Jalapeño Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup (vegan) – a fast and easy weeknight meal that is loaded up with lots of healthy broccoli! This delicious soup is vegan, keto and gluten-free- and can be made in 30 minutes!
Ohhhhhhh how we’ve been loving this Jalapeño Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup this week! Think of this like Broccoli Cheddar Soup, but made vegan and kicked up and notch with poblano peppers and jalapenos. Doesn’t that sound good? It is!
It’s not spicy, just super flavorful! Cashews (or hemp seeds) give the soup it’s rich creaminess. Nutritional yeast gives it its cheesy flavor. Or feel free to use vegan Daiya Cheddar Shreds that actaully melt.
What I like about this soup is how it really is mostly broccoli. Blending part of the cooked broccoli with the cashews gives it such a silky luxurious texture, it feels good in your mouth. But don’t take my word for it- give it a try and see.
To finish the soup, add the flavorful tempering oil. Quickly saute sliced jalapeno in olive oil with whole cumin seeds and Aleppo. Throw in some corn if you have some in your freezer, and just spoon this over the soup. So tasty!
Down here in Santa Barbara, where things grow year-round, the farmers market is full of veggies like broccoli and peppers. I feel a little spoiled after spending years in Eastern Washington where the farmer’s markets basically shut down for the long winter.
For this recipe, you’ll need about a pound or 7 cups of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets. I always include the stems as well- slicing them thinly.
The soup starts with sauteing the onion, garlic and peppers. I used two poblanos and 1 jalapeno. The soup was mildly spicy. Barely spicy truthfully. There is a lot of broccoli to counteract the peppers.
If you are worried about heat, perhaps start with 1/2 a jalapeno.
Once the onions and peppers are tender, add the veggie broth and water and herbs and spices and broccoli.
Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until the broccoli is tender, 10-12 minutes.
Take two cups of the tender broccoli and two cups of the broth and place it in a blender.
Add the cashews. If using a high-powered blender, no need to soak the cashews.
Shush, don’t tell! No seriously, it’s fine in pinch.
So I usually start with just one cup broccoli and 1 cup broth with the cashews, blend until smooth, then add the second cup of broccoli and broth.
Now, the color of the soup will be a little drab- unless you do this trick, which if you’ve been here a while, you’ll already know.
Add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach to the blender, and blend until smooth. This will give the soup a lovely vibrance that will make it far more appetizing.
Plus you get all the added nutrients from the spinach.
Pour this vibrant silky smooth concoction into the pot.
Stir and gently heat over low heat, careful not to simmer too long, or you will lose the lovely color!
To make the flavorful tempering oil – which of course you can adapt to what you have on hand, simply saute a sliced jalapeno, some whole cumin seeds and maybe corn if you have it, or if not, pumpkin seeds, or something crunchy and some chili flakes or Aleppo.
Spoon this flavorful finishing oil over the soup, after you’ve dished it up, for a burst of flavor.
So there you have it… Jalapeño Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
So simple! So tasty! So healthy!
The Vegan Broccoli Soup cooks up quickly for weeknight dinners and heats up perfectly for midweek lunches (either in a microwave or on the stovetop- set on low) and best of all, packs a powerful punch of healthy nutrients.So much goodness here.
I hope you are having a good start to your workweek. Enjoy this vegan Jalapeño Broccoli Cheddar Soup and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Vegan Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup with Jalapeño – a fast and easy weeknight recipe that is healthy, vegan and keto!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4–6 fat garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1–2 poblano peppers, diced (I like 2)
- 1 jalapeno, diced fine (use 1/2 for less spice- see notes)
- 7 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (about 1 – 1 ¼ pound, stems ok if cut thinly)
- 4 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 4 cups water + 1 tablespoon “Better than Bouillon” Vegetable Base)
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf (optional, remove before blending)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked or simmered, see notes) or hemp hearts
- 2–3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (see notes)
- 1–2 large handful baby spinach (for vibrant color)
Optional Finishing oil:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- pinch chili flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup corn kernals, frozen is ok (optional)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
- cilantro or scallions, lime
- Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, poblanos and jalapeno, stirring occasionally, letting the onions get golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, broth, water, bay leaf, coriander, oregano, salt, and pepper. The liquid should just cover the veggies. Cover, bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer gently until broccoli is tender, about 10-12. minutes. Turn heat off and remove bay leaf.
- BLEND: Place roughly 1 cup of the broccoli and 1 cup of broth into a blender. Let cool 5 minutes. Add the cashews and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast.
- Cover tightly with blender lid and kitchen towel, holding it down firmly, when you start the motor (on the lowest setting, working up gradually) to prevent a blender “explosion”. Blend until silky smooth.
- Add one more cup broccoli and one more cup broth. Blend again until silky smooth.
- To the blender, add 1-2 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach for that extra vibrant “green” color, and blend until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Pour this back in the broccoli soup pot, mix and heat gently over low heat, careful not to boil or simmer too long, or you will lose the lovely vibrant green color.
- Taste for salt, heat, and acid. Add a little squeeze of lime if you like, or extra chili flakes or more pepper. For extra “cheesy” flavor add another tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
- Make the finishing oil: Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sliced jalapeno, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, chili flakes, and optional corn kernals or pumkin seeds. Heat until cumin is fragrant, about 1 minute. Serve the soup in bowls and spoon a little finishing oil over the soup (when serving) in a crescent shape.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro or scallions or a wedge of lime.
If using a high-powered blender, no need to soak the cashews. Regular Blender? Soak cashews for 4-8 hours (or overnight) in cold water. OR for a quick “cheater” soak, simmer cashews in a little pot of simmering water for 15 mintues to soften, drain before blending.
No Cashews? Feel free substitute hemp seeds for the cashews (or sour cream).
Spice level: With 2 poblanos and 1 jalpeno, soup was still very mildly spicy. You can double or half the jalapeno or leave it out entirely if worried about heat. Up to you. 🙂
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