cup of vegan broccoli cheese soup

About two years ago, I stumbled upon a lovely photo of cauliflower soup over at Food52. While pretty to look at, I was skeptical about  the liquid amalgamation’s taste.  But all of the praise in the comments section convinced me I needed to make this soup, so I followed the recipe instructions exactly, resisting the urge to add additional herbs or seasonings. I’m so glad I did. This simple blend of cauliflower, onion, olive oil and water is now a staple in my kitchen.  

While I may refrain from altering the recipe when I  want cauliflower soup, I’ve gotten quite inventive in using this creamy concoction as a vegan substitute for dairy-based sauces. Here I add some roasted broccoli, nutritional yeast, mushrooms and a little garlic. What results is a much healthier version of the classic broccoli and cheese soup. creamy vegan broccoli cheese-soup

Creamy Vegan Broccoli and Cheese Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin
  3. 1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
  4. Salt, to taste
  5. 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  6. 3 tablespoons dried mushrooms, chopped
  7. 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  8. 1-16 ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  11. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot.
  2. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower and season generously.
  4. Add 1/2 cup water, raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Then add another 4 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
  6. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency.
  7. Return the hot soup to the pot and add in the dried mushrooms and almond milk.
  8. Let the mushrooms re-hydrate for 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  10. While the mushrooms re-hydrate, roast the frozen broccoli in a shallow pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The broccoli crowns should be slightly toasted. Be careful not to let them burn!
  11. Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces and then add to the pot on the stove. Return to low-medium heat.
  12. Add in the garlic, nutritional yeast, freshly cracked black pepper. Salt to taste. Don't be shy with the salt.
  13. Simmer over low-medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup
Dani On The Brink http://danionthebrink.com/
 
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