If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have seen my story the other day about returning to our home in Chicago after a fun-filled eight months in Milwaukee.
We've been living in Milwaukee (so that Dan could be on-site with a client) since late May of last year, and sadly, our time here is coming to an end.
Milwaukee holds a special place in my heart and always will. It's where Dan was living when we first started dating nearly 12 years ago, and it's been such a wonderful place to spend with Sloane during her first year on this planet.
To be totally honest, I'm not all that excited to return to Chicago. While I love and appreciate the life we've built there over the last decade, I'm ready for a change.
Milwaukee—being the smaller city that it is—was such a surprisingly positive shift for us, and it made us realize that we've grown apart from the big city we once adored.
I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Chicago, and I'll certainly make the most of the time we have left there once we leave Milwaukee this Sunday, but I'm ready for something new. Something different. Something earthier and more grounded. Something closer to nature and with a little less hustle and bustle.
Long-term, our plan has always been to move to Colorado. We both love the range of outdoor activities that comes with the mountains. But we're not totally ready to make that move yet. And so, it's back to Chicago for now, and we'll see what unfolds from there.
I suppose it's also worth mentioning that our place in Chicago is listed for sale. It's a space we've put a ton of heart and soul into and one we've loved living in. If you or anyone you know is looking to buy in Chicago, please reach out. It's a 3-bed, 2 bath penthouse unit in an elevator building in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood area. It has lots of fun finishes and upgrades with a massive kitchen and a walk-in pantry (which if you live in the city, you know is nearly impossible to find).
Side (but serious) question: Do you like when I share more life stuff in posts or do you prefer I stick to the recipe details and get on with it? The more this space grows, the more I find myself shying away from sharing. I guess because I'm unsure if that's what you want. If you have a moment to drop a comment down below or email, please do reach out to let me know.
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup. I mean, is this dreamy or is this dreamy...?
My favorite kind of soup is cream of [insert any vegetable or grain here] soup. And based on the LOVE you've all been showing this soup lately, yours is too.
It's hard to go wrong with thick, creamy, buttery deliciousness all wrapped up in a warm and cozy package.
It was with this idea in mind that I came up with this vegan version of a classic cream of broccoli soup.
To make it, you'll bring a large pot of water to a boil and add four cups of fresh or frozen cauliflower florets. Boil the florets until fork-tender (about 8 minutes) and set aside.
While the cauliflower boils, trim and cut four large stalks/heads of broccoli into florets and dice an onion. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large stockpot and add the broccoli and onion. Sauté the vegetables for about 8 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
Then, add four cloves minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute, or until the garlic softens.
Next, add several cups of vegetable broth to the pot, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the reserved boiled cauliflower to a high-speed blender along with raw cashews, nutritional yeast, fresh lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high until super smooth and creamy.
Once the soup base has finished simmering, add the creamy cauliflower-cashew mixture to the pot.
Increase the heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 to 10 more minutes, or until it begins to thicken and reduce.
Taste and generously season with more sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. I like to add a few shakes of smoked paprika, too, but this addition is optional.
Once the soup is ready, ladle it into bowls and serve warm.
I like to top mine with a handful of oyster crackers and a few grinds of black pepper, but you can also serve it with a fresh tear of baguette for your sopping and dipping enjoyment. :)
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
- 4 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 heads/stalks fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size florets (about 8 cups)
- 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ¾ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups filtered water
- ⅔ cup raw cashews, soaked for two hours (unless using a high-speed blender)*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- A few dashes smoked paprika (optional, but recommended)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 7 to 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Strain and set aside.
- While the cauliflower boils, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the broccoli and onion. Sauté for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute, or until it begins to soften.
- Stir in the vegetable broth (it may not fully cover the broccoli florets, and that's okay), increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the boiled cauliflower to a high-speed blender along with the filtered water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high for two minutes, or until completely smooth and creamy.
- Add the cauliflower mixture to the pot of soup and stir to incorporate. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 10 minutes, to thicken and reduce the soup, stirring occasionally. At first it will seem like the soup is much too thin, but just continue to simmer and keep in mind that it will continue to thicken as it cools to a temperature at which it's comfortable to enjoy!
- Taste and generously season with more sea salt and black pepper to taste. (I usually add another 1 teaspoon of sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.) Stir in a few dashes of smoked paprika, if using.
- Serve warm.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
- If the soup is thicker than desired after refrigerating and reheating, simply whisk in a bit more vegetable broth or filtered water and adjust seasonings as needed.