Terri, of eatplant-based.com, came up with this delicious vegan version of a classic favorite soup. Her version is creamy, ‘cheesy’, very flavorful, and nutritious. By her estimate–only about 170 calories per serving 12 grams protein, and 9 grams fiber, and less than 2 grams fat,
Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce. [You may double this for additional uses]*
1 cup potatoes, peeled and dice about 1/3”-1/2”
1/4 cups carrots, diced, as above, [while at it, dice 1/2 cup more for the soup]
1/4 cup onions, diced as above. [while at it, dice 3/4 cup more for the soup]
1 cup broth saved from boiling the potatoes, carrots, and onions [and 1/2 cup for the soup]
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked (or 1/2 cup white beans, cooked and drained
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoons paprika
Pinch cayenne, optional
4 cups broccoli florets, (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup carrot, diced
3/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup broth from cheese sauce veggies
1 cup plant milk, unsweetened—almond, soy, etc.
3 cups water
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 cups Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce
1) Prep Vegan Creamy Cheese Sauce
In a small to medium pot, pour enough water over potatoes, carrots, and onion to cover well and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer until veggies are tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Drain veggies in a strainer over a bowl to catch the broth which will be used to make the cheese sauce, as well as in the soup.
Place the drained veggies in a blender, and add 1 cup of the saved veggie broth. Add all of the remaining cheese sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
Pour out all but 2 cups of the ‘cheese sauce’. This 2 cups in the blender will be part of the soup.
*The extra cheese sauce that you poured out of the blender can be refrigerated, or frozen, and used to top baked potatoes, steamed vegetables, nachos, etc. Even other soups.
If frozen, re-blend to make it smooth again.
2) Prep for Cheddar Broccoli Soup
In a large stockpot saute onions and garlic in approximately 3 tablespoons of water or broth. Saute gently until golden, adding broth to keep it moist.
Add 2 1/2 cups water, broccoli florets, and carrots. Cover and cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, until slightly tender but still bright green. Don’t overcook.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 of the veggies to the 2 cups of cheese sauce in the blender. Add 1/2 cup reserved veggie broth from making the cheese sauce. Blend for about a minute. Stir the blender mixture back into the pot of broccoli/veg soup. Add the plant milk, 1/2 cup water, or veggie broth (if you still have some left), Dijon mustard, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Place the pot back on the heat and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes on low/medium heat. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in bowls or a large hollowed-out crusty bread to dress it up for company.