked perfectly and it was so yummy. We’re definitely going to make it again.
Hi Cynthia. I love that you find this soup delicious and comforting! Thank you for taking time to share your great feedback and review!
Delicious! First time I did it. Thank you for the recipe ❤️❤️
You are welcome, Elena. I’m so glad you loved the soup! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
Ok this may be a silly question but when your getting ready to transfer the veggies to the blender do you just spoon out the veggies by themselves or do you add the entire pot of broth they were cooking in as well?
Hi Brandi. When it comes time to blend, add both the veggies and broth to the blender, then blend together! Enjoy!
This recipe was delicious. Thank you. We added a little flour to create a roux-like thickening effect and taste. So good! And no need to add vegan cheese, either.
Hi Samantha. Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback and ideas! I’m really glad you loved the soup!
This is a perfect recipe and has the stamp of approval from the non-vegan family. Thank you!
Thanks for your great feedback, Lee! I’m so glad your family loves the soup! Hope you enjoy it over and over!
First recipe I tried from you and try more.
I roasted a red pepper and chopped it and added it before blending and also roasted the broccoli tossed in in some olive oil. this gave it a bit more of a smoky taste.
Also added some Cajun seasoning to give it more pop and layers and some lemon juice to brighten the flavor.
Really enjoy it.
Hi Richard. Your additions sound wonderful! How fantastic that you enjoyed the soup – I’m happy to hear it! Thank you for sharing your great feedback and ideas!