This week we truly began to approach peak foliage in New England. The colors on the trees are popping and I’m constantly reminding myself not to look at the trees while I’m driving but sometimes I just can’t help it. The rich reds and purples in combination with the bright oranges and yellows are absolutely stunning.
With this change comes a change in my focus for cooking. This season makes me want to eat all things squash, but… that can get tricky when your fiancé hates all things squash. With our weekend meal-prep, I was thinking about different soups I wanted to make, but with a full day’s work ahead of me I realized I did not have time to make multiple meals for us for the week. All of a sudden I remembered broccoli cheddar soup was a thing and got so very excited.
My broccoli cheddar soup is cheddar-less but my fiancé actually shared that it really tasted like there was cheese in it! Woo hoo! You have no idea how happy I was to hear that (well, maybe you do). Almost two years into being dairy free, I’ve sadly reached the point where I have to ask “Does this taste like real cheese?” It totally reminds me of the time my friend had me try a tofu-dog and said “it tastes JUST like real hotdogs!” It absolutely did not taste like real hotdogs. I love her dearly, but I do not want to sit here pretending like things taste “just like real cheese” if they don’t. So I rely on my family and friends to tell me the hard truth, and almost every time I have been told that it does not taste like real cheese. UNTIL… my broccoli and “cheddar” soup. TA DA! (insert jazz hands here).
Vegan Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 large stalks of celery, chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 4 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups of broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 cup of raw unsalted cashews
- 3 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth for a non-vegan option)
- 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper
- optional: 1/8 tsp paprika (adds color)
- Prep all vegetables prior to beginning cooking.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. Mix and cook 3-4 minutes until onion becomes translucent.
- Add potatoes, broccoli, cashews, and add a little bit more salt and pepper. Add vegetable broth, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and ground turmeric. Add the paprika here if you choose to use it. Mix. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the potatoes are soft enough to be pierced through with a fork, remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Remove vegetable mix from the pot and add to blender with remaining cup of almond milk. If you have a small blender or are using something like a NutriBullet, you may need to divide the mixture. Make sure the contents are cool before blending, as heat can cause pressure to build in the blender and it could potentially explode. Add the almond milk cold in order to help lower the temperature of the mixture before blending. Blend contents until smooth and return to pot.
- In the pot, return to medium heat. Add nutritional yeast and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!