Quick, Planetarian Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup

Quick, creamy, vegan, dairy-free broccoli "cheddar" soup

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This Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup is a Variation on a Root Formula, a simplified recipe that shows which ingredients
are core and which can be changed to create different flavor combinations or use what you
have on hand. See our other variations at the bottom of the Root Formula page.

This Quick Planetarian Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup exemplifies the Root Formula Quick, Creamy Vegetable Soup. Unlike like the other variations of this formula, Quick Planetarian Broccoli Cheddar cannot be made by the oven method. Only the stove-top method works for this soup. And when you think about it, doesn’t it make sense? When asked how you would cook vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, and butternut squash, you’d likely respond that you could roast them in the oven or steam them stovetop. When asked how you would cook broccoli, you’d likely respond that you’d steam them. It’s true for broccoli soup as well. We found that the broccoli lost its vibrant color and flavor in the oven, and we didn’t not love roasted broccoli soup.

How to make Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup

But this stovetop Quick Planetarian Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup is wonderful and so easy. Simply separate the broccoli from the stems and cut them into medium florets. Don’t throw away the stems! If they’re thick and woody, you may want to use a small paring knife to pull away the thick exterior. If you’re using broccoli crowns, you’ll likely not have to perform this step. Cut the stems into thick coins. Place the broccoli and stems, along with a few garlic cloves and some pepper flakes, in a large skillet with a cup of broth and turn the burner on high. With such a small amount of liquid and such high heat, it doesn’t take long for the broth to boil and the broccoli to cook. In about 10 minutes—just as the last bit of broth has evaporated—the broccoli is tender enough to puree.

Turn the broccoli into a blender with the remaining broth and puree to a silky, smooth texture and return the mixture to a small soup kettle for warming, enriching with creamy coconut milk, and flavoring with nutritional yeast and lemon juice to give it that cheesy flavor. That’s it.

And you thought making broccoli cheddar soup was time-consuming and hard!


In addition to this Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup, we have also created a Smoky Cauliflower and a Curried Butternut Squash. Use the Root Formula to create your own Variations.

Quick, creamy, vegan, dairy-free broccoli "cheddar" soup

Quick, Planetarian Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup

Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Yield: 1.5 quarts

Recipe Notes

In this Quick, Creamy Vegetable Soup variation, nutritional yeast gives the soup a nutty cheese-like flavor. To mimic the cheesy tang, squeeze in lemon juice to taste.
*If you like, garnish this soup with toasted pine nuts or chopped roasted almonds.


  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into medium florets and stems cut into coins
  • 6 cloves garlic, halved if small, quartered if large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cups broth, your choice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 1/2 lemon


  • Place broccoli, garlic, oil, pepper flakes, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, basil, and 1 cup of broth in a large (12-inch) skillet. Cover and turn burner on high and cook until broth has evaporated and vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer vegetable mixture to a blender; add remaining 2 cups of broth and puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to a minute. Turn puree into a large saucepan; add nutritional yeast and coconut milk so that soup is thin enough to be soup, yet thick enough to float a garnish. Squeeze in lemon juice to taste. Heat through, adjusting flavors, including additional salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, *garnish if you like, and serve.


In addition to this Smoky Cauliflower Soup, we have also created a Broccoli “Cheddar” and a Curried Butternut Squash. Use the Root Formula to create your own Variations.

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