Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
I'll be honest, broccoli soups aren't really something that I ever thought of making until fairly recently, but after being stuck in lockdown for weeks, I decided it was time to get creative in the kitchen again. After tasting the result, I now realise it's a shame I hadn't tried it sooner!
This recipe is simple, flavourful, and quick to make; everything you could ever want from a soup recipe. These instructions make enough to serve a crowd, but can easily be scaled up or down, depending on how many people you're catering for. Additionally, it works great as a starter, but is definitely also filling enough to be enjoyed as a full meal too - just adjust the serving size to suit your appetite.
Ingredients (serves 4-8)
900g broccoli florets (equal to roughly 4 average-sized broccoli)
6 celery stalks
1 white onion
5 cloves of garlic
40g fresh parsley
10g fresh basil
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Juice of half a lemon
1ltr vegetable stock
400g coconut cream (plus a little extra for topping - optional)
Start by heating a little olive oil in a large, deep saucepan. Finely chop the onion, celery, and garlic, and add them to the pan. Fry for 10 minutes until the onion is soft.
Whilst that is frying, prepare the broccoli by removing the stalks and separating the florets (note: see my FAQ on which parts of the broccoli to use).
When the onion mixture is ready, add the broccoli to the pot, along with the vegetable stock, coconut cream, herbs, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and a generous amount of black pepper. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, leaving the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the broccoli is soft.
Next, remove the pot from the heat. Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until fully smooth. This may take several minutes but make sure to keep at it to ensure that no lumps remain.
Before serving, taste, and if necessary add additional salt or pepper.
Finally, divide the soup into individual bowls, top with a drizzle of coconut cream (optional), grind over some black pepper or chili flakes, and serve!
Serve with a little warm, crusty bread, and enjoy!
Q: Can I use the whole broccoli?
A: Absolutely! The stalks of the broccoli are generally quite tough, which is why we usually avoid them, but really there is no need to waste them. In fact, they are one of the most nutritious parts of the vegetable! If you do decide to include them, then I recommend discarding the very bottom section and peeling the outer layer. Then, chop them into small chunks, and throw them into the pot along with the rest of the broccoli. But beware - if you cut them too big then they will take quite a bit longer to cook.
Q: Can I prepare this ahead of time?
A: Of course! If you're throwing a dinner party, the last thing you want to be doing is making a soup from scratch on the night. This soup should keep for up to two days in the fridge, so it can be easily prepared ahead of time and then warmed up when needed.
Q: What type of blender should I use?
A: I always use my trusty hand blender when making soups, but if you have a good quality smoothie maker, you can use that too to achieve the same result. Either way, the key is to keep going until the soup is completely smooth and all lumps have been removed.