Cream of Broccoli and Quinoa Soup
October 27, 2015

Fully loaded vegan cream of broccoli and quinoa soup -- so healthy and hearty! | The Full Helping

I wasn’t really planning on posting this soup recipe. I’d found some amazingly fresh and bright broccoli at the farmer’s market, gotten a little carried away, and come home with three pounds, which was a whole lot more than I needed for steaming and for salads and sides.

So, soup it was, and 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).

Fully loaded vegan cream of broccoli and quinoa soup -- so healthy and hearty! | The Full Helping

What a difference that addition made! It immediately transformed a humble bowl of broccoli soup into something a lot more memorable and hearty. This soup is delightfully creamy, in spite of the fact that there’s no dairy and no non-dairy milk, either (cashew cream is a wonderful, yet optional addition). This is all thanks to the addition of russet potatoes and the quinoa itself, which adds texture as well as creaminess. I added the cooked grain to the soup, and I also topped all of my bowls with a heaping spoonful.

Fully loaded vegan cream of broccoli and quinoa soup -- so healthy and hearty! | The Full Helping

In addition to the quinoa and broccoli combo, this soup has it all: some cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast, tons of nutrition, plant protein, staying power. It’s also really easy to make, especially if you prepare the quinoa in advance. You can use frozen or fresh broccoli, and you can stir in some kale or spinach before blending if you want to add an extra boost of leafy greens. If you prefer, try it with cauliflower instead of broccoli. The possibilities abound. And that’s before we even get to the toppings.

Fully loaded vegan cream of broccoli and quinoa soup -- so healthy and hearty! | The Full Helping

Cream of Broccoli and Quinoa Soup

Author -
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound roughly chopped broccoli florets and stems are fine
  • 2 small russet potatoes peeled and roughly chopped (about 3/4 pound)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf fresh or dry (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2-2 cups cooked quinoa or another whole grain of choice
  • Optional toppings: coconut bacon cashew cream, extra nutritional yeast, tempeh bacon, toasted pumpkin seeds, extra broccoli florets, hot sauce, etc.


  • Heat the oil in a soup pot or a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions. Saut for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Add the garlic. Saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli, potatoes, broth, salt, black pepper, the bay leaf, paprika, and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the bay leaf, if using. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and quinoa. If you like, stir in a few tablespoons cashew cream.
  • Divide the soup into bowls. Add any toppings you like. Serve. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to four days, and can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Yeah, I thought this soup was sort of perfect until I added the coconut bacon — which I had at home because I’d demo’ed it for a nutrition client as part of a home cooking lesson on Friday night.

I had been wrong. It took things to a new level.

Fully loaded vegan cream of broccoli and quinoa soup -- so healthy and hearty! | The Full Helping

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.

Before I go today, a big announcement. Starting on November 1, I’ll be joining the Spright team as a coach for their November vegan challenge! If you don’t know Spright, it’s an awesome, San Fran-based company that serves as a friendly, accessible resource for all things healthy living. The site offers online, interactive courses, product guides, recipes, and more, and all of the courses are led by awesome health professionals (including my friend Heather)!

Spright logo

The November vegan challenge is a fun, low-stress, and supportive way to explore veganism for 30 days. Whether you’re eager to dive into veganism full-time or just dipping your toes into the meatless world, this is a cool opportunity to challenge yourself, explore new recipes, give the lifestyle a chance, and get the support of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic coach–me! Signing up will give you a chance to ask questions, set goals each week, connect with other awesome folks around the country, post and share the recipes you make at home, and get some guidance and pointers. The curriculum will include:

•Overview of vegan diet and nutrition
•Sourcing protein in a vegan diet
•Reading labels
•Planning ahead for meals/snacks
•Cookbook & website resources
•Eating in restaurants and eating socially
•Finding balance

Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be daunting, and this challenge will make it easy. Plus, if you’ve been curious about my nutrition counseling (especially with the goal of transitioning to more plant-based foods) but aren’t ready to make the commitment, this is an easy way to test the waters. You can read more here, and you can also email me with questions ([email protected]).

OK folks! That’s it for today. Have a fabulous Tuesday.


Fully loaded vegan cream of broccoli and quinoa soup -- so healthy and hearty! | The Full Helping

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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 =)

  4. 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 :-))

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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