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This Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup tastes so much like the traditional, you won't believe it's both dairy-free and gluten-free. And for those with allergies, it's nut-free too! For this veganized, gluten-free version, we've replaced dairy milk with plant-based milk, dairy butter with vegan butter, cheddar cheese with vegan shreds, chicken broth with vegetable broth and all-purpose flour with chickpea flour. This cheesy vegan broccoli soup is rich, hearty and creamy and makes for the perfect comfort meal when paired with your favorite gluten-free, vegan bread.
First, let me sing you a little diddy...
♪ I went downtown.
I bought some broccoli.
I brought it home.
But wait there's more...
Then I cooked it.
♪ Cookin' brocco-li
Then I ate it.
♫ Eatin' brocco-li
Okay, that's enough for now. Plus, I didn't really eat it by itself...I ate it in a bowl of this glorious, creamy, cheesy broccoli soup! 🙂
I don't want to mislead you though. To make this soup, I also found myself choppin' carr-ots and choppin' oni-ons.
What? You don't like my puns? Well, then...NO SOUP FOR YOU!
Alright, alright...I'll stop for real this time. 😉
Let's just get right to it, shall we...
Ingredients you'll need
- Sweet or Yellow Onion
- Vegan Butter - You can use avocado oil or olive oil in place of the butter if you prefer.
- Chickpea Flour - This is my go-to flour for making a gluten-free roux.
- Black Pepper
- Unsweetened Plant-Based Milk - I used Oatly brand oat milk in these photos, but have also made this soup successfully with coconut milk (the beverage kind, not the canned version).
- Gluten-Free, Low Sodium Vegetable Broth - I used Pacific brand.
- Vegan Cheddar-Style Cheese Shreds - I used Violife brand in these photos, but have also used Miyoko's Farmhouse Cheddar. Of course, you can use your favorite cheddar-style shreds such as Daiya or another brand as long as it melts well.
How to make vegan broccoli cheese soup - step by step
Step 1 - Chop the broccoli
Of course, it starts with the broccoli!
First, wash your broccoli by rinsing under cold, running water and patting dry. Next, slice through the broccoli stalk near where the stalk begins to branch into florets, as close to the florets as possible.
Some florets will fall off, while some will still be attached.
Remove the remaining florets from the stalk.
Then, chop the broccoli florets into small pieces.
Step 2 - Steam the Broccoli
Method 1 (my preferred method): Add the chopped florets to a microwave safe bowl with ¼ cup water. Microwave covered on high for 4 minutes and set aside.
Method 2: You can also steam the broccoli in a rice cooker using the steaming feature.
Refer to your rice cooker's instructions for water measurement and steaming time.
Method 3: Another method is to cook on the stovetop using a steamer basket.
Step 3 - Chop the carrots and onion
You'll want to finely dice the carrots and roughly chop the onion.
Step 4 - Melt the butter
Heat vegan butter in a pot over medium heat. You can substitute avocado oil or olive oil, if desired.
Step 5 - Cook carrots and onion
Once butter is melted (or oil is heated), add the carrots and onion and cook over medium heat until tender.
Step 6 - Add flour and seasonings
Stir in chickpea flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Note that any clumps of chickpea flour will melt during cooking and stirring.
Step 7 - Add the milk and broth
Gradually stir in plant-based milk.
Then, gradually stir in vegetable broth.
Step 8 - Cook the soup
Bring soup to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Lower the heat to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes to thicken, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Step 9 - Blend the soup
Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture, being careful not to splash hot liquid.
You can also use a regular blender instead of an immersion blender by carefully pureeing the soup in batches, again being careful not to splash the hot liquid.
Refer to your blender's instruction manual for pureeing hot liquids before doing so to ensure safety.
Personally, I find the immersion blender makes for an easier cleanup.
Step 10 - Add the broccoli
Once there are no chunks remaining, return the soup to medium-high heat. Stir in the chopped broccoli florets.
Step 11 - Add the cheese
Stir in the vegan shredded cheese.
Continue to cook until cheese melts and soup is thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
What to serve with this soup
For the ultimate comfort meal, this soup is best paired with your favorite gluten-free, vegan bread.
I typically purchase mine from a local baker; however, you can use your favorite store-bought brand too, such as Schar's baguette.
Serve bread warm and dunk it right in your soup or enjoy on the side with some vegan butter. 🙂
Now, it's time for you to get downtown and buy some brocco-li! Sorry, I just...couldn't...help...myself. 😉
Storing and reheating leftovers
Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat on the stovetop, add soup to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Then, lower the heat to medium and continue to cook until warmed throughout, stirring frequently.
It can also be reheated the microwave in a covered microwave-safe dish until warmed throughout in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between.
Can this soup be frozen?
Yes! You can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
I used glass bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and then secured with the lid.
Before reheating, be sure to thaw in the refrigerator.
Once thawed, add the soup to a saucepan and stir. Bring the soup to a boil and once boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.
If you're into cheesy food puns, I mean meals, check out these cheesy vegan dishes:
If you're looking for more vegan and gluten-free soup recipes, try these next:
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 3 cups chopped broccoli florets (approximately 2 small heads of broccoli)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped sweet or yellow onion
- 2 cups finely diced carrots
- ¼ cup vegan butter, cut into pieces (use nut-free vegan butter to keep this recipe nut-free; use soy-free vegan butter if needed - You can also use olive oil or avocado oil instead of the vegan butter)
- 6 tbsp chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour)
- 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 cups unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk (I have used both coconut milk beverage and full fat oat milk; if you use oat milk, ensure the brand you are using is certified GF if necessary; use nut-free plant-based milk to keep this recipe nut-free)
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free, low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup vegan cheddar-style cheese shreds (I used Violife)
- Add chopped broccoli florets to a microwave safe bowl with ¼ cup water. Microwave covered on high for 4 minutes and set aside.
- Heat vegan butter in a 3-quart or 4-quart stainless steel soup pot over medium heat.
- Once butter is melted (or oil is heated), add chopped onion and carrots. Cook on medium until tender, stirring occasionally (approximately 8-10 minutes).
- Stir in chickpea flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg until blended together.
- Gradually stir in plant-based milk and vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes to thicken, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture, being careful not to splash hot liquid. Once there are no chunks remaining, return the soup to medium-high heat. Stir in the chopped broccoli florets followed by vegan shredded cheese. Continue to cook until cheese melts and soup is thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs for this recipe)
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