When I was younger, I used to eat the Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera (in a bread bowl, of course!) and it was the absolute best. Of course, my now lactose-intolerant self couldn't so much as look that soup, so I set out to create a dairy-free version. It's not an exact one-for-one, but this Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup is absolutely delicious and reminds me of those cheese-laden soups of years past (but of course, in a way that I can eat)!
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
Ingredients for Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup
- Onion: you'll use about ½ an onion for this recipe, small dice.
- Garlic cloves: mince the garlic so it's in small pieces - you don't want to bite into a chunk!
- Celery: you want to go with a fine chop on the celery. About 1 stalk is equal to ¼ cup.
- Carrots: you can either cut these into matchsticks (about 1 to 1 ½ inches long), or you can shred them.
- Broccoli: I like to be heavy-handed on the broccoli. Also, you'll want to break these into smaller, rather than larger, florets. Keep in mind you want to get a bunch of things in one spoonful!
- Chicken or vegetable stock: you can even make your own!
- Raw cashews: you'll soak these in hot water to help them soften before they're added to the soup. Make sure they are raw and unsalted.
- Almond milk: you can also use another type of milk, if you prefer.
- Nutritional yeast: this is where the recipe gets its "cheesy" or umami flavor.
- Prosciutto: this is optional, but crispy prosciutto on the top of this soup is absolutely delicious!
- A few pantry staples including olive oil, salt, pepper, plus red pepper flakes and green onions, for topping.
Equipment you'll need to get started
Prepping the cashews
If you're one of those people who remembers the night before to soak cashews, great! You can soak your cashews in water overnight, and they'll be ready for this recipe. If you're like me and you definitely don't remember to do that, you can soak your cashews in very hot or boiling water (just pour over the cashews in a bowl) for about 20 minutes while you prep your other ingredients.
Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup FAQ
What makes this soup creamy?
The combination of the cashews blended with the almond milk gives this soup its creamy texture. The nutritional yeast is what gives it a "cheesy" or umami flavor.
Do I need to make the crispy prosciutto?
This is optional. It's delicious, but if you'd rather skip this step, you certainly can! You can also top with homemade croutons, if you prefer.
How should I store Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup?
You can store this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. It can also be frozen, but because of the creamy nature, I wouldn't recommend it as my first option.
If you do want to freeze it, make sure it's fully cooled, then place an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. You can store this in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you're ready to eat it, transfer to the fridge to thaw overnight, then reheat in a saucepan, stirring often.
Below is my recipe for Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup. I hope you love it! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup celery finely chopped
- 1 cup carrots peeled and matchstick-cut or shredded
- 5 cups broccoli broken into small florets
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups almond milk
- 4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 ounces prosciutto optional, for topping
- red pepper flakes optional, for topping
- green onions optional, for topping
- Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with very hot water for at least 20 minutes while you prep other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread prosciutto on the sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crispy, then set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sautée until fragrant and onions are slightly translucent, 2-3 minutes.
- Add celery and carrots and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add broccoli and soup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
- In a blender, combine milk, cashews (drained) and nutritional yeast). Blend on high until smooth and frothy, about 2-3 minutes. Pour into the Dutch oven with the soup and stir to combine. Add salt, pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occassionally. If the soup seems too thick, add additional soup stock.
- Remove from heat and divide into individual bowls. Garnish with crumbled prosciutto, green onions, red pepper flakes, plus additional salt and pepper.