Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Dairy-Free Version)

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Are you a fan of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl, but looking for a healthier option to make at home? This homemade vegan broccoli cheddar soup version is just as rich and creamy as the original, but made healthier with a base of cashews and potatoes. Plus, it only requires one pot and seven ingredients to make!

There’s nothing better on a chilly day than a warm bowl of soup, am I right? Make it hearty and decadent and it’s just about the closest thing to comfort food you can get.

FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige - Recipe - broccoli cheddar soup 4

Related recipe: Creamy vegan tomato basil soup

Panera used to be one of “the spots” in school. My friends and I would go there regularly because it was healthy, quick and semi-affordable. Two of my favorite menu items include the broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl and the cobblestone pastry. YES.

But let’s say you want broccoli cheddar soup on repeat at home. What do you do? Make it healthier with a few simple swaps!

FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige - Recipe - broccoli cheddar soup featured

In this recipe for vegan broccoli cheddar soup, here are some of the healthy swaps we’re making:

  • Heavy cream for soaked cashews to a create a luscious texture
  • Heavy cream for potato puree to achieve that comfort food “stick to your bones” feeling
  • Cheddar cheese for nutritional yeast (one of my favorite ingredients to have on hand to achieve a “cheesy”, nutty flavor and get your daily dose of vitamin Bs!)

To make it feel like you’re serving your copycat Panera broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl, I like to toast a few cubes of bread to garnish on top. This step is optional, but highly recommended.

FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige - Recipe - broccoli cheddar soup 1

Related recipe: The best ever cozy vegan pot pie

Cooking tip: If you didn’t soak your cashews ahead of time, don’t worry. You can do a “quick soak” by placing them in a saucepan and covering with water. Bring to a boil then cover and remove from the heat. Let soak for about 20 minutes.

In this vegan broccoli cheddar soup, we are using frozen broccoli. I like using frozen better than fresh in this recipe because it has a softer texture and is super convenient.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Dairy-Free Version)

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Are you a fan of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl, but looking for a healthier option to make at home? This homemade vegan broccoli cheddar soup version is just as rich and creamy as the original, but made healthier with a base of cashews and potatoes. Plus, it only requires one pot and seven ingredients to make!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli (plus more for topping)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: bread for crouton garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare the potatoes, poke holes in each one with a fork and wrap in a paper towel.
  2. Microwave for about 8 minutes, or until fork tender.
  3. Let cool slightly, then peel off the skin.
  4. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  6. Add the broccoli and stir, allowing the broccoli to begin to thaw.
  7. Meanwhile, make the “sauce”. Add the cashews, cooked potatoes, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a blender.
  8. Blend until smooth and creamy for a few minutes.
  9. Add the sauce to the onions and broccoli and simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Puree with a hand immersion blender until most of the broccoli has been finely chopped. If you don’t have a hand immersion blender, you could add the broccoli and onions to the blender after the sauce is pureed and continue pureeing with the sauce, then return to the soup pot to simmer.
  11. Optional: If you are roasting additional broccoli and bread cubes for garnish, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  12. Roast the frozen broccoli for about 20 minutes and the bread cubes for about 5 minutes, making sure they don’t burn.
  13. To serve, ladle the soup into four bowl and top with roasted broccoli and a few bread cubes.

Notes

  • If you don’t want to microwave the potatoes, you could also chop and boil until fork tender. Don’t worry about removing the skin if you choose this method. 
  • For a lower carb version, you could substitute 2 cups of cauliflower for potatoes. If choosing this method, boil the cauliflower until fork tender and blend with the other sauce ingredients. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 305
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 448mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: vegan broccoli cheddar soup, copycat panera broccoli cheddar soup, dairy-free broccoli cheddar soup, vegan creamy soup, healthy soup, soup, vegan soup, 30 minute meals, dinner

Enjoy!

Don’t forget — if you loved this recipe, make it and share with my on Instagram by tagging @fitlivingeats and using hashtag #fitlivingeats.

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe - 1

-Carly Paige

Post Tags

The Cookbook You'll Actually Use

Simply Swapped Everyday

Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

You might also like

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

Meal Planning Made Easy

Learn how to meal prep without spending hours in the kitchen and actually crave the foods you make. Get your free MEAL PLANNING STARTER KIT and printable weekly template to get cooking.