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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