Broccoli and Cheese Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

The secret ingredient in this soup is nutritional yeast. This health food store staple has a nutty, fermented flavor that works as a cheese booster in recipes, or can be used to replace cheese altogether in vegan dishes. Try adding 1 to 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast to cream sauces and cheese fillings.



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2 bunches broccoli, trimmed and coarsely chopped (2 ½ lb.)
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1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
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3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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1 ½ Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes
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⅛ tsp. ground cumin
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⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
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¼ cup fat-free half-and-half
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½ cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese


1. Coat 3-qt. saucepan with cooking spray. Cook onion in saucepan over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli, vegetable broth, and 2 cups water, and bring to boil. Stir in nutritional yeast, cumin, and nutmeg; reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.

2. Working in batches, purée soup in food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, and heat over low heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle each serving with 1 Tbs. cheese.

Nutrition Information: 

7 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
14 g
5 mg
422 mg
6 g
4 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

I substituted curry for the cumin and unsweetened almond milk for the half & half with excellent results. Used the cheese to sprinkle on w/w toast for a filling lunch.

I don't understand how you can promote fat free half and half. What is it? It appears to me that in a clean and pure world where one wishes to live in union with nature it is important to look at our environment and where are food sources come from. What the processing is and how it gets from the farm to the table. Living on a ranch and raising my own food brings me a great awareness of the quality and the efforts that go into processing good quality wholesome food. We need to educate the mass population about this. The more we process our food is linked to the amount of fossil fuels that are used to get that food from the farm to the table. We need to begin a movement that will push individuals to strengthen their awareness of where their food comes from and encourage local shopping from small farms. By encouraging the use of locally grown foods, we can change our economy in a real grass roots effort. Example: in our community $35 million are spent annually on food. Only .4% of this is spent on local foods. We need to build our local communities and stop our enormous reliance on fossil fuels.

This soup is even better with couscous (1/2 cup) and chopped garlic added.

Fat free half and half? That's ridiculous. Is that a typo? Half and half is half milk, half cream! Why would you want to use fat free, even if it exists? Have you heard? Low fat diets are useless at best. Wake up and join us!!

Take a look at the ingredients in "fat-free half-and-half" before you put it in anything, including your coffee. Then leave it on the shelf! Real half-and-half (you need a LITTLE fat in your diet in order to use certain vitamins, and that much fat isn't going to harm anybody) or unsweetened almond or rice milk will taste better, too - I swear, some of the atificially fat-free foods have begun to taste like plastic, to me.

P.S. Aside from that rant, this is a great recipe. It has enough broccoli in it - it's actually broccoli soup, unlike the cheese sauce (probably containing processed "cheese food," now that I think about it) with a couple florets floating in it, presented a broccoli-cheese soup by my local diner.

I wanted to make this as soon as I read it, but I was out of onion, so I added 1 tsp. onion powder instead. Per Linda's suggestion, I added 1/2 cup couscous, and I also added 1 cup cooked chickpeas because I happened to have them on hand. To make it vegan, I skipped the half and half and cheese, but added an extra tbsp. nutritional yeast, as well as 1 tbsp tamari. I love the way it came out. Thick and hearty and creamy even without the dairy products. From start to finish in 30 minutes. Perfect antidote to a chilly, rainy day!

This soup was not my favorite. Not a lot of flavor. Kind of watery. Needed some spice and some thickening up.