This vegan cream of broccoli soup is a rich, creamy, and cheesy soup that gets my kids eating bowl after bowl of broccoli! Vegan comfort food at its best packed with healthy onions, carrots, and broccoli, yet rich and creamy enough that it feels indulgent! Simply add some vegan cheese and easily turn it into broccoli cheese soup!
I used to love the cream of broccoli soup at Friendly's restaurants when I was a kid, so this soup was one of the first things that I had to figure out how to make vegan! I've been making this vegan cream of broccoli for over 20 years now and it's still one of my family's favorite soups!
🧾 Ingredients and substitutions
- Onion and Garlic - To flavor the soup. (Optional, yet recommended).
- Oil - To saute the onion.
- Broth - You can use any veggie broth you like. I like the flavor of a vegan "chicken" broth and use Not Chick'n Broth cubes. If you don't have broth, you can use water and some extra salt.
- Broccoli - Lots of broccoli cut into small bite-sized pieces. If you have picky kids, you can throw it in the food processor and chop it very tiny.
- Carrots - This gives the broth a slightly sweet flavor, adds nutrients, and looks pretty.
- Plant-Based Milk - Any plain flavored plant-based milk will make it creamy. You also may want to use unsweetened milk if you don’t want it too sweet. I like to use soy milk or oat milk in this soup since they are thick and creamy, but you can also use almond milk or any other you prefer.
- Nutritional Yeast - Also called nooch, this is a yellow powder that will give your soup a rich and slightly cheesy flavor. (Optional) You can learn more about nutritional yeast in this detailed post.
- Oil and flour or starch - To thicken the soup. You can use oil and flour to make a roux and then add the broth or you can mix either cornstarch or potato starch with water to thicken your soup. (You can use a neutral-flavored oil, vegan margarine, or my homemade vegan butter to make a vegan roux.
- Salt and black pepper - For flavor.
🔪 Helpful tools
- A pot - Actually 2 soup pots if you are going to thicken it with a roux. (Don't worry, I'll get to that later).
- A ladle - to scoop out the broth.
🥄 How to make vegan cream of broccoli soup
Step 1 - Saute the onion in a little oil over low heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 2 - Add the garlic, broccoli, and carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 3 - Pour in your broth of choice and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender, but not mushy.
Step 4 - Add the plant-based milk and nutritional yeast to your broth and continue to simmer, but do not boil.
Thicken the soup with a Roux
Step 5 - Heat oil in the bottom of another soup pot and add flour (regular or gluten-free) to the oil and stir with a whisk until it starts to sizzle.
Step 6 - Scoop out the broth being careful to not get big pieces of broccoli and add it to the roux one ladle at a time.
Step 7 - Stir well with the whisk between each scoop to keep it creamy.
Step 8 - Repeat until most of the broth is incorporated and then add the remaining soup into the 2nd pot.
✨ How to thicken the soup with cornstarch
- Mix 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup water together in a small bowl and add it to the soup. (You can also use potato starch instead of corn starch. - It's a little harder to find, but I prefer it over corn starch).
- Stir well and heat soup again until it just begins to boil while stirring frequently.
Note: The starch method is a little easier and has less fat and calories, yet the roux method makes it richer and creamier.
🥘 Serving suggestions
This soup is also delicious with vegan twice-baked potatoes for a complete meal.
❓Frequently asked questions
To make this into broccoli cheese soup, add a cup of vegan cheddar cheese at the end of cooking and stir well. Top each bowl with an additional sprinkle of cheese. Use your favorite variety or make your own using my vegan cheddar cheese or vegan mozzarella recipes.
You can make a roux using gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour. Just be sure to use a gluten-free flour mix that does not contain sorghum flour. When I tried it using any mixes with sorghum flour, it had a weird slimy texture. You can also thicken the soup by mixing 1/3 cup of corn starch or potato starch with 1/2 cup of cold water and then add it to the soup towards the end of cooking.
This recipe makes a large pot of soup (about 8-10 bowls) but everyone goes back for seconds and thirds so my family of 4 usually ends 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!
🥡 How to store and reheat cream of broccoli soup
Refrigerator: The vegan cream of broccoli soup will keep well in the fridge for 3 - 5 days in a sealed container.
Freezing: This soup can be stored in the freezer for later, just be sure to use an airtight container or freezer bag and it will keep well up to 3 months in the freezer! You can also freeze individual servings of the soup in souper cubes. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Defrosting: Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating: Reheat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes or in a pot on the stovetop until warm. You may want to add a few tablespoons of water if reheating on the stovetop to account for evaporation.
If you love broccoli, be sure to try my vegan beef and broccoli, cheesy vegan baked broccoli, vegan broccoli pasta, broccoli alfredo, or vegan broccoli salad with cranberries. Your whole family will devour them all!
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
📋 Vegan cream of broccoli soup recipe
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 4-5 cups broccoli chopped
- 1 medium carrot about 1/2 cup peeled and chopped
- 5 cups water
- 2 cubes not chick’n bullion 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 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 sprinkle salt to taste (amount needed will depend on the saltiness of the broth).
For the roux
- 1/4 cup vegan butter or margarine or oil of choice
- 1/3 cup flour or 1/3 cup gluten-free flour
For the starch method of thickening (if not using the roux)
- 1/3 cup potato or corn starch
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Saute 1 medium onion in 1 tbsp of oil over low heat for about 5 minutes and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Add 2-3 cloves of garlic, 4-5 cups of broccoli, and 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped. Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in your broth of choice and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender, but not mushy.
- Add 2 cups of plant-based milk and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast to your broth and continue to simmer, but not boil.
Thicken your soup with a Roux
- Heat 1/4 oil or butter in the bottom of another soup pot and add 1/3 cup flour (regular or gluten-free) to the oil/butter. Stir with a whisk until it starts to sizzle.
- Scoop out the broth, being careful to not get large pieces of the broccoli, and add it to the roux one ladle at a time.
- Stir well with the whisk between each scoop to keep it creamy.
- Repeat until most of the broth is incorporated and then add the remaining soup into the 2nd pot.
Or thicken with the starch method
- Mix 1/3 cup potato or corn starch and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. Add it to the hot soup near the end of cooking.
- Stir well and heat soup again until it just begins to boil, while stirring frequently.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- This soup is also delicious with cooked cubed potatoes added.
- If you are using gluten-free flour, make sure to use a type without sorghum or garbanzo bean flour.
- When making it gluten-free, make sure to stir well between each scoop of broth. GF flour tends to clump up if not stirred well enough.
- I have found the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix from Trader Joe's makes the best gluten-free roux.
- Or simply use the starch method for an easy gluten-free method.
- Add a cup of vegan cheddar cheese to the pot of soup at the end of cooking and garnish with additional cheese when serving.
Updated March 10, 2020, from the original post from May 16, 2017, to include new images and more detailed instructions.
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