Cream of Broccoli Soup

The sun is warm, the temperature outside today is in the mid-seventies, yet there is a change in the air.  I can smell it, sense it, feel it on my skin as I step out the door with my early morning client today to walk.  I think about all the yummy summer foods we have feasted on—sweet corn, garden tomatoes, tender Sicilian eggplants.  Crisp cucumbers, summer squash, fresh basil chopped into creamy pesto and stirred into pasta, served at room temperature on warm summer nights.  I sigh for the loss of those only for a moment, as I think ahead to thick, rich fall soups and stews.  Winter squash, cabbages and Brussels sprouts, onions, kale, chard—oh! the possibilities!  The last of the broccoli lurks among the tall flowering stalks I have let go; I remember the days of this soup.  After work and a good workout, I hit the garden, then the kitchen to dig out my old favorite recipe.  Days of cheddar and cream are over, but with a year’s worth of experience in veganizing so many favorite recipes, I whip out my chef knife and fling open the spice cupboard with confidence, measuring and counting, for you mostly, so we can share this recipe as accurately as possible.

Because there is no cheese but I want that tangy flavor, the nutritional yeast, spices, and souring agents lend a taste that is reminiscent of cheddar, but without any of the cholesterol, fat, or dairy.  Cashew cream has proven itself over and over, even better than dairy cream, to thicken sauces, soups and salad dressings.  Practice, practice, practice and now on the stove is a pot of cream of broccoli soup that will feed us all for lunch today.  Welcome, Autumn!

Ingredients:

1 large sweet onion

1 lb. broccoli

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme

4 cups vegetable stock (I use low sodium—we prefer to salt at the table to taste)

1/2 c cashew cream

1/2 c nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. each dill weed, dried marjoram, dry mustard

1/4 tsp. each paprika and freshly ground black pepper

generous pinch cayenne pepper

2 tsp. each fresh lemon juice and unfiltered cider vinegar

generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2-1 tsp. salt

Garnish:

1 c fresh chopped tomatoes, 1/2 c minced scallions, green ends only, 1/2 c chopped pistachio nuts

Method:

Coarsely chop the onion and broccoli.  (Don’t get all particular about the chopping, as you will be pureeing them midway through the preparation.)

In a medium stock pot, combine the onion, broccoli, garlic, thyme sprigs, and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

While the broccoli mixture is cooking, in a small bowl combine the nutritional yeast, the dill weed, dried marjoram, dry mustard, paprika, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Stir to combine.

When the vegetables are tender, remove the thyme sprigs from the pot and puree the soup with an immersion blender.  Alternatively, allow the soup to cool and puree in small batches in either a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return to soup pot.

Stir in the cashew cream, the nutritional yeast mixture, the lemon juice, the cider vinegar, the nutmeg, and the salt.  Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is steaming hot and thickened a bit.

Serve in bowls, sprinkling some chopped tomato, scallion, and pistachio on top for garnish.

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2 Comments on “Cream of Broccoli Soup”

  1. Charlene Says:

    Thanks for measuring for us! This looks great!


    • My pleasure. Savannah had the leftovers for dinner and said it was the best cream of broccoli she ever ate—and that was her favorite pre-vegan soup! Veganizing works pretty well!


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