Let me tell you something about this vegan broccoli soup. Well to start, it’s dairy-free, you already knew that, but when you taste it, you honestly would never know!
Though I’m not vegan, I do find myself cooking like one quite often. I like to come up with new ways to add richness and texture to meals without any meat or dairy. Plus, I like to give my body a rest from that stuff and practice Ahimsa, a yoga yama, or ethical guideline that means “non-violence”. We certainly need more of that in this world and it’s comforting to know that no animal had to suffer in order to make this meal happen.
So what helps with the richness of this particular soup? A few things:
Because we’re not doing any cream, we need something to give our soup a nice creamy texture. Beans are packed with fiber, complex carbohydrates, and "pre-biotics" that help feed the good bacteria in our gut.
One of my favorite gems of the kitchen. These pale yellow flakes are used in vegan dishes all the time because it gives them a “cheese-like” flavor and richness making it perfect to add to things like soups which can often fall flat on the flavor scale. Nutritional Yeast is an inactive form of yeast, meaning nothing is going to rise. It’s also ridiculously nutritious since it’s got one of the best Vitamin B profiles around. It keeps well in a cool, dry cupboard for about a year so you’ll be glad you purchased it.
Playing around with different seasonings can add such dimension, and oh so much nutrition to your meals. The possibilities are always endless. It’s very important to season at a few different stages with small pinches of sea salt so you can really lock in the goodness.
Onion powder helps accentuate the flavor that’s already in your beautiful yellow onion and helps round out the soup really nicely.
Dairy Free Cream of Broccoli Soup
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium heads broccoli (or 3 of these)
1 32 oz box organic vegetable stock
2 13 oz boxes (or 2 cans) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ tsp sea salt + extra pinch or 2
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
In large stockpot, heat olive oil and toss in the onion & garlic on medium heat. (I like to do my first round of seasoning here, so go ahead and add a pinch of salt to the mixture). Let cook about 5 minutes or until it caramelizes. Add the broccoli and the veg stock, cover with lid, and simmer on medium/medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the beans and remaining ingredients. Turn off heat and let cool 10 minutes so you don't burn your hand off. Transfer half the mixture to Vitamix or high power blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large (non-plastic) bowl and repeat with remaining mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste.
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