This easy Vegan Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup is packed with all the best flavours of creamy broccoli and cheese. Enriched with wholesome potatoes and creamy white beans, this tasty cheesy soup will be a firm favourite with your family. Perfect for filling up hungry tummies after school, college or work! Also, this veggie soup is easily prepared as gluten-free.
Serve with wedges of bread or crispy breadsticks, a sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese and fresh chopped chives, for an easy mid-week supper.
Origin of cheesy soup
Cheese soups have been in existence for centuries and there are many variations of cheesy soups throughout Europe, US, South America and Mexico. Cheese is an ancient food that predates recorded history so its difficult to know exactly how long people have been adding this ingredient to soups and stews.
In France, though not technically a cheese soup, they have their famous French Onion Soup which is topped with bread slices that feature melted cheese. In Mexico they have Caldo de Queso Con Papas is a popular cheese and potato soup from the northern state of Sonora. In the US there are many variations of Cheddar Cheese Soup or Broccoli Cheddar Soup are popular in many parts of North America & Canada, especially in the Midwest and the American South.
In 1922, Italian immigrants brought broccoli to the US, planting seeds they had brought from their homeland. By the 1930s, broccoli was available in American grocery stores. In contrast, the UK had been familiar with broccoli for a longer period. While the ancient Romans initially introduced it, it wasn't until the 18th century that broccoli gained widespread popularity in Britain.
Combining vegetables, especially broccoli, with a cheese or a creamy base is a popular flavour combination, especially in the US, Canada, UK, as well as Australia. Cheese soups can be made using a broth or stock, or a white sauce, which typically involves milk and flour, and various cheeses although Cheddar remains a top choice.
Today, the renowned Campbell's Soup Company produces a variety of cheesy soups, including Cheddar Cheese Soup, Nacho Cheese Soup, and Broccoli Cheese Soup. However, while some are fine for vegetarian diets, due to the dairy cheese and milk, none are suitable for vegans.
This Vegan Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup features creamy white beans, nutritional yeast flakes, white miso paste, and garlic, to create the best tasting savoury veggie cheesy soup which the whole family will love.
Our vegan cheesy broccoli potato soup
Most store-bought cheese soups aren't tailored to a vegan or plant-based diet, unless you come across a brand that specifically crafts their soup without animal-derived ingredients.
However, you can easily prepare a tasty pot of homemade cheesy broccoli soup enriched with hearty potatoes and cannellini beans. Not only is our soup easy to prepare, but it also has fewer calories and fat than its non-vegan counterparts, without compromising on the delicious cheesy flavours.
For this recipe, we used Asda's [a UK supermarket] Free From Mature Cheddar Cheese Alternative, as it has a nice cheddar-like taste and is perfect for melting into the soup. As a bonus, supermarket's own-brand's of vegan cheeses are often more affordable than other options. That said, we also love the taste of Violife cheese and make sure to stock up whenever it's on sale.
How to prepare vegan cheesy broccoli and potato soup
We like to reduce food waste and eat as much of the vegetable as we can so the broccoli stalks are peeled to remove the tougher outer layer and then sliced and added to the soup pot along with the florets. If there are any little broccoli leaves on the stalks add those to the soup pot as well. Also, if the potato skins are unblemished we just scrub them clean and leave those on as they do add extra nutrition.
Prepare the broccoli by slicing the florets into small pieces and dice any thick floret stalks.
For the tough bottom stalk, peel the outer layer, and dice the softer inner stalks. Any broccoli leaves can go in the soup pot.
Dice the potatoes into small pieces.
To begin, melt the margarine and add the broccoli, potatoes, onion, and garlic powder. Although you can use fresh garlic if preferred.
[alternatively, instead of margarine use vegetable oil or veggie stock]
Cook the veggies for 10-12 minutes with a lid half way across the pot.
Stir frequently and add small splashes of water if it looks like the veggies may stick.
Add the cannellini beans and stir.
Pour in the vegetable stock and the apple cider vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a gentle boil, and over a medium heat cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
Remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle in the nutritional yeast flakes.
Remove a few tablespoons of the soup liquid and stir this through the white miso paste to thin out the paste. [doing so prevents large clumps of miso in the soup].
Pour the miso paste liquid into the soup and stir well.
You can either blend the soup completely, or blend half the soup and stir this through the unblended soup, or leave the soup chunky which is what we like to do.
To finish sprinkle fresh chopped chives and shredded vegan cheese over the soup. Or replace the cheese with extra nutritional yeast flakes.
Enjoy with a few slices of your favourite bread such as Irish Soda Bread, Australian Damper Bread, or warm just-out-of-the-oven Cornbread Muffins, Vegan Cheese Scones, Vegan Buttermilk Scones, Old-Fashioned Bran Muffins, or crunchy bread sticks, crackers, or a nice tasty sandwich such as cucumber sandwiches or tomato sandwiches.
Recipe Notes and FAQ's
Store leftover soup within a covered container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or freeze for 2-3 months. Defrost completely before reheating.
Pour the soup into a non-stick pot and gently bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for a few minutes just until the soup is piping hot. Or reheat using a microwave.
Yes with a few considerations this soup is perfect for gluten-free diets. First ensure that your veggie stock is certified as gluten ingredients, and use a gluten-free white miso paste. Many white miso pastes are gluten-free and prepared with brown rice and soya beans, but do check the ingredients as some miso pastes may be prepared with barley. Nutritional yeast flakes are generally gluten-free, as are most margarines, and vegan cheese, but as with all packaged products its best to check just to be 100% sure.
Yes, you can blend the soup to achieve a smoother and creamier texture.
You can use an immersion stick blender and pulse until you've achieved your preferred texture, or pour the cooled soup into a countertop blender and blend until smooth.
Alternatively, if you would like a thick creamy soup that also has texture then just pulse or blend half the soup and then mix it back with the unblended soup.
However, you may have to adjust the seasoning [salt & pepper, perhaps extra nutritional yeast flakes] if you blend the soup completely as sometimes blending dilutes or changes some of the flavours.
Yes, of course. Do make this recipe your own and change things up according to your families needs and preferences. A few ideas:
* replace the canned cannellini beans with butterbeans [lima beans], haricot beans [navy beans], or chickpeas [garbanzo beans] or replace the beans with pieces of tofu or tempeh
* use sweet potatoes, parsnips, or celeriac instead of ordinary potatoes
* white miso paste can be replaced with 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or ½-1 teaspoon of mustard powder such as Coleman's mustard powder, or about 1 teaspoon of jarred mustard [such as Dijon, wholegrain mustard, or hot-dog mustard]
* if preferred use extra nutritional yeast flakes as a garnish instead of the shredded vegan cheese
* not a fan of nutritional yeast flakes? replace with shredded vegan cheese preferably a cheddar alternative [Asda, UK has their own brand of Free From Mature cheddar cheese alternative which was used for this recipe]
* broccoli can be replaced with cauliflower, or use a mixture of both broccoli and cauliflower
* replace the regular broccoli with purple sprouting broccoli
* fresh chives can be subbed for spring onions [green onions] or fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or cress
Yes there are a few additions that would be quite nice, such as:
* for extra cheesiness and creaminess add a few scoops of vegan soft cream cheese and stir through the finished soup
* add a few handfuls of fine chopped kale or collards to the soup along with the broccoli
* add a diced green bell pepper along with the broccoli
* add a dollop of vegan green pesto to the finished soup
* a can of whole green or brown lentils, drained
* add cooked quinoa, rice, pasta, or orzo to a serving bowl and pour over the soup
* a drizzle of plant-based cream over the finished soup
* hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds sprinkled over the finished soup, either plain or toasted
White miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and often a grain like rice or barley, and it is added to recipes to provide a richer savoury flavour.
Miso is also salty, so it can also be used as a seasoning to enhance the taste of the recipe. It offers a different type of saltiness compared to ordinary salt due to its fermentation.
Fermented foods, like miso, have probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health so ingredients like miso are often added near the end of cooking or stirred through the recipe after cooking.
Also, when dissolved in liquid, the miso paste can provide extra creaminess or to a recipes texture especially for soups.
White miso paste can usually be found in most large supermarkets, stores, and health shops or wholefood stores. If your in the UK, Asda sells small jars of white miso paste. A small jar will be good for many recipes as only small amounts are used at a time, and the miso paste lasts for ages in the refrigerator.
Yes for our cheesy soup if we have run out of white miso paste then we would usually replace it with soy sauce - about 1-2 tablespoons. However, if you are gluten-free then go with Tamari soy sauce or liquid coconut aminos as these are gluten-free.
Another idea is to use a few extra tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes instead of the miso paste, or go with ½- 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, or 1-2 teaspoons of prepared jarred mustard such as hotdog mustard, Dijon mustard, wholegrain mustard. Mustard and cheesy flavours are always a good flavour combination!
You could add some extra vegan shredded cheese or perhaps a few tablespoons of vegan soft cream cheese or creme fraiche, and adjust to taste. However, we do prefer the strong cheesy flavours that nutritional yeast can bring so if possible do include it. Also, if you do omit the nutritional yeast flakes then do add some mustard powder as this can help add cheesy flavours.
Yes, frozen broccoli is very convenient and saves time preparing the florets and stalks. It also tends to cook faster so if a firmer texture is liked add it later on to the soup recipe so that it doesn't overcook.
Our Cheesy Broccoli Soup, with creamy white beans and potatoes, is the best vegan comfort food meal as its so cheesy, creamy, savoury and satisfying. Easily fill up your family's hungry tummies with this easy mid-week meal.
More easy vegan broccoli recipes
Broccoli is one of our favourite veggies - try stir-frying broccoli in some coconut oil along with thick slices of onion and garlic, just until its fork tender. We like the broccoli to still have a bite.
A dash of soy sauce and its good to go! Its just so tasty! We also love this one-pot Quick Cheesy Pasta which is cooked on the stove-top with the broccoli in the same pot, and everyone's favourites Mongolian 'beef' and Broccoli and Vegan Thai Red Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Chickpea Curry and our creamy Vegetable Hotpot always tastes better when we add broccoli to it.
All these broccoli meals are perfect for tasty mid-week family meals and they have always been particular favourites with my kids. For more vegetable packed dinner ideas do have a look at out collection of Vegan Dinner Recipes. All the recipes are the everyday meals my family currently enjoys.
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup
- large soup pot with lid
- 2 tablespoons plant-based margarine [or vegetable oil of ½ cup vegetable stock, use more stock as needed]
- 600 grams broccoli [include the peeled and trimmed broccoli stalks, slice the broccoli into small florets and the stalk into small cubes]
- 170 grams onion [1 medium-large, diced]
- 300 grams potatoes [2 medium, diced]
- 1 can cannellini beans [400g can/14 oz, drained]
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder [or 4 garlic cloves, fine diced]
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock [hot]
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes [use more if preferred, or replace with vegan shredded cheese]
- 6 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese
- 6 tablespoons chives [chopped, or spring onions use more if liked]
- Melt the margarine in the soup pot.[Alternatively, heat the vegetable stock in the pot.]2 tablespoons plant-based margarine
- Pop in the broccoli, potatoes, onions, and garlic.600 grams broccoli, 170 grams onion, 300 grams potatoes, 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Cook for 10-12 minutes over a low-medium heat, with the pot lid covering half way across the pot. Stir frequently, and if it looks like the veggies may stick too much add a little splash of water and stir.
- Add the beans and stir.1 can cannellini beans
- Next pour in the hot vegetable stock and apple cider vinegar. Season with a little salt and pepper.1.2 litres vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Bring to the boil and over a medium heat simmer for 15 minutes and until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle in the nutritional yeast flakes.4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- Measure a tablespoon of white miso paste and in a small dish mix through a few tablespoons of the soup liquid just to thin the miso out into a smooth thin paste. [Doing this step will ensure that no clumps of miso will remain unmixed within the soup.]1 tablespoon white miso paste
- Pour the miso into the soup and mix well.
- Taste the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serving suggestion:You can blend the whole pot of soup if preferred, or blend half and leave half of the soup chunky mixing the blended portion back through the soup. Or leave the soup chunky which is what we like to do.
- Sprinkle each bowl of soup with chopped chives and shredded vegan cheese.6 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese, 6 tablespoons chives
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional data includes the shredded vegan cheese topping and chives.
- This recipe results in about 2 litres[2 quarts] of soup. It can give 6 good sized portions, but for hungrier appetites possibly 4-5 servings and for smaller appetites potentially 8 servings.
- Store leftovers within the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
- Reheat by placing in a non-stick pot and gently bring to the boil, simmer for a few minutes until piping hot.
- White miso paste can be replaced with 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or ½- 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, or 1-2 teasp
- oons of prepared jarred mustard such as hotdog mustard, Dijon mustard, wholegrain mustard. Replace the nutritional yeast flakes with extra vegan shredded cheese, or a few tablespoons of vegan soft cream cheese.
- Cauliflower can replace the broccoli.
- For a gluten-free soup use a gluten-free stock and gluten-free white miso paste, or replace the miso with 1 tablespoon of liquid coconut aminos or Tamari soy sauce.
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