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Best Ever Vegan Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup
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4.88 from 32 votes

Best Ever Vegan Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is truly the best ever vegan creamy broccoli cheese soup. Honest to goodness. It's one of my all-time favorite recipes I've ever shared on the blog, and it's won the praises of vegans and non-vegans alike. It's made with all pure, whole foods, plant-powered ingredients, yet it's just as savory, luxuriously creamy, buttery, salty, cheddar-y, and cheesy as the "original". Seriously.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soup
Servings: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 small or 2 large heads of broccoli, destemmed, and chopped into small ½-inch florets (you want about 1 pound of florets or about 5 to 6 cups)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts (shelled hemp seeds) or raw cashews
  • ½ cup chopped roasted and peeled red peppers (I use jarred roasted red peppers)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (pulls all of the flavors together and makes them pop)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari (adds depth of flavor)


  • In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the onion, shallot, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of the sea salt, and black pepper, and cook for 6 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli florets, 3 cups of the vegetable broth, and the filtered water, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the broccoli florets are fork-tender, stirring occasionally to ensure that the broccoli is submerged.
  • Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and boil for 7 minutes or until very fork-tender. Strain off the water.
  • Add the boiled cauliflower florets, remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth, Hemp Hearts, roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder, apple cider vinegar, and remaining 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until completely smooth and creamy.
  • Once the broccoli florets are fork-tender, pour the cauliflower "cheddar" sauce into the pot and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and continue stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until the soup begins to thicken. Be careful not to overheat or the arrowroot will lose its thickening power. Once the soup has thickened slightly, remove from heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice and tamari. Taste and season with more sea salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika, if desired. (I usually add another ½ teaspoon sea salt, a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, and a few shakes of smoked paprika.)
  • You can enjoy the soup as is (pictured and what I prefer) or use an immersion blender to puree the soup until desired texture is reached.
  • Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with more Hemp Hearts (if desired), and serve.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.


*To make this oil-free, simply swap the olive oil for low-sodium vegetable broth. You may need to add up to 2 to 4 tablespoons to saute the onions and shallots.
**Reheat in a stockpot or saucepan over medium heat until warmed through, stirring frequently.