A heavenly rich and savory soup that is just what you want on a cold winter’s day. This vegan cheddar broccoli soup is so easy to make in an electric pressure cooker, but you can also make it on the stovetop if you don’t have a pressure cooker.
If you’re looking for a way to get in fiber, protein, and a little bit of extra iron during the pureed diet stage after bariatric surgery, this vegan cheddar broccoli soup can help you with that. Or, maybe you’re just looking to add another recipe to the pureed diet stage after bariatric surgery as you’re getting tired of hummus, protein shakes, refried beans, and pureed tofu.
Along with sharing this vegan cheddar broccoli soup recipe with you, I am also going to share a couple substitutions to allow you to adjust the recipe to your liking. I am also going to share the nutritional benefits of this recipe and how it contributes to a healthy diet after bariatric surgery, particularly in the pureed diet stage.
Nutrition Benefits of the Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup
This vegan cheddar broccoli soup provides 7 g of fiber. The amount of fiber required after bariatric surgery is not specified, so the recommendations for the general population are used. The general recommendation is 14 g per every 1000 calories consumed.
In the early days after bariatric surgery, you might be eating half of this or less, so getting 7 g of fiber really goes a long way, especially if you eat some other foods that have fiber in them throughout the day.
There is a whopping 4 g of iron in each serving of this recipe, a lot of it coming from the great northern beans in the recipe. Now, don’t get me wrong. You need iron supplements after bariatric surgery, but if you can get some iron from your diet too, that is a bonus!
Most people need around 45 mg of iron from supplements each day after bariatric surgery.
In this vegan cheddar broccoli soup the protein is mainly coming from the great northern beans, nutritional yeast, and cashews. In each 1 cup serving you are getting 12 g of protein.
One thing that I see many bariatric patients struggle with is the amount of saturated fat they eat in a day. When your diet is high protein and the majority of that protein is animal foods, it often ends up being too high in saturated fat.
This recipe only has 1 g of saturated fat per serving. The other 5 g of fat are heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
After bariatric surgery you need more calcium each day. Most people need 1200-1500 g of calcium per day from food and supplements. Duodenal switch folks have higher calcium needs of 1800-2400 mg calcium per day.
This recipe provides almost 100 mg of calcium per serving. It is not a huge amount of calcium, but it does contribute some to the amount that you need each day. The great northern beans and broccoli in this recipe are the main contributors to the calcium total.
Ingredients Needed to Make Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup
The secret to making this the most delicious vegan cheddar broccoli soup recipe ever is roasted garlic. It adds a creamy, savory garlic flavor that can’t be beat!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Drizzling extra virgin olive oil on the garlic head before roasting helps to make it extra creamy and luscious.
I used frozen broccoli in this recipe to keep things easy. Frozen broccoli is just as nutritious as fresh broccoli (if not more). Even if you prefer fresh broccoli over frozen broccoli most of the time, you won’t be able to tell the difference in this recipe as it is all cooked until very soft and blended up anyhow.
Miso is a favorite ingredient of mine when I’m making a vegan cheesy recipe. It adds that savory, tangy, umami flavor that can’t be beat. It also adds sodium, so be careful about adding extra salt to recipes when you’re using miso.
Most of the time we think of using nutritional yeast to replace a cheesy flavor, which it is a superstar at doing. But, don’t forget about its nutritional value. It adds protein, and if it is fortified it provides a variety of B vitamins, including vitamin B12.
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Many vegan cheddar broccoli soup recipes call for potatoes, but most call for more than this recipe. I kept the potatoes to a small amount in this recipe and instead replaced the majority of them with legumes in an effort to increase the protein content of the recipe.
Great Northern Beans
Great northern beans are added to the recipe to up the protein and fiber content as well as adding to the creamy texture of the soup. Beans are a great way to increase creaminess of soups (and even smoothies) for less calories than nuts and seeds.
I did add some raw cashews to this recipe for creaminess, but used a minimal amount to help decrease the amount of total fat in the recipe. Keeping the recipe low-fat helps to keep the calories lower. If you would like more cashews, you can definitely add more. It will only make it creamier and more rich.
Roasted Red Peppers
Roasted red peppers add to the rich color of the soup and add some sweetness. You can make your own roasted red peppers or just buy the canned ones like I did.
Vegetable Broth Concentrate
If you make your own vegetable broth, feel free to use that. I used a vegetable broth concentrate from Better Than Bouillon to keep things easy. I always have it on hand for when I need vegetable broth. It takes up less space than cartons of broth and is absolutely delicious.
Lemon juice adds some of the tang to this vegan cheddar broccoli soup. You can use fresh or bottled. I always have bottled lemon juice on hand, so that’s what I used.
Turmeric is an essential spice to have for making vegan cheese recipes. It adds a bright yellow color so things look extra cheesy!
Add black pepper right at the end for a hint of spiciness!
I didn’t end up adding any extra salt to this recipe-the miso and broth added enough salty flavor for me. Taste the recipe first before adding any extra salt.
Steps to Make Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup
Roast the Garlic
Preheat oven to 350℉. Cut off the top of a bulb of garlic. Wrap the garlic in foil, with the top still open and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Close the top of the foil and place the garlic on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
Once the garlic is cool, squeeze the garlic cloves out into a bowl. They should be soft and pop out easily.
Add Ingredients to the Pressure Cooker
Add all ingredients except the salt and pepper to the pressure cooker (don’t forget the water if you’re using the broth concentrate!).
Cook on High Pressure
Put the lid on and make sure it is set to ‘sealing.’ Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Allow a 10 minute natural release and then release the rest of the pressure by opening the valve. Carefully remove the lid.
Blend the Soup
Blend the soup until smooth. An immersion blender makes it easy to blend while the soup is still in the pressure cooker. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender.
Add Pepper and Taste for Salt
Add the pepper and give the soup a taste. If you think it needs salt add what it needs to suit your taste.
Substitutions to Make Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup
If you would like to make the soup lower carb, but still have a source of protein in the soup you can substitute a package of extra-firm silken tofu for the great northern beans.
If you don’t have broccoli, you could substitute cauliflower and it will still be delicious. Cauliflower and cheese is a classic combination.
Allergic to Nuts or Don’t Have Cashews?
Instead of cashews you could use sunflower seeds if you’re allergic to nuts. They will still add that nice, creamy texture that the cashews provide to the recipe.
Vegan Cheddar Broccoli Soup
Pressure Cooker I use an Instant Pot
1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
10 cloves garlic 1 bulb
4 cups broccoli frozen florets
1.75 cups great northern beans 1 can
3 small yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp white miso
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/3 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tsp broth concentrate Better Than Bouillon
4 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric ground
1/2 tsp black pepper ground
Roast the Garlic
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut off the top of the garlic bulb with a chef's knife. Wrap the garlic with foil, leaving the top open. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the garlic bulb and close the top of the foil.
Place the garlic on top of a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
After the garlic cools, squeeze the individual cloves out of the bulb into a bowl.
Make the Soup
Add all soup ingredients except salt and pepper to pressure cooker. Don't forget the water!
Close the pressure cooker and set the vent to sealing.
Cook for 3 minutes on high pressure.
Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then open the vent to release the last of the pressure. Carefully open the lid and set aside.
Puree the soup using an immersion blender in the pressure cooker or transfer to a blender to puree.
Add pepper and taste. If salt is needed, add to your taste.
Roast the garlic.
Cut potatoes into small cubes, about 1″.
Add all ingredients except pepper and salt to a large soup pot.
Bring to a simmer and cook until broccoli and potatoes are completely tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
Blend soup with immersion blender or in blender.
Let Me Know If You Love It!
If you try this recipe, comment below or tag me on Instagram to let me know!
Ashley Krautkramer, RD, CSOWM, CD, CDCES is a vegan and bariatric nutrition expert with more than six years of experience. She is a board certified specialist in obesity and weight management.