It’s officially December, which means I am SO ready for soup season. Bring on the chili, black bean, lentil, split pea, squash…a different one for every evening of December perhaps?
OK…let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
If you’ve ever visited a Panera bread, you may be familiar with my inspiration for this dish. When I was younger, my brothers and I would travel with Angie (our nanny) just to have Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup (best served in a bread bowl). I knew there must be a way to recreate it using whole foods–and without 13 grams of saturated fat.
Enter one of my favorite vegan “cheese” subs: nutritional yeast! Yes, this recipe does call for 1/2 cup of that golden dust. But please do not omit! Its umami flavor complements all the blended veggies perfectly. To save money, I used mostly frozen vegetables. Fresh work just as well!
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can serve this piping hot in a freshly baked bread bowl. I may get around to that…
This recipe is inspired by Brand New Vegan and serves 4 people.
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 1/2 of a sweet onion, diced finely
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 head of cauliflower, made in florets (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium potato, chopped in bite sized pieces
- 5 – 6 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (original, not vanilla)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp each thyme and garlic powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (for color, optional)
- 2 cups broccoli, in florets
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, sauté onion for 5 minutes until golden. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, stirring frequently to insure it does not burn.
- Add cauliflower, potato, carrots, and broth to pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are soft (about 15 minutes). Remove soup from pot, add to a blender, and process until creamy.*
- Pour smooth soup back into pot and add almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and spices. Mix well and adjust seasonings if need be. Turn heat to low.
- Add broccoli. Let soup warm for 10 minutes more and serve hot.
*I used an immersion blender which made this process MUCH easier!