Before I get into how I make vegan and healthy broccoli cheddar soup, let me tell you what’s new! Last week I finally took a flight back home to Pennsylvania. I was very thankful to finally see my family and my baby kitties that I love so dearly. The fall weather was an amazing relief from my day to day endurance of warm temperatures in Texas since this year Texas has been unusually warm for the month of October. The purpose for my trip to Pennsylvania was for my big brother’s wedding. After my arrival we prepared for the wedding by baking cookies and decorating the event hall. The big day turned out wonderfully and everyone had an amazing time. My brother was so excited to marry his bride and was beaming throughout the evening. I wish them endless happiness!
After my weekend of fun I had to return to Houston for work. My time in Pennsylvania was short, but hopefully next time I will be able to go to Pennsylvania for a much longer vacation. Fast forward one week later and I really felt the effects of having a chaotic diet for the past week. I definitely wasn’t eating my best with all the traveling and high workload after getting back into the office. But this past Sunday morning that all changed because I was tired of feeling really sluggish. To combat that feeling I did some major meal prepping for the week by forcing myself to sit down and make an excel sheet of all the things I planned to eat from Monday-Sunday. I decided to prepare all vegan/plant-based meals this time around! I have slowly been accumulating substitutions for eggs and dairy products in my fridge and I think my collection is finally complete with my nutritional yeast for all things cheesy plus my Daiya cheese melts, Earth Balance butter, unsweetened almond milk, vegan mayo, and ground flaxseed. Despite what people say it’s not that difficult to make substitutions in order to have a cruelty-free diet.
After gathering all of the groceries I started cooking the meals and froze and refrigerated what I could ahead of time. Doing this is a total time saver so I don’t use up my whole evening cooking food when I could be working out, blogging, spending time with my boyfriend or doing a million other little things. I really like how it’s ready and all I have to do is heat it up! Of course there are some things I prefer to prep the night before such as kimbap (‘sushi’), sandwiches, or salads. I find that these foods tend to get a little soggy over time so I don’t like to leave them in the fridge for too long. The first meal I made and stored in the freezer is thi s vegan broccoli cheddar soup. This was my first time really experimenting with nutritional yeast for this particular recipe, but both myself and my non-vegetarian boyfriend really enjoyed this recipe and I hope you will too!
|Healthy (Vegan) Broccoli Cheddar Soup|
|Immersion Blender or Food Processor or Regular Blender||1 Head of Cauliflower (remove stalk & cut into small pieces)|
|Large Pot & Lid||1 Head of Broccoli (remove stalk & cut into small pieces)|
|Ladle||1 Large Carrot Sliced (or slice some baby carrots)|
|Knife||1/2 an Onion|
|Cutting Board||1/2 Cup of Nutritional Yeast (This makes the cheesy flavor!)|
|1 Tablespoon of any non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)|
|1 Box of Organic Vegetable Stock (I use low-sodium)|
|1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder|
|1 Teaspoon of Pepper (Optional)|
|1 Teaspoon of Salt|
- Prepare your washed cauliflower, onion, carrots, and broccoli. The cauliflower in particular should be cut into very tiny pieces because you will be making a puree later. However, the size of the pieces of the chopped broccoli, onion, or carrots can be adjusted based on your personal preferences.
2. Take out your large pot and add your chopped cauliflower and roughly half of the box of vegetable stock (no worries just estimate). Place a lid on top of the pot and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes checking periodically to see if the cauliflower is tender.
3. Once the cauliflower is tender you can prepare to create the puree. Now the puree is basically the substitution for the heavy cream that is used in non-vegan broccoli cheddar soup but personally I like this soup way more with the puree because not only is it healthier but it’s also cruelty free. CAUTION: Because the cauliflower is hot you will need to be careful blending the cauliflower depending on what equipment choice you have available. I would recommend wearing an oven mitt to be on the safe side.
Option 1) Immersion Blender – Put an oven mitt on your hand and use the hand blender until it reaches a puree consistency. Of course this is the ideal way to do this so you don’t have to transfer anything, but not everyone owns this equipment.
Options 2 & 3) Food Processor/Regular Blender – I don’t own an immersion blender so this was my choice. I used a ladle to move the cauliflower and broth to the food processor and blended until it reached a puree consistency.
4. You can then transfer the puree back to the pot and pour in the remaining vegetable broth, carrots, broccoli, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
5. Heat with the lid on for 10 minutes stirring occasionally and check to see if the broccoli is tender.
6. Once the broccoli is tender add the tablespoon of non-dairy milk and a 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast. Stir this together well. The nutritional yeast makes the soup taste cheesy.
7. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly so it thickens up. If you prefer it to be thinner then you can always add additional tablespoons of non-dairy milk until it reaches your desired preference.
I hope this will keep you warm during these upcoming chilly fall and winter nights!