Friendly’s Copycat Cream of Broccoli Soup is the ultimate comfort food for me, and one thing that I really missed when going vegan. Broccoli was not something that I voluntarily ate much of as a child unless my mother took me to Friendly’s restaurant for a special lunch. Friendly’s is chain on the East Coast and in upstate NY where I grew up. They have basic diner food and are famous for their ice-cream, but what I really loved was their cream of broccoli soup!
When I became vegan and really started to experiment with recipes, one of my first creations was this soup. It has been a long time since I have had the original, but this soup has the creamy goodness that I remember!
I start by sautéing an onion, then adding chopped broccoli and Not chick’n cubes. (The chick’n broth is the key to giving it that authentic Friendly’s taste. I find mine at Whole Foods and my local Co-op, but you can also order from Amazon if you can’t find it in your area).
While the broth is simmering, I make a roux to thicken the soup and make it creamy and delicious. Once the broccoli is soft, I add the soy milk and nutritional yeast and then slowly start adding the broth to the roux mixture. For any roux, you mix a fat (I use my homemade vegan butter – subscribe to get the recipe) with flour and let it bubble, then slowly add in the hot broth a ladle at a time. Sir with a whisk the whole time to keep it smooth.
If you need to make it gluten free, you can make the roux with sweet rice flour instead of wheat flour. If you are looking to save fat and calories, you can also thicken the soup with about 1/3 cup of corn starch mixed with about ½ cup cold water and then pour into the soup base once it is almost done cooking. To get the true Friendly’s restaurant taste, you will want to use the classic roux with gluten flour, however the other methods are tasty as well!
Friendly’s Copycat Cream of Broccoli Soup – Veganized!
- 1 TSB canola oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4-5 cups chopped broccoli
- 5 cups water
- 3 cube of Not Chick’n Cubes or other equivalent vegan chicken broth powder
- 2 cups PLAIN soy milk or other milk of choice
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/3 cup vegan butter
- 1/3 cup + 1 TBS flour (sweet rice flour for GF)
- Salt to taste
- Step 1 Sauté the diced onion in canola oil with a dash of salt on low until translucent.
- Step 2 Chop broccoli into small pieces. (I use a food processor and pulse it until they are small).
- Step 3 Add water, vegan broth cubes, and turmeric and simmer on medium low until the broccoli is soft.
- Step 4 Then add nutritional yeast and plain soy milk and stir.
- Step 5 While the broth is simmering, add butter to another soup pot.
- Step 6 Melt the butter on low and then add the flour and stir with a whisk for about 2 minutes.
- Step 7 Slowly add the hot broth one ladle at a time to the roux stirring with a whisk between each ladle.
- Step 8 Continue this until all the liquid is stirred into the roux, then pour in the remaining chunks of veggies.
- Step 9 Simmer until the soup just starts to bubble and the turn off heat.
- Step 10 Salt to taste.
This recipe makes a large pot of soup (about 8-10 bowls) but everyone goes back for second and thirds and we usually end up finishing the whole pot! If you don’t, no need to worry, like most soups, it is even better the next day for lunch! If you want to sneak in some more nutrients, you can also chop up a carrot or two and add it in along with the broccoli. Sometimes I add some cubed potatoes as well to make it a more filling meal for my hungry boys.
Pin it for later:
*Thank you for making purchases though my Amazon links. I receive a small commission on any purchases that you make at no extra charge to you. This allows me to continue to provide you with more free recipes. I only link to products that I personally use and love. Thanks!