Vegan Broccoli and “Cheese” Soup

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What could be cozier on a cold fall or winter day than a bowl of hot broccoli and cheese soup? I love broccoli and cheese soup so naturally, I had to come up with a plant based version to make at home. You can put on your favorite sweater, PJs, and socks and enjoy it all winter long! I’ve been teaching a wellness class for the medical students this year and we’ve been talking a lot about how to manage stress and something called “Hygge”. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is the Danish term for cozy and warm moments. Making a comfortable, special, cozy nest to feel supported and decrease stress is a well known part of Danish culture. Creating Hygge time for yourself is a great way to manage your own stress and anxiety. It’s all about self love. Comfort food can really go along with this concept. Whether it’s chili, fries, mac and cheese, or broccoli and cheese soup – comfort food definitely can be stress reducing at times. Exercise, mindfulness, and meditation are also a big part of stress reduction for me.

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The nutritional yeast in this recipe is high in B vitamins that you can’t get elsewhere on a vegan diet. It also adds the cheesy flavor and protein to this dish. Broccoli is high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Both of these main ingredients make this soup nutritious, filling, and really delicious. Garlic bread, a baked potato, or salad all go really well with it. You will need either a food processor or a blender to make the cheese sauce and to puree the soup. The cheese sauce can also be made ahead to save on time. Make sure you take a picture and tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram or Facebook if you make this recipe or Pin it on Pinterest! Hope you get some Hygge moments in this month!


Vegan Broccoli and Cheese Soup

  • Servings: about 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 5 cups broccoli florets (1, 12oz bag)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • croutons (optional, for garnish)
  • For the cheese sauce:
  • 1 medium sized carrot, peeled
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tbs almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

First make the cheese sauce: Boil potato and carrot in a small saucepan until they are soft all the way through. Drain water and set aside. In a small saute pan, saute shallot in in olive oil for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. Next, add garlic and saute for about 2 more minutes. Add almond flour, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and salt and whisk until smooth. Heat mixture until just boiling. Remove from heat and carefully transfer to a food processor or blender along with boiled carrot and potato. Blend mixture until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of cheese sauce. Next, heat onion on medium heat in a medium sized Dutch oven or saucepan until translucent – about 5-6 minutes. Next heat garlic and carrots for about 3-4 minutes. Add broccoli and saute for about 4 minutes. Add broth and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes on low heat until broccoli is soft all the way through. You can remove 1/2 a cup of small broccoli florets to add back in after pureeing, if desired. Add black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and crushed red pepper. Add cheese sauce and lemon juice and stir. Let simmer for another 5 minutes. Puree in pot with an immersion blender or transfer carefully to a blender and puree in 2 batches. Puree for only about 1-2 minutes for a chunky texture or longer for a smooth and creamy texture. Top with croutons and reserved broccoli florets and serve while hot. Makes approximately 5 cups.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per 1 Cup: 135 cal

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