Cream of Broccoli Soup
Cream of Broccoli Soup is winter comfort food. It’s creamy, savory, and oh so delicious. This variation is packed with wholesome plant-based ingredients: cashews, sweet potatoes, onions, celery, broccoli, garlic, parsley, and pepper. Top the soup with roasted chickpeas for a crunchy, protein-packed addition.
Broccoli is one of those veggies I would consider a “superfood.” Though it’s nothing exotic or out of the ordinary, I think it would be safe to say broccoli is a pretty well-known veggie in most US households. What makes it so super? Well, let’s start with calcium. One cup of raw chopped broccoli has about 4% of the RDA for calcium. The calcium in broccoli (and a few other nutrition powerhouses like kale and collards) is more bioavailable than the calcium in a glass of milk! The bioavailability (meaning how much is absorbed in the body) of calcium in 1 cup of milk is only 32.1%, whereas the calcium in 1 cup of broccoli is 61.3%. So broccoli is a great choice for boosting calcium intake. There are other excellent nutrients you can get from broccoli, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber. You can even get some protein from broccoli (1 cup has about 2.6 g of protein).
Beyond just the nutrients of broccoli, it’s a superfood because it’s part of the cruciferous vegetables family (other veggies in this family include cabbage, collards, and kale). Cruciferous veggies contain sulforaphane, a phytonutrient that may have a number of health benefits.
A few notes before you get started:
POTATOES: I love using the Japanese Sweet Potatoes in this recipe, they have a really creamy texture. It adds to the creaminess of this recipe. Feel free to mix it up and use another kind of potato, such as a russet or yellow potato. I have used other varieties of potatoes- and it turned out just great, but the Japanese Sweet Potatoes are my absolute favorite.
ROASTING/ AIR FRIER: There are many ways to prepare the potatoes for this recipe. I really love roasting them, it also helps to keep the potatoes from getting too soft and mushy- but you can always sauté the potatoes with the rest of the veggies. You can also use an air fryer if you have one! I air fry my potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until soft and crispy. The same goes for the roast chickpeas, feel free to use the air fryer for these too. I cook my chickpeas for about 15 minutes, it helps to stir them 1/2 way through the cook time to help them cook even and not burn.
NUT- FREE VARIATIONS: For a nut-free option, omit the cashews. In a high speed blender, combine 1 cup of great northern beans (or other white beans) with 1-2 cups unsweetened plain soy milk (the soymilk makes it extra creamy, but feel free to just use water instead) and 1-2 cups of water. Blend until smooth and then add 4 cups of the cooked veggies to the blender. Blend again until smooth. Add additional water to the soup to bring it to desired texture and consistency. I’d recommend using the nutritional yeast in this version, but feel free to adjust flavors to your liking.
CASHEWS: If you want to make the soup a bit lighter, feel free to cut back the cashews to 1/2 cup instead of the full cup. I’ve tested it with this variation, and the soup is still very delicious–just less creamy than the original. If cutting back on the cashews, start with just 4 cups of water and then thin it out as desired.
CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP
3 cups diced Japanese sweet potatoes* (see note above)
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (14.5 oz cans) drained and rinsed* (see note above)
1 large onion, diced
2 cups chopped celery
4-6 cups chopped broccoli
½ -1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 cup raw cashews* (see note above)
4-6 cups water
1 tablespoon white miso paste (optional)
Black pepper, to taste
¼ cup nutritional yeast, optional
1.Preheat the oven to 425F. Wash and dice the sweet potatoes and place on a lined baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until soft. Place the chickpeas on another lined baking sheet. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, or until reaches desired texture. Stir about 15 minutes throughout the cooking process.
2. Wash and chop the veggies. In a large pot, sauté the onion and celery with a few tablespoons of water (add more as needed). Once the onions are translucent, add garlic powder, and parsley.
2. Add the broccoli. Continue to add a little bit of water as need to keep the veggies from sticking to the pot. Sauté until the broccoli is tender. Add the roasted potatoes to the pot with the veggies.
4. In a high speed blender, combine the cashews with 4 cups of water. Blend until smooth and then add 4 cups of the cooked veggies to the blender. Blend again until smooth.
5. Pour the cashew mixture over the veggies. Add an additional 1-2 cups of water, if desired, to thin out the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring often to prevent burning. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir often to keep it from burning.
6. In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, nutritional yeast, and black pepper with about 1/2 cup of the soup broth. Mix well and then stir into the soup.
7. Add more black pepper or nutritional yeast to taste. Serve with the roasted chickpeas. Makes enough for 4-6 people.