Easy Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

  • Author: Claire Cary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American


Whether you call it (vegan) broccoli cheddar soup or broccoli cheese soup, this is a vegan take on the classic favorite. It’s easy to make, rich, creamy, cheesy and cozy comfort food at its finest.



  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 yellow potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups vegan chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets 
  • 2 large carrots (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Add the raw cashews into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit to soften while the other ingredients cook. 
  2. Chop the onion and garlic and add to a large pot with the olive oil. 
  3. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion starts to look translucent and the garlic is golden brown. 
  4. Add in the chopped carrot, celery and salt and pepper. Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Add in the chopped and peeled potatoes along with the broth. 
  6. Let simmer over low/medium heat until the potatoes are fork tender. This should take about 15 minutes depending on the size of your potato pieces. 
  7. During the final few minutes, add the broccoli to a smaller pot with about 1/2 cup of water and let steam until it is fork tender. Keep an eye on it and add more water as needed or use a steamer basket
  8. When the potatoes are fork tender, add everything from that pot into a blender. Add in the nutritional yeast, lemon, and drained and rinsed cashews. Process until smooth. Depending on the type of blender you have, you may need to do this in two batches. Start the blender on low and increase it higher, keeping the lid slightly ajar to allow heat to escape. 
  9. Once smooth, add in the steamed broccoli and pulse to break it up. You can keep the broccoli in large chunks, blend it fully, or pulse it to make smaller pieces (my preference). You can also skip this step entirely if you want the full broccoli florets in the soup (or do half and half!)
  10. Transfer the soup back to the pot, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. The soup should be pretty thick at this point, but if you want to thin it out, just add an extra 1/2 cup broth or until it reaches your desired consistency. The Panera version of this soup has shredded carrots mixed into it, but I prefer the texture to be more smooth so I left them out. However, you are welcome to stir in about 1/2 cup shredded carrots and let simmer to soften them.
  11. Let simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors blend, then serve immediately with croutons, a fresh baguette or just as is! It is also delicious over rice.


For an extra cheesy flavor, add in 1/4 cup of your favorite dairy free cheese shreds.

This recipe calls for vegan chicken broth (or regular chicken broth) because it has a lot more flavor than traditional vegetable broth. A lot of grocery stores carry a vegan style chicken broth, but if you can’t find it, you can use regular vegetable broth and add a bit more salt and pepper as needed or use chicken flavored vegetable bouillon to achieve the same flavor.

This soup can be frozen! Be sure to leave enough room in your container to allow for expansion, and wait until it has cooled completely before putting in an air tight container.

To make this soup more like the Panera version, add in 1/2 cup shredded carrots after it has been blended and let simmer to soften the carrots and absorb the flavor from the soup. 


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 462
  • Sugar: 6.7g
  • Fat: 27g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 7.4g
  • Protein: 18.8g

Keywords: vegan broccoli cheddar soup, vegan broccoli cheese soup, broccoli cheddar soup