To be completely honest, I never really liked broccoli cheese soup growing up. My sister always loved it but it never really did much for me. That being said, I don’t ever go out of my way to eat it, let alone make it.
The other week, I was in Yosemite camping and hiking with my sister and friends. Being November, it got quite chilly at night and broccoli cheese soup came up in conversation as the soup that everybody LOVED. I was still holding strong to the fact that I had never really liked it.
Last week, it snowed for the first time this year and not just a few flurries. We got a good inch of snow. On my way home from work I spotted a Panera delivery car at my neighbors house. Immediately my mind went to broccoli cheese soup and the conversation we had in Yosemite. I got home and forced myself to throw on some fleece-lined leggings to go for a run with Indy (my dog). The whole run, I could not stop thinking about broccoli cheese soup. For some reason, I couldn’t get it out of my head.
4 miles later and hungrier than ever, I was pretty tempted to call Panera myself and order some soup. But, I didn’t feel like waiting and I had a perfectly good head of broccoli sitting in the fridge.
To my surprise, this soup has ended up being one of the best I have ever made. It was so good and it came together in just about 30 minutes. The best part is there is, there is no heavy cream or butter but it still tastes creamy decadent. It could also easily be made vegan by subbing the cheddar with a vegan cheese or using nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
All in all, coming from someone who doesn’t typically like broccoli cheese soup, I can guarantee I will be making this many more times this winter!
Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 2 heads of broccoli with stems
- 1/2 large onion
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 cup cashew cream see below for directions
- 5 cups Unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Generous amount of fresh cracked pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 cups raw cashews soaked for at least 3 hours or overnight
- 1/2 cup of water for blending.
- In a bowl add 1 cup of raw cashews with enough water to cover completely and let soak for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Once the cashews have been soaking for at least 3 hours discard the soaking liquid and add to a blender with 1/2 cup of water. Blend till smooth then set aside.
- Prepare your vegetables by dicing 1/2 onion, peel and dice 2 carrots. Dice your broccoli heads and stems into bite-sized pieces. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the rough bark of the stem before dicing.
- It a large pot heast 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat and add carrots and onions and pinch of salt and pepper.
- Sautee until onions are fragrant and translucent. Add the cashew cream and almond milk. Stir to combine.
- Add the broccoli and bring the soup to a boil. Stirring occasionally
- Once boiling, add the shredded cheddar, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until broccoli tenderness is to you liking. At this point taste the soup and add salt to your liking. I like to wait to add the salt after adding the cheese because the cheese is also salty.
- After simmering you can use an immersion blender to blend up some of the large chucks. If you don't have an immersion blender you can blend just a potion of the soup in a normal blender then add it back to the rest of the soup. You can skip this step as well if you don't want to deal with blending, I just like to break up some of the large chunks.
- once blended serve immediately and enjoy!!
- This version of broccoli cheese soup has a light cheese flavor so it is not overly cheesy. If you want a stronger cheese flavor start by adding 1/2 cup more shredded cheese or use a sharper cheddar.
- If you would prefer it a cheesier you can up the amount of cheese used or use sharper cheddar. Can be made vegan by subbing out the cheddar for vegan cheese or by using nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.