This plant-based cream of broccoli and quinoa soup is a great way to get tons of nutrition (and eat your broccoli) in comfort food form.
This cream of broccoli and quinoa soup is a perfect balance between comforting and wholesome!
This isn’t a soup recipe that I planned on. But I got carried away when I saw heads of perfect, bright green broccoli at the farmer’s market. I somehow ended up bringing home three pounds of broccoli, at which point I’d need to do more than steam or roast it.
Soup it was. Since I love to add whole grains to my soups for satiety and texture, I decided to throw some quinoa into the mix. After all, quinoa and broccoli is a favorite combination of mine (see: cheesy quinoa and broccoli bake).
This cream of broccoli and quinoa soup proves that there’s a lot to be said for stirring a whole grain into a soup. Think of it as you would serving soup with toast. It’s a starchy component that adds density and satiety to the meal.
Speaking of starch, this soup is delightfully creamy in spite of the fact that there is no dairy involved. This is thanks to the addition of russet potatoes and quinoa, which thicken and enrich the mixture. I added the cooked quinoa to the soup, and I also topped all of my bowls with a heaping spoonful.
The star of the recipe, of course! Fresh is really nice here—it makes the soup more vibrant, green, and flavorful—but frozen broccoli is also fine if that’s what you have. Be sure to defrost it according to package instructions before proceeding with the recipe.
I really like the delicate texture of cooked quinoa in this cream of broccoli and quinoa soup, but you can substitute another grain if you prefer. Cooked rice and millet both work very well as an addition to soup. Barley would also be a nice, toothsome touch.
This isn’t supposed to be a cheesy broccoli soup, but I still enjoy the addition of some nutritional yeast here. It adds just a hint of cheesy flavor, along with umami and depth that the soup wouldn’t have otherwise.
As I said, the soup will have lots of creaminess thanks to the grain and potato. But if you’d like to make it just a little bit richer, cashew cream is the way to go. You can find my go-to, all purpose cashew cream here. And if you don’t have that, you can try a tablespoon or two of vegan sour cream or unsweetened vegan yogurt.
I have to admit, I’m not always that careful when it comes to pairing potato varieties to a recipe. I used russet potatoes in this recipe, but creamer potatoes (Yukon gold or red skinned) should also work well!
Toppings are what make an otherwise simple, nutritious soup like this come to mind. Some of my favorite ideas for this cream of broccoli and quinoa soup include smoky tempeh strips, coconut bacon, toasted pepitas, an extra swirl of cashew cream or a dollop of cashew cheese, extra cooked quinoa, or even crispy, roasted broccoli florets.
Like most of my soup recipes, this one can be frozen for up to six weeks. If you don’t need to freeze it, it’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days after preparation. Any toppings you plan to serve with the soup—vegan bacon, extra quinoa, etc.—should be stored separately.
Whether you make a fully loaded version of this soup with all the fixings, or you simply stick to a bare bones version, you’ll love the simple-yet-satisfying flavors. It’s really great comfort food, especially as we move into the colder months. Hope you enjoy it.
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Thanks for this awesome recipe! I love the texture of the quinoa in a soup, and the potatoes really do make it so creamy. This will be a staple for me now!
This soup is delightful and a family favorite. My daughter (1.5yrs old) loves it. I skip the quinoa bc she’s not a fan of the texture, but add zucchini and celery for even more nutrients. Well done!
I’m so glad you enjoy it Ali! And how sweet to know your little one loves it too 🙂
I am so excited to try this recipe!! I bought nutritional yeast the other day and have been searching for new ways to use it. Then I find your amazing recipe… just meant to be. 🙂 And quinoa in the soup as well is just bonus! Thanks for sharing a great recipe.
I think my broccoli soup recipe is ready for a makeover: (http://doubletherecipe.com/2016/04/18/broccoli-soup/)
Wow! I have to say adding quinoa to this cream soup was a genius idea. 🙂
The soup sounds delicious! I like that you added potato for that added creaminess. And the coconut bacon sounds like a fab topping. Mmm.
I actually bought a couple of bunches of broccoli from the market this past weekend not realising I still had leftovers from last week. Soup it is!
And congrats on lend your awesome sauce expertise to the vegan challenge. Sounds awesome =)
This soup is fantastic! We’ve eaten it for two nights running…the second night I added chopped kale and topped with roasted chickpeas (Tracey’s awesome suggestion). I am looking forward to this soup on our menu next week :-))
So glad you love the soup, and yes, Tracey’s suggestion rocks! I plan on making it again soon, too 🙂
Broccoli and quinoa sounds like an amazing combination! I can’t wait to try this 🙂 It’s been getting a bit too cold for salads so I guess it’s high time to move to soups 🙂
gena i completely understand how easy it is to get carried away at a farmer’s market (especially with broccoli!) – life is so fulfilled by these beautiful opportunities. this soup is a delightful – i am enamored by the addition of quinoa, as well the presence of potatoes! what a killer combination. xo
Amazing recipe; I love broccoli!
Thanks for sharing.<3
Vegetarian Courtesy ♥ CheesePapas
The soup looks really good, Gena! 🙂
LOVE those bowls! Great recipe!
Can’t wait to try this! I made a broccoli and potato soup a few weeks ago, but it really needed some heft. I think this recipe will be just what I’m looking for!
sounds amazing and perfect for this cozy weather <3
I had no idea what to make for dinner tonight, and then I saw this recipe! Amazingly I had all the ingredients! (Love when that happens!) This soup was super delicious and really flavourful. Next time I’d love to stir in some spinach. This would also be great with toasted pepitas or crispy chickpeas I think!
I love the idea of toasted chickpeas as a topping, Tracey! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Well, Gena, when I saw the photos at the top of this post I thought that sure looks interesting–and when I read the ingredients I added “delicious’ to that! I am definitely going to make this sometime this fall. It sounds so wonderful tasty and hearty! Beautiful photos too. Thank you!
Also congrats on joining the Spright team–I know you will be a great asset and help a lot of people. xo
Look at that heartiness! I love the way cooked and creamed broccoli tastes. Yum!! This is one recipe I’ll have to give try this week since it’s so cold and rainy here thanks to the hurricane. Thanks, Gena!
Wow! I must say that your recipes have been especially enticing lately–I’ve made almost all of them these past few months! This is going on the menu for next week. Hope you’re well, Gena xo