I know it’s a lot of people’s “favorite things” at Panera (especially this time of year as the weather cools)…
But I’ve never been a fan of broccoli cheddar soup.
I’m not sure if it’s the concept or the texture or the fact that I’ve always thought broccoli should stay whole and recognizable and not pulverized in a soup with cheese and cream.
Since I cut out milk and cheese over two years ago, I’ve been on the hunt for recipes that deliver on the rich and creamy factor we think can only come from dairy products, and I wanted to challenge myself to try something new.
(I’ll be writing a whole post about why I cut out dairy products, but the short version is they were triggering a lifetime of congestion, ear/sinus/respiratory infections, postnasal drip, allergies, adult acne, and indigestion. If you have any of those symptoms regularly, try cutting out dairy products for 2-3 weeks and notice how much better you feel! I never would’ve believed it if I hadn’t experienced it myself. It’s amazing how our bodies can heal when we remove foods that harm us and upgrade to foods that heal us. More on that later!)
Back to the broccoli soup.
Because I’m always encouraging people to “try new foods” and give foods they’ve previously sworn off a second chance, I thought I should practice what I preach.
So, I tried a recipe for a “healthified” broccoli cheeze soup.
The skeptic in Bill (and me) was not too confident about how this soup would turn out, so I totally get any reservations you might have about making this recipe…but that’s why we tried it!
And we’re glad we did.
Bill and were BOTH thrilled with how it turned out – rich, creamy and flavorful.
I had to stop myself from drinking it straight out of the mason jars, and we enjoyed it as part of our lunch for several days.
Here are the UPGRADES in this recipe compared to standard broccoli cheddar soup:
- Unsweetened almond milk (homemade, too!) instead of half and half (dairy-free)
- Nooch instead of cheddar cheese
- No flour (gluten-free!)
- Way less salt
Not only that, but any excuse to eat more broccoli is a good one – broccoli is known as the DNA whisperer!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted* (I used coconut oil, which is a better oil to use for high heat. If you’re paleo but not vegan, you could use grass-fed butter or ghee instead.)
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2½ cups unsweetened almond milk (If store bought, avoid the ingredient “carrageenan”)
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 5 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup nutritional yeast (Wegmans, Whole Foods, MOMs, Amazon, and any natural food stores sell it!)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Don’t be deterred by the ingredient list or let that be an excuse to not try recipes. I used to do that all the time but found that having key pantry staples on hand made it SUPER easy to make recipes like this.
Most of the time half of the ingredients are things you have in your pantry anyway (i.e., herbs, spices, lemons, onions, and garlic).
Click here for the full recipe details from Running On Real Food!
Deryn @ Running on Real Food
Thanks for the review, Rachel. I’ve always loved broccoli cheddar soup, so I just HAD to make a vegan version. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for the inspiration! I loved it and have already shared it with friends and will make it for my family next week!