Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup
A few months ago, Frank out of the blue told me he was craving broccoli cheddar soup - which, not only is a weird craving, (especially since I'm the one who usually has cravings like that) but also because he doesn't really love broccoli. Now, granted, that soup isn't a bit pile of broccoli, the steamy, creamy bowl of heaven, is pretty darn good. The thing is though, is that that soup is packed with cream and sodium and a ton of cheese - all things that both of us try to avoid a large majority of. So, per typical Rita fashion, I took to whipping up my own version.
This soup is so wildly easy to make. Its creamy base is from cauliflower and almond milk that have been pureed together, resulting in not only a similar texture in soup, but also packed way more with veggies. I start first by sauteing some onions and garlic in a little olive oil in the bottom of a large sauce pan. Once browned and fragrant, I add in one whole head of cauliflower, that has been slightly chopped. I let it saute for about 2-3 minutes to bring out more of the flavor before I add in both veggie broth and almond milk. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. I let it sit on the stove for about 15 minutes while I let the cauliflower get soft. Once you can prick with a knife easily, you're ready for the next step.
There are two ways to puree the cauliflower - the easiest is with an immersion blender. The second would be to remove from the heat and pour into a blender. I blended mine with an immersion blender until all of chunks of cauliflower were gone. You'll notice the texture of the soup completely change to being silk smooth as you break down the veggies.
Once pureed, time to add in the rest. 3 cups of chopped broccoli and 2 cups of chopped carrots. Talk about veggie packed! Now is also the time to stir in the seasonings: oregano, nutritional yeast, vegan parm and salt and pepper. Now here is where the magic happens. Let this baby simmer for as long as you'd like. Just as easily you could throw it all into a crockpot instead and keep it on low for a few hours if you wanted to make it ahead of time. I let mine simmer for about 45 minutes so it reduced to my desired thickness. If you like yours a little thinner, you can let it all cook for just about 15 minutes and your carrots and broccoli should be cooked. Other than that - enjoy it when you're good and ready!
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup (GF/V)
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
¼ cup chopped onion
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1 head of cauliflower chopped
3 cups veggie broth
2 cups almond milk (I used Blue Diamond)
3 cups chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen - if frozen, just thaw it)
2 cups chopped carrots
½ teaspoon oregano
¼-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons vegan parm
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop all veggies! Set aside. I prepare my carrots in the food processor, and hand dice the rest.
Saute in a large sauce pan over medium to high heat minced garlic and onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
After garlic and onion are fragrant and browned - add in cauliflower and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Lower heat and add in broth and almond milk. Let simmer for 15 minutes until cauliflower is soft.
Puree cauliflower with an immersion blender or regular blender until completely smooth.
Add in remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes to cook broccoli and carrots. Cook until desired thickness is achieved - for me that was about 30 minutes.