Vegan Broccoli and Cheese Soup

One of my favorite things to order at Panera before going vegan was their broccoli and cheese soup in a bread bowl. What wasn’t to love about it? The soup was creamy and hearty and that bread bowl was fantastic.

It’s definitely a meal that I’ve missed since eliminating dairy from my diet.

This recipe has been a work in progress for quite some time. Ever since I perfected the Beer Mac and Cheese, I knew I was close to perfecting Broccoli and Cheese Soup.

This soup uses the cheese sauce from Beer Mac and Cheese to add the creamy, cheesiness. It’s base is cashews, potatoes, and carrots all blended with spices, nooch, lemon juice, and tapioca starch.

While the potatoes and carrots are boiling, you can start preparing the soup veggies. Start by sautéing the onions and carrots I. A bit of Earth Balance Vegan Butter. Then, add in a clove of minced garlic.

When the onions and carrots are tender, add in the veggie broth, bay leaf, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Once the potatoes are fork tender, add in the chopped broccoli.

It will seem like there’s not enough liquid, but you’ll be adding the cheese sauce from the blender once all of your veggies are soft.

The tapioca starch will thicken as the soup heats up. If you don’t have tapioca starch or it doesn’t seem thick enough after heating for 10 minutes, you can add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the soup even more. I would add a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water at a time. The key during this process is to stir well and be patient!

Just look at that creamy, cheesy soup! You can serve it in a regular bowl or in a sour dough bread bowl if you’re feeling extra fancy.

Please tag me on instagram if you try this recipe! I’d love to see your version!


Vegan Broccoli and Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

A plant based twist on a classic, creamy soup.

Author: Brianna Wright


For the Cheesy Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) raw, unsalted cashews soaked and drained
  • 1 cup (150 grams) red potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t ground mustard powder
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 T tapioca starch
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the Soup:

  • 1 T Earth Balance Vegan Butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups potato, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2-3 heads broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces


  1. Soak cashews for 4 hours or more in water.*
  2. Peel and chop the potato and carrot. Add to boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until just tender.* Drain.
  3. While the carrots and potatoes are boiling, add cashews, broth, cashew milk, seasonings, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and lemon juice to a blender.
  4. Add carrots and potatoes to the blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Sauté onions and carrots in butter 3-5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  6. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  7. Add vegetable broth, bay leaf, and potatoes. Adjust heat to bring to a gentle boil.
  8. Boil 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Then add the broccoli and boil until that is just tender, another 3-5 minutes.
  9. Add cheese sauce from blender and mix well, allowing the soup to heat all the way through.
  10. The soup should thicken as it heats up from the tapioca starch. If it is not thick enough for your preference, you can add a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and water) to thicken. start with 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time to prevent it getting too thick.

*If you haven’t soaked the cashews, you can boil them for 10-15 minutes but that won’t produce as smooth and creamy of a sauce as cashews that have been soaked for 4 or more hours.

*It is critical to not overcook the potatoes. If you do, the sauce will have a more gritty texture. I’ve found adding the chopped potato and carrot to boiling water for 10 minutes to work best.


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