Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup

Broccoli soup makes me want to do my taxes.

Vertical image of a white bowl with a green puree and roasted vegetable garnish, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Alright, alright, I know. But hear me out.

Nothing actually makes me want to do my taxes, but if I have to sit through the boring process, I will always be more cheerful if there’s a bowl of creamy broccoli soup nearby.

As a freelance food writer and recipe developer, tax time is a bit more complicated since, you know, I eat most of my work.

During the calendar year, income goes up and down, left and right, and sometimes nowhere at all – which is why saving receipts for groceries, dinners, visits to coffee shops, and so on is a vital part of the gig.

When it comes time to gather, organize, divide, and conquer nine thousand tiny pieces of paper, I’m not necessarily chomping at the bit to get started. The first time I was faced with this task, I was living (and working) in a one-bedroom apartment where my cat took up most of the available space. I needed somewhere to spread out, and that wasn’t it.

Luckily, the clock had just struck lunch.

Vertical image of a white bowl and a pot filled with a pureed green vegetable mixture on a black marble surface next to cashews, a towel, and a large serving spoon.

I wandered into a nearby Panera Bread Company and decided to treat myself to a massive bowl of their famous broccoli cheddar soup. Suddenly, sifting my way through a mountain of partially indecipherable scraps became less daunting alongside buttery spoonfuls of cheesy, broccoli-studded broth.

The moral of the story is that when March rolls around in my world, all roads lead to soup.

In an attempt to recreate the drool-worthy dish at home (tax time only comes once a year, after all) while sprucing it up with a little makeover, this recipe was born.

I am by no means a vegan, but I do try to cut back on dairy when I can since I typically enjoy a decent amount of it in my diet.

You can’t take away my weekly queso delivery, but I will happily use almond milk in my cereal and oat milk in my lattes.

Vertical image of a large white bowl filled with pureed green mixture with nuts garnish.

Gooey white American and green chilies are staple cheese dip ingredients for me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t harbor a little curiosity about all the nut-based cheese products that are on the shelves these days. Not that I plan on dipping tortilla chips in them necessarily, but I do want to know what all the hype is about.

Here is what I learned:

Soaked, softened, blended cashews are the bomb, baby!

Thanks to their high fat content, they really do make a fantastic substitute for cream and/or cheese (or cheese sauce!) in a recipe.

Since the herb-roasted veggies – broccoli, onions, and garlic – create the backbone of this soup’s savory, caramelized flavor, they could simply be pureed with stock and you could call it a day. But why not go two steps further, via soaked cashews and coconut milk, to make things that much more decadent?

Vertical top-down image of a bowl and a pot of a pureed green mixture with garnishes on a black marble surface.

Coconut milk adds a rich flavor and melt-in-your-mouth quality, while the cashews also add creaminess and boost the protein content. There are so many wins in this earthy, vegetal soup, I’ve literally lost count.

If you’re like me and can’t resist the occasional bowl of that broccoli cheese goodness from an almighty fast-casual bakery café, you’ll fall hard for this lightened-up, and undeniably more flavorful vegan version.

Even if you can’t mark down the cashews as a work expense, this soup will be worth every penny once tax time comes around.

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Horizontal image of a pot filled with a pureed green mixture with a vegetable garnish next to a red and white towel and cashews on a black marble surface.

Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (about 1 cup per person) 1x

Description

Want to embrace vegan fare? Start with something familiar like this broccoli soup packed with sweet roasted garlic and fresh herbs.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, plus 2 tablespoons chopped for garnish
  • 6 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 2 medium heads)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a small saucepot with water and bring it to a boil. Add 1/2 cup cashews. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and allow the cashews to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed half-size baking sheet (18 x 13 inches) with parchment paper.
  3. Leave the garlic skins on, but slice off the tips.
  4. Add the broccoli, onion, garlic, thyme, and rosemary to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss until everything is thoroughly coated. Arrange the veggies in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake, tossing once halfway through, until the veggies are golden-brown and caramelized, about 30-35 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool slightly and then squeeze the roasted cloves out of their skins. Reserve a few pieces of crispy broccoli for garnish.
  6. Add the roasted veggies, soaked cashews, vegetable broth, and coconut milk to a large soup pot. Using a handheld immersion blender, blend until smooth. Simmer the soup on medium heat until it’s heated through, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with additional salt if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with several pieces of roasted broccoli, chopped cashews, and a swirl of coconut milk before serving.
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Oven/Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: broccoli, roasted, vegan, soup

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Soak Cashews and Prep Broccoli

I like to use the boil method to soak cashews in this recipe because I can prep the rest of the ingredients in the 30 minutes it takes them to soften. You can also soak the cashews in room temperature water overnight.

Horizontal image of soaked cashews in a strainer.

Fill a small saucepot with water and bring it to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of cashews, cover the pot with a lid, turn off the heat, and allow the nuts to soak for at least 30 minutes, or until you’re ready to blend them into the soup. Drain the cashews when you’re ready to use them, and discard the water.

Chop the remaining 2 tablespoons of cashews and set them aside for garnish. These can also be toasted if you like, for extra nuttiness.

Horizontal image of chopping off vegetable florets.

To chop the broccoli into florets without making a big mess on your cutting board, you ultimately want to make all of your cuts through the stems or stalk, not the florets. Slicing through the fluffy florets results in broccoli crumbs everywhere.

Start by slicing the head in half through the stem. Holding the stem up vertically, make downward cuts to separate the head into smaller pieces. Next, slice off the stems crosswise towards the bottom of each floret so there’s only a little bit of a stalk left. Slice any florets that are too large through the stem to make them smaller.

Step 2 – Gather and Measure All Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed half-size baking sheet (18 x 13 inches) with parchment paper.

Roughly chop the onion. The pieces should be around the same size, but they don’t need to be perfectly uniform since they’re going to be roasted and pureed.

Horizontal image of assorted prepped vegetables and aromatics.

Leave the garlic skins on, but slice off the tips. Keeping the skins on will keep them from burning in the oven while they roast.

Chop the thyme and rosemary.

Gather and measure out the rest of your ingredients.

Step 3 – Roast Broccoli, Onion, and Garlic

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. You can do this directly on the baking sheet if you prefer, but I find that tossing everything in a mixing bowl helps to ensure that it’s evenly coated with the oil and seasonings.

Drizzle with the olive oil, season with the salt and pepper, and toss until thoroughly coated.

Arrange the veggies in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. If the broccoli looks a bit crowded, you can always use two baking sheets to make sure everything has plenty of room.

Horizontal image of lightly caramelized green florets, onions, and garlic cloves.

When veggies are too close together in the oven, they steam instead of roasting, and you won’t be able to achieve that golden-brown caramelization, which adds color, texture, and rich flavor.

Place the pan in the oven, and give the vegetables a toss to promote even browning about halfway through. Roast until the veggies are lightly charred, for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and set a few smaller pieces of the broccoli aside to use as an elegant garnish.

Once the garlic has cooled slightly, pinch the side of the skin that you didn’t slice, and the roasted clove will pop right out.

Step 4 – Add Liquids and Puree

Horizontal image of green vegetables, liquids, and nuts in a large pot.

Add the roasted broccoli and onion, roasted garlic cloves, soaked and drained cashews, vegetable broth, and coconut milk to a large soup pot, making sure you reserve about 2 tablespoons of coconut milk for garnish.

Horizontal image of pureeing a green mixture with an immersion blender in a pot.

Use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. If you don’t have a handheld blender, you can use a high-speed blender or food processor instead, and then transfer the mixture to a soup pot.

Step 5 – Heat, Garnish, and Serve

Simmer the soup over medium heat until it’s hot, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt if necessary.

Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with several pieces of roasted broccoli, chopped cashews, and a swirl of coconut milk.

Horizontal image of a white bowl filled with a pureed green mixture with a vegetable garnish next to a red and white towel, a pot, and a large ladle on a black marble surface.

You can simply add a small dollop of the coconut milk on top for garnish, but if you want to create a fancy swirl, spoon it into a zip-top bag, snip off one of the ends, and carefully pipe it over the top.

Pro tip: Place the reserved coconut milk you’re going to use for garnish in the freezer for a few minutes before serving, so it floats on top instead of just melting right into the hot soup.

But What About the Bread Bowl?

Yes, you could absolutely serve this roasted soup in a carb container so there’s one less bowl in the dishwasher! But when it comes to enhancements for this recipe, here are my two go-to tips:

Horizontal image of a pot filled with a pureed green mixture with a vegetable garnish next to a red and white towel and cashews on a black marble surface.

Since the broccoli loses a little of its vibrance in the oven, stirring in 1 cup of fresh baby spinach just before serving boosts the green color and nutrition of the soup. Kale is also welcome.

While you’re already working with soaked cashews, try whipping up the cashew cream in this recipe for a garnish in place of the coconut milk swirl.

You’re already getting your greens in this broccoli soup, so no side salad is needed. What will you serve with it instead?

Share your favorite soup sidecars in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

I love getting my daily dose of veggies in liquid form. If you feel the same way, you’ll appreciate these other magnificently meat-free, veg-heavy soup recipes:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Sarah Hagstrom on July 30, 2015. Last updated on March 26, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

27 thoughts on “Vegan Roasted Broccoli Soup”

  1. I never would have thought to put nuts in soups. Many years ago, I had a Chinese chicken dish that used peanut sauce. I think adding nuts to dishes does make things interesting. Any recipe that goes beyond the usual trail mix, or just having nuts as a topping for a dessert should be given a try.

    Reply
  2. I’m making this. My friend and I do a lot of raw stuff like this. I’m going to match this one up. Baking it is good but I might steam it lightly until it softens. You don’t want to kill it too much, the vitamins in the broccoli. This is a really good combo. I like to add cashews to things to boost up the protein. What’s great about soups is that you can have it alone or add it to another dish like salad. An appetizer to a main dish or even breakfast.

    Reply
  3. I admit, I have never roasted broccoli before. As my father his diverticulitis and cannot eat nuts, I would have to replace the cashews with more coconut milk. However, my favorite nut happens to be the cashew, so I’m looking forward to making this for myself. The health benefits are just icing on the cake. Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
  4. I have several broccoli soup recipes but nothing close to this, I’ve got to give this recipe a try for sure. I agree with Love2eat, I think steaming the would be good. I steam it with other vegetables as a side dish a lot, keeps the nutrients of the vegetables. I believe I would have to try it both ways, with the cashews and the coconut milk, to see which way I liked the most. However, I may just like them both!

    Reply
  5. I eat a lot of broccoli, yet I’ve never roasted it. Pretty sure I’d love it. And cashews are one of my favorite nut varieties, so I bet this combo is utterly delicious. I hope to be able to try it out soon.

    Reply
    • Same here. I’ve never tried this cooking method for this particular veggie, but it sounds great. The addition of the nuts is the cherry on top. Yum.

      I would enjoy this, and so would my granddaughter. You wouldn’t think a little child would be so crazy about something that’s good for her, but this is her favorite. She likes soup two, so I know she’d enjoy this recipe. I’ll have to whip her up a batch.

      Reply
  6. This sounds like a nice soup, and the cashews are an unexpected treat. I never would have thought of cooking the vegetables ahead of time in the oven, it sounds as if that speeds up the process quite a bit, so this might be doable on a weeknight, as well as the weekends.

    Reply
  7. I have never grilled brocolli and I bake vegetables a lot. I really like this recipe and I even like the process of how you bake more than just the brocolli. The cashews make it even more of a treat. I look forward to creating and eating this healthy soup!

    Reply
  8. So, I wonder, would putting nutritional yeast somewhere in here make for a cheesy taste? I understand that’s how vegan cheese is made, and often with cashews as well. So, could I just sprinkle it on, or would I have to process it with the cashews?

    Reply
  9. This looks delicious. My friend can’t eat nuts, to I appreciate that you mentioned that you can substitute them with coconut oil. I love creamy soups! I never feel hungry after eating them. Broccolis are always nice, too.

    Reply
  10. I’m always the one that grabs the broccoli first from the raw veggie tray! I’ve always loved broccoli and cheese soup, but have been looking for a healthy alternative. This soup fits the bill! And the cashews are a pleasant bonus!!

    Reply
  11. This recipe sound so disgusting for lack of a polite word. I would really like to hear from people who have actually tried it so that i can have second thoughts of doing the same. I have always tried my best to create almost all dishes on this blog but i think this one will be an exception.

    Reply
  12. I once had this chicken dish that included some type of peanut sauce and vegetables. ( And yes broccoli was included). That was years ago in some Thai restaurant. I’m glad to have come across another recipe that uses nuts in the dish besides being used as a quick snack.I have never had roasted broccoli before so now I have something new to try.

    Reply
  13. That recipe looks delicious. Cashew nuts are a great way to make something more creamy, and it’s what I use when I want to substitute for cream to make a recipe healthier.

    As someone who hates eating broccoli and struggles to find a way to make them more palatable, thanks for this recipe. I will have to try it at some point.

    Reply
  14. I am not a lover of vegetables but i must admit that this recipe looks good. I will try it myself. Maybe i might reconsider having veges as part of my day to day diet.

    Reply
  15. I’ve never tried roasted broccoli (whether it’s me who cooked or someone else or even in restaurants). But I looooooooooooooove broccoli :D. And I also looooooooove soup! I’ve had soups with broccoli in it but never a soup that is mainly made of broccoli. So, I guess I’ll try this one :3

    Reply
  16. I am a vegetarian. This article has made me love my diet more. I like visiting this forum as i get to learn more of other alternatives to what i take constantly.

    Reply
  17. Very good recipe Sarah and I just loved it. It is hard to find tasty and delicious food, but this looks really tasty. The fact that it has vegetables like broccoli which is an incredibly good anti-oxidant helps maintain a healthy diet. The addition of Coconut milk, Cashew, Rosemary and Thyme take the flavour of the soup to a whole new level. Keep posting more healthy stuff.

    Reply
  18. I love to cook and have dabbled in many different types of cuisines. I had my doubts on roasted broccoli but I tried it anyway. Too my surprise is was great! Smoking the broccoli complemented the soup. After some persuasion my wife tried it and she was floored. This will be on my menu from now on.

    Reply
  19. I roast broccoli a lot, and it is fantastic! I must admit, I love broccoli raw, steamed, boiled, or sautéed. I really enjoy broccoli soup and I’ve never thought about adding nuts to the soup before. I’ll have to give it a try.

    Reply
  20. I’ve recently taken on a vegetarian diet, with a desire to keep my source of nutrients as cruelty free and animal free as possible. I’ve always wanted to go vegan, but have been cautious of becoming malnourished or worried over the fact that there were such limited options in meals. This however, looks delicious and I’ll have to print it out to add to my cookbook binder. Do you think I could replace the coconut milk with almond milk? That’s usually what I have around as I prefer the taste more. Although the almond would probably go with the cashew flavor splendidly I figured I’d ask if you’ve done it before, before wasting perfectly good food experimenting.

    Reply
  21. Okay so this soup really caught my eye. Broccoli is such a great staple in our home…especially with cheese..it is such a great side dish for everything. I have not even thought about a broccoli soup..and I don’t think I have ever tasted a broccoli soup. The garlic and vegetable broth seems like it would send the flavor to a whole other level. I absolutely love cashews…next to peanuts they are my favorite.

    Reply
  22. I think this would be great for weight loss. I’ve been looking into soup recipes because I think they would be a good meal alternative. I’m currently learning to count calories and I usually look up the caloric content of the ingredients but something as simple as this would not only be healthy but also satisfying. Plus, I can have as much soup as I want and not feel bloated.

    Reply
  23. It looks really delicious and it is full of good nutrients, I will give it a try, I hope that mine comes out the way yours did.

    Reply
  24. I have cooked broccoli soup before but never this kind that includes so many different spices then I use.
    The recipe is quite simple and I am sure my kids will love it.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  25. I recently roasted cauliflower for the first time this way and the family could simply not believe the difference that it makes; I imagine that roasting broccoli will cause a similarly stunning transformation! I will definitely give this a go – I will have to substitute the coconut milk for a nut milk though because we simply can’t get coconut milk in my corner of the world, but I’m sure almond milk will work just fine too.

    Reply

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