Dairy – Free Cheezy Broccoli Soup

“I have fond memories of slurping back thick and creamy broccoli cheddar soup throughout my childhood. Any restaurant that we went out to, I would always ask if they had a broccoli cheddar soup, and it was a lot more common a couple decades ago than it is now (I think?), so I likely got my broccoli cheddar soup 50% of the time back then. And oh my god, was it ever heavenly. ” – memories by Rejan.

It’s because of these fond memories that I truly long for that soup yet again, though I of course know that there’s no way I could eat it now. The dairy (and likely gluten) would kick my ass, so to speak. So, cravings generally call for creativity in the kitchen for moi, and that’s exactly what happened here!

First of all, let’s just say that broccoli is literally teeming with important, and oh-so-necessary vitamins and minerals. This crunchy green veg is super rich in vitamin A, a critical nutrient for eye health, brain function, skin health, and is a powerful antioxidant. It’s also loaded with vitamin C, which as we all know is highly beneficial to our immune systems, and it, too, is a powerful antioxidant. You’ll find lots of vitamin E in broccoli, and I love that because we’ve seen its positive effects on skin health, and also act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. And guess what? Also an antioxidant. Vitamin K, which often gets overlooked, is also running in abundance through broccoli’s branches. Vitamin K is crucial for bone and brain health and plays a large role in blood health and wound healing. I especially love this vitamin because of it’s ability to regulate calcium in our bodies! Broccoli’s even got good ol’ B vitamins, which have various different (& important) roles in our bodies. B vitamins are essential to our immune systems, endocrine systems, nervous systems, (pretty much all the systems), and are necessary components of energy processes in the body.

Broccoli has got your back covered for calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, too, which all have their roles in maintaining a healthy body as well.

It would be silly of me not to mention that broccoli is, indeed, also rich in protein (for a vegetable, anyways). One cup of broccoli has roughly 3 grams of protein!

My favourite green veggie has been widely studied for its ability to fight inflammation, and its antioxidant capacity has been shown to be very effective at preventing and even fighting cancer. A special compound found in broccoli, diindolylmethane (or DIM) is part of what makes it so special, too. Not only can DIM help to prevent cancer, but it’s also fabulous at regulating hormones, and it is for this reason that I currently take a DIM supplement. It is touted as being the wonder supplement for reducing hormonal imbalance issues such as acne, PMS, mood imbalance, and even symptoms of PCOS. It works its magic by regulating estrogen dominance, which if left to fester can lead to these issues. And because estrogen dominance is so common in our modern world (think estrogen-mimicking chemicals in EVERYTHING), it’s amazing that we have such a natural remedy as a compound in broccoli to help us out.

Another reason why I love this brassica buddy is because it is so good for digestion. Broccoli’s richness in fiber plays a large role in regulating digestion, and paired with all of its previously mentioned anti-inflammatory properties, it’s no wonder why broccoli is a digestive system’s bff. It has been shown to be beneficial for those with gut issues such as leaky gut and colitis, and special compounds such as kaempferol in broccoli are a part of that anti-inflammatory army and help to heal the lining of the gut. A key digestive team player, the liver is also a broccoli-loving organ. Studies have shown that a diet rich in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can help to prevent liver cancer, and decrease your chances of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a common affliction paired with Standard American Diets.

This recipe uses SIMPLE, nutritious ingredients, and can be totally plant-based if you opt for vegetable broth instead of the bone broth (though I always recommend a good bone broth for gut and joint health!) It’s also high in protein, as I added hemp hearts, and as you now know – broccoli is also a good source of protein! This Cheezy Broccoli soup is also dairy-free, and uses nutritional yeast as its “cheesy” component. I also made sure to use ORGANIC ingredients, as I always do, because they don’t contain harmful and inflammatory pesticides that can wreak havoc on your health.

Cheezy Broccoli Soup

This soup brings back memories of my childhood. A simple recipe, using whole, simple ingredients. It might just be your new favourite staple!

 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Cook Time 30 minutes
 Total Time 40 minutes
 Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 a yellow onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4-6 cups bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of hemp hearts
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • coconut or avocado oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot to medium. Melt coconut oil/add avocado oil. Toss in onion and fry until fragrant. 

  2. Add garlic and continue to stir fry for a couple minutes

  3. Add broccoli to the pot and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  4. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. 

  5. Add spices and salt and cover with a lid. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until broccoli is very tender.

  6. Turn off heat and remove pot. Add coconut milk, avocado, and hemp seeds and stir to combine. 

  7. Slowly add small amounts to a blender and blend to liquefy, at least 1 minute. Continue adding the soup and blending until all soup is blended and uniform.

  8. Enjoy immediately and top with broccoli sprouts, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, or any other fun topping you wish! Freezes great and stays good in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

A word from Rejan: Hi, I’m Rejan! I’m a Holistic Nutritionist who grew up in beautiful Victoria, on Vancouver Island, and if the Island life has taught me anything, it’s the pleasure of preparing and eating the food grown in my direct vicinity. For years, Whole Harmony Nutrition has been my outlet for sharing the things that I learn, as well as all of my proudest culinary creations. I want this to be a place for you to explore nourishing (and delicious!) recipes, find out the latest word in nutrition and *hopefully* gain some inspiration to help you live the healthy life you want!

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