“Eat your broccoli.” Sound familiar from childhood days? Now all I want to do is eat alllll the broccoli…especially when it’s blended into this soup…and when the weather is cold and snowy (which is the current situation). This vegan broccoli soup is silky smooth and packed with nutrients. Combined with a garlicky cashew cream sauce, this soup is sure to be on repeat.
Vegan Broccoli Soup Nutrition
Let’s talk about broccoli for a minute. It’s like nature’s multivitamin. When you think vitamin C you likely immediately think citrus fruits, but did you know that broccoli is packed with vitamin C? This makes it especially important to get it in during the winter months to give your immune system a boost.
Other nutrients include vitamins A and K (in fact one cup provides 100% of your vitamin K needs), potassium, folate and let us not forget fiber. This all adds up to protection against chronic disease, increased bone health, gut health and a strengthened immune system.
Last, but not least, broccoli contains the compound, sulforaphane. As a registered dietitian I recommend my clients eat at least one cruciferous vegetable a day specifically for the benefits of sulforaphane. This compound provides antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benenfits.1
What you’ll need to make vegan broccoli soup
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)- If you don’t have EVOO on hand, avocado oil works well.
Onion- Use any onion, other than red which changes the color of the soup. I opt for sweet onion.
Broccoli- This recipe calls for frozen, but fresh also works.
Cilantro- Adds an herbiness and brightness to this soup. You could also sub parsley.
Cashews- Use raw cashews in this recipe. Roasted and salted are too salty and add unwanted flavor in this instance. The raw cashews make this recipe creamy and velvety smooth.
How to make this healthy broccoli soup
First place the raw cashews in a small heatproof bowl. Pour hot water over the cashews and let them soak for about 20 minutes.
Next heat the olive oil in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and sauté about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
Then add the broth and water. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Add the broccoli and cook just until heated through. It is important not to overcook during this step, otherwise you will lose the bright, beautiful green color of the broccoli and dull the color of the soup.
Next carefully add the soup pot contents to a high speed blender. Add the cilantro and soaked cashews to the soup. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Optional soup toppings
I’m all about the topping for this soup. If you want to be be extra then I highly recommend making a batch of cashew cream to swirl atop the bowls of this vegan broccoli soup. It requires only a few extra minutes to make and your guests will be wowed by the cream swirl (see recipe below).
Aside from the cashew cream, other toppings include crushed red pepper flakes, fresh herbs (extra cilantro or parsley) and croutons.
Creamy vegan broccoli soup variations
As already mentioned you could switch out the cilantro for parsley to change the flavor profile.
Want to add more veggies? Add chopped zucchini to the pot when sautéing the celery and onions. Leeks make for another lovely addition to the soup base. Or add cauliflower when adding broccoli to the soup.
If you’d like to add a cheesy flavor to this vegan broccoli soup, I suggest adding a 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast to the blender along with cashews and cilantro.
This soup stores well in both the fridge or freezer. Place the soup in a glass, airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Kim, Jae Kwang, and Sang Un Park. “Current potential health benefits of sulforaphane.” EXCLI journal vol. 15 571-577. 13 Oct. 2016, doi:10.17179/excli2016-485
Vegan Broccoli Soup with Cashew Cream
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 celery rib diced, about 1/3c.
- 1/2 onion diced, about 1/2c.
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 cups frozen broccoli slightly thawed and chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro rough chop, stem included
Garlic Cashew Cream
- ½ cup of raw cashews
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper
For the soup
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit and soften for 10-20 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery and onion and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Carefully add in the broccoli and cook until just heated through, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the the soup to a high speed blender along with the cilantro and soaked cashews. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings.
For the garlic cashew cream
- Place the cashews in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soften for at least 10 minutes.
- Drain the cashews and add to a high speed blender along with the filtered water, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.