Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup

published Apr 6, 2022
Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup Recipe

Cauliflower and potatoes give this plant-based soup its creamy texture.

Serves4 to 5

Makes7 to 8 cups

Prep10 minutes

Cook33 minutes to 38 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

When you hear the words “broccoli soup,” chances are your mind goes straight to broccoli-cheese soup, the ultra-creamy, more-cheese-than-broccoli dish that’s a fixture on fast-casual restaurant menus. My mom made this soup when I was growing up, with frozen broccoli and cubes of Velveeta that melted into a mixture of broth and milk. It was more fondue than soup, so rich it stung the back of your throat — and I totally loved it.

Fast forward to my adult years. My dairy-averse stomach can’t handle classic broccoli-cheese soup, and the heavy thickness doesn’t appeal to me like it used to either. So I came up with something new: vegan roasted broccoli soup. It’s still hearty and satisfying and creamy enough to appeal to my kid side, even though there’s not a drop of dairy in sight.

What Is Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup?

Unlike classic broccoli-cheese soup, this soup actually tastes like broccoli — specifically roasted broccoli, in all of its lightly sweet and smoky glory. I wrap a handful of garlic cloves in foil and stick the packet on the baking sheet with the broccoli so the cloves can get tender and slightly caramelized. Cauliflower and a little potato give the soup its luxurious creamy texture.

Parsley is dropped in at the end for freshness and color and the whole mixture is puréed until smooth. The entire process takes about 45 minutes (including prep), and the soup makes excellent leftovers. Top with croutons for some crunch or serve with crusty bread and you have a simple, super-satisfying meal.

Why Use Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a favorite secret ingredient of mine. It’s chock-full of vitamins, somehow tastes like Parmesan cheese, and is great for making cheesy vegan kale chips, vegan queso dip, and more. You can find it at most supermarkets (including Trader Joe’s) and health food stores. It really shines in this soup, giving it an extra oomph of flavor.

Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup Recipe

Cauliflower and potatoes give this plant-based soup its creamy texture.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 33 minutes to 38 minutes

Makes 7 to 8 cups

Serves 4 to 5

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    small or 1 large crown broccoli (12 to 15 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons

    plus 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, divided, plus more for serving

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 6

    large unpeeled cloves garlic

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 1/2

    medium head cauliflower (about 12 ounces)

  • 2

    medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 12 ounces total)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh parsley

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    nutritional yeast

  • 1

    heaping cup croutons, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 450ºF.

  2. Trim off any brown or dry areas from the stem end of 2 small or 1 large broccoli crown. Cut the crown into large florets. Chop the stem crosswise (if you have any left) into 1-inch chunks. Place the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer.

  3. Place 6 large unpeeled garlic cloves in the center of a 6-inch square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil. Fold the foil over the cloves to completely seal and form a packet. Place on the baking sheet next to the broccoli.

  4. Roast, flipping the broccoli and packet halfway through, until the broccoli is charred in spots on both sides, about 15 minutes total. Meanwhile, dice 1 medium yellow onion. Chop 1/2 medium head of cauliflower into 1-inch florets and dice the stem into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.

  5. When the broccoli is ready, set aside and leave the garlic to cool in the packet.

  6. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté until mostly translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and stems, potatoes, 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender but are not quite cooked through, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap the roasted garlic and peel the cloves. Pick the leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh parsley until you have 1/2 cup and coarsely chop. Juice 1/2 medium lemon until you have 1 tablespoon juice.

  8. Add the roasted broccoli, garlic, and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast to the soup and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are fork-tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

  9. Add the parsley and lemon juice and turn off the heat. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, blend right in the pot with an immersion blender.) If the soup is too thick, blend in up to 1 more cup water or vegetable broth to reach the desired consistency. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

  10. Serve immediately topped with a small drizzle of olive oil and a handful of croutons, if desired. If the soup isn’t quite hot enough, reheat in the pot on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring often.

Recipe Notes

All-cauliflower soup: For a soup with a milder flavor, swap the roasted broccoli for more cauliflower. 1 large head of cauliflower is enough for roasting and cooking on the stovetop, giving the soup both a creamy texture and a roasted flavor.

No-potato soup: The potatoes can be swapped for an equivalent weight of cauliflower. The soup won’t be quite as full-bodied and creamy, but it will have the same flavor.

Make ahead: The broccoli and garlic can be roasted up to 1 day before. Refrigerate in airtight containers.

Storage: Refrigerate the soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.