Broccoli Cheese Soup (AIP, Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

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Part of being on the autoimmune protocol involves assessing whether you are reacting to any foods on the protocol itself. Because your diet is already quite limited, it’s often not too difficult to realize what may be causing problems for you. But it is hard to accept because you feel like you’ve given up so much already and have to give up yet another thing. All of this to say…I begrudgingly had to accept that I’ve been reacting to coconut milk.

This is really difficult on the autoimmune protocol because coconut milk is our main source of creaminess. Coconut is in SO MANY recipes, so omitting coconut can become a real challenge for those of us who react to it. I’ve taken it upon myself to find other ways to impart richness and creaminess, and I’ll be damned if I can’t find a solid replacement so that I don’t miss coconut as much.

Broccoli cheese soup is so comforting and delicious. It has always been one of my favorites. I knew I wanted to create a broccoli cheese soup recipe, and I knew I needed to impart creaminess without said coconut milk. In comes our new star: CAULIFLOWER!

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AIP “cheese” recipes often don’t taste like cheese at all, but I really think I nailed this one. It really does taste cheesy. It’s been approved by both of my parents (and my dad is a tough audience from whom to seek food approval–he’ll tell it to you straight), my dear friend/recipe tester in Oregon, and even a coworker who enjoyed some leftovers!

This soup is seriously so easy to make and comes together in a flash. Please try it and let me know what you think! I hope you love it as much as we do.

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AIP Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

-1 medium head of cauliflower
-1 cup roughly chopped carrots (approximately 2 small/medium-sized carrots)
-3 stalks broccoli
-1/2 small onion, chopped
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-2 cups bone broth or any chicken or vegetable broth, or water
-Juice of 1 lemon
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-Olive oil
-Sea Salt (as directed below)
-Water

Directions:

  1. Break down cauliflower and wash, then put into a medium-sized soup pot with carrots. Add water until the pot is full to about an inch or so above the vegetables. Stir in a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Place pot onto the stove at medium-high heat. Once the water starts to boil, set a timer for 20 minutes. (Tip: Leave a wooden spoon in the pot, resting on the side of the pot, to keep the water from boiling over.)
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. Cut broccoli into very small florets. It should amount to approximately 4 cups of broccoli. Toss the broccoli with 2 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, then spread onto a greased baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. When finished, set aside to cool.
  5. When the cauliflower and carrots are fork tender after boiling for 20 minutes (check to be sure and add more time if necessary), carefully drain the water from the pot.
  6. Carefully place the cauliflower and carrots into a blender. Add the broth, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Blend until well-combined and velvety.
  7. Rinse the pot used earlier to boil the vegetables, then heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the pot and sauté the chopped onions until they begin to brown.
  8. Add the broccoli and stir to combine.
  9. Add the blended cauliflower mixture and stir to combine.
  10. Put a lid on top, and allow soup to cook on low heat for about 10 minutes to soften the broccoli and let the flavors build.
  11. Add more water to dilute the soup to your desired thickness. I added about 1 1/2 cups water at this time, but it depends on your taste (my mom added more because she likes a runnier soup).
  12. Pour into bowls and serve! Optional: squeeze a little lemon juice on top.
  13. Lick your bowl clean.

Note:
-This recipe comes together very quickly. I cut up the broccoli while the veggies were boiling, then put the broccoli into the oven when they were almost finished. While the broccoli was roasting, I blended the soup base. After that, I was almost done!

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9 Responses to Broccoli Cheese Soup (AIP, Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

  1. Ruth says:

    The title reads broccoli cheese. I did not see the type of cheese. Did I miss it or is it not listed?

    • Pooja Parikh says:

      Hi Ruth! Thank you for clarifying–I labeled the soup as “AIP-compliant” and “vegan,” hoping it would communicate that there was no actual cheese in the soup but it has all the creaminess and cheesy flavor of traditional broccoli cheese soup (which is explained in the text above the recipe). The nutritional yeast is what gives it that savory “cheese” punch!

  2. Pingback: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #300

  3. Barbara says:

    Can this be frozen?

  4. Becky says:

    I’ve been AIP 6 years (modified for me) & have been using cauliflower as a ‘cream’ for a lot of those years. I cook mine in the bone broth- no draining necessary when you’re making a soup like this. Tip- a stick blender works great! My broccoli cheese soup recipe is very similar only I use a lot of broccoli with my cauliflower, so it comes out green. I also use compliant bacon fried crispy and whizzed to a fine texture as my ‘salty cheese’ since I react to Nutritional Yeast. I love the idea of adding roasted broccoli. I’ll have to try that- thanks!

    Extra: I steam cauliflower and blend smooth. Freeze in gallon ziplocks— (small enough portions so when you flatten it, after it freezes, you can break off what you need). Inner Broccoli stems and other veggies work as well. We have a huge garden so I try to find ways to freeze that will last all year. Veggie blends puréed add a nice flavor and viscosity to soup as well. Plus amp up your nutrients.

    • Pooja Parikh says:

      Thank you for all these wonderful tips, and ways to boost the nutrition in this recipe. I am ALL about that and appreciate you so much!! Also love the addition of using bacon as a “salty cheese.” So creative!!

  5. Laura Field says:

    THANK YOU for this absolutely delicious recipe. I’ve made it twice now – once with bone broth and another time with vegetable broth to accomodate a vegan who is staying with me. I love the idea of using cauliflower instead of coconut milk.. The second time around I also diced the broccoli stems and included them along with the florets. Personally I think that may have made a great soup even greater. 🙂

    • Pooja Parikh says:

      This makes me so happy!! Thank you for making it, and I love that you made it for a vegan friend as well. Also love the idea of using the broccoli stems–I am all about reducing waste!! Fun fact: I usually cube broccoli stems, boil them, then freeze them and use them as treats for my veggie-obsessed dog : ) thank you for sharing!!

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