So, pre-vegan, I used to LOVE Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Bread Bowls…that thick, creamy, cheesy, broccoli goodness…yum. Well, I found myself craving some the other day and decided to go ahead and take a crack at it. This soup actually has no cheese…and no faux cheeses…which means no processed foods. It has the same delicious taste of a traditional broccoli cheddar soup, but produced with all whole foods and plant based ingredients.
In good old Panera tradition, I like to eat mine with bread as my spoon, but feel free to do your own thing. I hope you enjoy
- 6 cups vegetable broth (I use Edward and Sons No-Chicken Broth)
- 1 medium sweet potato, baked and skinned
- 1 medium red potato, baked and skinned
- 1 can great northern beans, 15 oz, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tablespoon thyme, fresh, chopped
- ½ cup carrot, matchstick
- 2 cups red potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 8 cups broccoli, washed and trimmed into bite sized pieces
1. To prepare the broth, put 6 cups of your favorite broth in a large pot and heat over medium high heat.
2. Place the baked sweet potato, baked red potato, northern beans, nutritional yeast, and salt in a blender or high powered mixer. Add 2 cups of the broth from the pot and mix on high until the puree is smooth. Add the mixture to the remaining pot of broth and stir well to combine. Add the red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Continue to heat over medium heat, bringing to a boil.
3. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of cold water and the cornstarch and whisk thoroughly. Slowly pour the mixture into the broth and continue to boil on low, stirring occasionally. This serves to thicken the soup.
4. Heat a medium pot over high heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another few minutes stirring often. Add the thyme, carrots, and potato and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the pot of broth. Add the broccoli. Reduce the head to medium/low and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are soft. Serve hot.
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista. Can’t wait to hear from you!