I showed some of the behind-the-scenes over on my Instagram stories a few weeks ago while I was testing this soup, so I am very excited to finally share the recipe for this Dairy-Free Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup! This soup is 100% dairy-free, yet has a rich creamy texture. It is a delicious comforting meal that’s ideal for the upcoming winter months.
This recipe was enthusiastically approved by my kids, despite it being packed with veggies. Full of nutrients, this recipe came in handy when my kids came down with colds a few weeks ago. It’s a great option for anyone who is feeling under the weather. It also freezes well, so you can make a double batch and save some leftovers. I like to freeze a few single-serving containers for when I need to defrost just a cup or two.
This recipe is completely dairy-free, yet has that same cheesy flavor of a traditional Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I used a store-bought cheese spread to help save on time and skip the step of soaking cashews, plus I wanted this recipe to have that added aged cheese flavor that most dairy-free cheese has. Miyokos Cream Cheese or Kite Hill Ricotta both work really well in this recipe. In addition to the dairy-free cheese, a little nutritional yeast stands in for the cheddar to help achieve that flavor.
If you are unable to get a store-bought cheese, you can definitely make your own with cashews. I suggest soaking 1 cup of cashews in warm water for 30 minutes, rinse and drain and then blend with 1/2 cup of water to make a thick and creamy cashew-based milk. This recipe will also taste amazing with real cheddar cheese if you are able to tolerate dairy!
One of my favorite things about this Dairy-Free Broccoli ‘Cheddar’ Soup recipe is how much my kids loved it. The cheesy flavor takes precedence over the veggies, so my kids have no idea they are getting a heaping serving of vegetables. The soup is given its orange hue by blending carrots into the broth which also gives it a cheesy appearance. The creamy body of the soup comes from pureeing all the vegetables, as well as simmering the “cheese” spread until it thickens, creating a true ‘cheddar’ soup consistency.
I used veggie broth here because that is what I had on hand and I loved the flavors of it altogether, but feel free to use bone broth for some added nutritional value.
How to serve:
This recipe tastes amazing on its own, but there is something about enjoying a warm bowl of creamy soup with a perfectly toasted piece of bread alongside it. You can use my recipe for Nut-Free Lunchbox Bread from page 48 in my cookbook Eat What You Love, or my Blender Bread from page 323 in my cookbook Celebrations or here on the blog. I also have my original bread recipe on page 226 in Against all Grain as well as here on the blog. If you prefer rolls, you can find that recipe here. My recipe for Brazilian Cheese Bread and Cheddar Biscuits with Chive Whipped Ghee are also delicious options to pair with this soup if you are able to tolerate dairy!
You can also serve this alongside a big green salad for a lighter meal. I have been loving my fall/winter salad for Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Spiced Maple Cider Vinaigrette or just a simple tossed green salad!
More Comforting Soup Recipes:
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did! If you are interested in more comforting soup recipes, I have several in all 4 of my cookbooks as well as under the salad and soup tab on my blog. Some of my all-time favorites are my Dairy-Free Clam Chowder and my Instant Pot Thai Coconut Soup.
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- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 17 mins
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: American
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 8-ounce white fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 stalks celery
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 32 ounces unsalted vegetable broth
- 4 ounces Miyokos dairy-free cream cheese (or Green Valley Organics lactose free)
- 3 to 4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 10 ounces broccoli florets
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and softened. Add the sweet potato, celery, and carrots and continue to cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the bone broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender.
- Carefully transfer the vegetables and liquid to a blender. Add the cream cheese, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and blend on high until very smooth and creamy. Add the broccoli and pulse 3 to 4 times, until the broccoli is blended into bite sized pieces. Return the soup to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 days, or in the freezer for 6 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
Keywords: paleo, comforting, Danielle Walker, against all grain, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, clean eating, vegetables, dinner, lunch, appetizer