One reason why we chose to move away from New York is because of the harsh winters. It’s a geographic region of extremes, and January and February are the absolute coldest, sometimes dipping down into the negative digits. Because it’s on the water, the wind can be bone-chilling especially for those who travel by foot and public transit. Eight years of that and we had definitely had more than enough.
So far the winter in Washington has been amazing. While we have had the constant rain and few sunny days, it has stayed pretty much in the 40s and 50s which has felt always like we’re on the cusp of spring. (This morning I even woke to the sound of birds chirping – it felt very April-ish.) Still, we have days where a nice cup of tea and a warm bowl of soup is much needed.
Lately I have taken to making a huge pot of soup to last us for a few days or a week, and have tried to experiment a little with recipes to mix it up. One soup I’ve made only twice is broccoli cheese soup, but I am pretty impressed with the results so far. I did something different the second time around, and that was to base the soup off of the vegan cheese recipe I shared with you a few months ago. It turned out really well, but I’d still change one or two things which I’ll note in the recipe below.
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
Note: You can probably make this gluten free by substituting the flour with 2 or 3 tablespoons of corn starch or another similar thickener.
- 3 or 4 small heads broccoli, chopped and with most of the stems removed
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried yellow mustard powder
- 8 cups water
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter
Prepare your broccoli, then steam it for about 15 minutes. It will not have enough time to cook in the soup itself, so it needs to be cooked separately. Just be sure to not over-steam it.
Tip: Also steam the onion with your broccoli, or at least for about 10 minutes. I did not do this and I wish I had.
In a large soup pot (which will need to be at least 3 or 4 quarts), mix all of your dry ingredients together, then whisk in the water until the dry and the wet have been well mixed. Add in the vegan butter and allow it to melt as the soup cooks.
Turn on the heat to about medium high and stir constantly. It will take several minutes to thicken, but if you do not stir the soup it will burn on the bottom and not thicken evenly.
At about this point I added in the raw onion. Unfortunately the soup thickened so fast that the onion wasn’t as well cooked as I would have liked. I will most definitely steam it next time along with the broccoli.
As soon as the soup thickens up to a consistency that you like, take the soup off the heat and stir in the steamed broccoli (and onion if you also steamed it). You can serve immediately, or you can store it and serve it later. It will thicken up more in your refrigerator, however as you heat it up again, it will return to a more liquid state.
We really enjoyed this soup – it was hearty, creamy and had just the right amount of salt. We were both pretty impressed with this version. If you’re like me and you don’t care much for broccoli (I actually really like broccoli made in this way), I imagine that you could also make this with asparagus or cauliflower instead and also have a very nice end result.
Do you enjoy soup? What is your favorite?