The Best Dairy-Free Broccoli Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Try
What are the first things you think of when the words “broccoli soup” come to mind? Besides “comfort food,” probably a lot of cheese and dairy, right? It excludes those of us who are lactose intolerant or trying go strictly paleo. But broccoli soup is so delicious, can’t there be another way to enjoy it?
Yes there can! We’ve come up with the most delicious, nutrient-dense, veggie-packed, non-dairy alternative to broccoli cheese soup. There’s no American or cheddar cheese, no heavy cream, no half and half, and no thickeners (which usually come in the form of white flour or cornstarch).
So what’s in it? What makes it a creamy soup? How could it possibly be that great without all the yummy ingredients that you typically associate with a broccoli soup recipe? Let’s dive in.
We’ve managed to create a cream of broccoli soup made from a base of veggies, low-sodium bone broth, and coconut milk. You’d never believe that this thick soup is not only dairy free, but also completely without flour or any added thickeners. The veggies themselves bulk up the soup. The two main veggies we’ve selected are cauliflower and sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes).
You’ve likely heard of cauliflower purée as a substitute for potatoes in a low-carb or paleo diet, so that’s probably not new to you. But using sunchokes along with them might be. While they aren’t low-carb, they do have a lower glycemic index and much higher nutritional value than the all-purpose flour or cornstarch that you’d ordinarily use to thicken up a soup like this. Plus, they offer a delicious nuttiness that adds a layer of additional flavor to the final bowl of soup.
This recipe is particularly great for parents who want to hide vegetables in their kids’ dinners. We know that broccoli cheddar soup is one of the few ways parents can get their kids to eat broccoli (or green veggies in general), so why not sneak a few more nutritious ingredients in there while you’re at it? Even kids who claim they hate cauliflower will enjoy this one! If you aren’t married to the dairy-free rule, you could sprinkle a bit of sharp cheddar cheese atop this bowl and they’ll be none the wiser.
A Great Soup Base or Side Dish
This delicious soup base is actually really versatile and can be used for another soup recipe the next time you’re trying to create a thick and creamy soup that the whole family will love. Try it as a base for cream of asparagus, cream of mushroom, a creamy baked potato soup, or even on its own topped with some crumbled bacon.
You could also include other low-glycemic root veggies like celery root or rutabaga to add additional layers of flavor. Use less broth to allow for a thicker puree that can substitute for mashed potatoes. The possibilities are endless.
Kitchen Tools and Preferences
The tools you need for this soup are relatively basic (no need for a slow cooker or Instant Pot because it’s already a really quick soup recipe), with the exception of the blending options. Using a regular high speed blender creates the smoothest, lightest consistency, but it does add a little bit of extra clean up at the end. Using an immersion blender will get you there too, it just might not be quite as smooth. A food processor will not work work for this recipe. It just won’t get the ingredients finely blended enough without little bits that feel grainy.
The other step we’ve taken in this recipe is to cook the broccoli separately in a skillet of its own and then add it to the blended base afterwards. That’s because we wanted to have a totally smooth base with visible (and substantial) chunks of broccoli in it. Keeping the base separate from the broccoli does add another dirty pan, but we think it’s worth it to achieve the smooth, creamy texture for the soup base without totally pulverizing the broccoli. Skipping this step will likely get you a smooth, green soup rather than a creamy soup with pieces of broccoli in it.
Veggie-Packed Dairy-Free Creamy Broccoli Soup
This amazing bowl of soup combines the magic of nostalgic comfort food with a nutrient-dense, paleo set of ingredients that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for cooking and garnish
- 3 cups coarsely chopped sunchokes Jerusalem artichokes
- 1 small head fresh cauliflower about 6 cups cauliflower stems and florets, chopped coarsely
- 3 cups Kettle & Fire chicken bone broth plus more for cooking
- 1 head fresh broccoli about 5 cups broccoli stems and florets, chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh scallions chopped
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic.
Sauté until translucent (about 3 minutes).
Add sunchokes and cauliflower, stirring to coat, and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups chicken broth and turn up to medium-high heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sunchokes are fork tender.
While that's cooking, heat a skillet to medium heat and add another teaspoon of olive oil.
Add broccoli florets and salt, sautéing for about 5 minutes, then add a few splashes of bone broth to soften the broccoli a bit further.
Once the sunchokes and cauliflower are well-cooked and soft, either use an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender to completely blend the mixture. Return to the pot after blended.
Turn heat down to low and add coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper. Stir to incorporate.
Stir in broccoli and cover for another 2–3 minutes.
Top with fresh scallions and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve piping hot.
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