Creamy, healthy, cheese and broccoli soup–with no milk or cheese! Chickpea flour creates the creamy base in this high protein (12.7 g per serving) vegan soup.
Cheese and broccoli soup. Creamy, homey and satisfying. Perfect end-of-February comfort food.
My version tastes like the classic, but with (ahem) a few wee twists. For example, it is:
*Dairy-free (no milk at all, dairy or non-dairy)
*Cheese-free (not even vegan cheese)
*High Protein (12.7 g per serving!)
*High Fiber (7 g per serving)
*Easy-to-make (e.g., one pot, no blending required)
Most of all, it is delicious!
Let’s get started, shall we? First, grab your magic wand.
Kidding. But I get it, this all may sound too good to be true.
But it’s not. Then again, chickpea flour is a magical ingredient in many ways. It can be used as a flour, as an egg replacement, and (drumroll) to make dairy-free cheese. Like chickpea flour feta cheese. And (inspiration for this soup) chickpea flour Cheddar cheese.
When a slurry of chickpea flour and liquid is heated (whisking along the way), it becomes thick and very creamy. No milk additions,of any kind are needed. It can be more or less thick, depending on the ratio of flour to liquid. At one extreme, cheese. At the other, the second inspiration for this recipe: French chickpea flour soup.
Now we can begin. First up, prep your broccoli.
Stick with the florets (save the stems for something else) and chop them fine. The broccoli will need to cook in the creamy soup; fine chopping equals faster cooking. It also means you will not have to chew your soup. Who wants a jumbo hunk of broccoli on their spoon? Not me. But if big broccoli floats your boat, I suggest steaming your hunks before adding to the soup.
Note that broccoli is the only chopped vegetable in this soup. Because it is broccoli soup. No onions, no carrots, no thank you.
Time to make the base! In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour with 1 and 1/2 cups of the water until it is very smooth. You’ll also whisk in some flavorings: onion powder, garlic powder, tomato paste (this adds depth of flavor, acidity, and color), salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (this is the ingredient that delivers bold cheese flavor as well as mega protein).
Add the chickpea mixture and the remaining water to a large saucepan, whisking until smooth. Bring to a low boil over high heat, whisking along the way. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes longer until thickened.
Whisk in the mustard (it adds the sharpness associated with Cheddar cheese) and then stir in the broccoli. Cover the soup and simmer on low for 5 to 7 minutes until the broccoli is cooked and tender. Give the soup a taste; add the lemon juice, as well as more salt and pepper to taste.
Yum. Time for ladling into bowls!
My white bean flatbread makes a great accompaniment, especially for dunking!
Happy eating, everyone!
- 1 large head broccoli
- 7 cups (1.65 L) water, divided
- 1 and ⅓ cups (160 g) chickpea flour (sifted if lumpy)
- ½ cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) tomato paste
- 2-1/2 teaspoons (12 mL) onion powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) garlic power
- fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) fresh lemon juice (to taste)
- Cut off the broccoli florets; reserve the stems for another use. Finely chop the florets and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour and 1 and ½ cups (350 mL) water until blended. Add the nutritional yeast, tomato paste, onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper until blended.
- Add the chickpea mixture and the remaining water to a large saucepan, whisking until smooth. Bring to a low boil over high heat, whisking along the way.
- Reduce the medium-low and cook, whisking occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes longer until thickened. Whisk in the mustard.
- Add the broccoli to the soup, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes longer until the broccoli is tender. Add the lemon juice, as well as more salt and pepper, to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and serve!
Cauliflower Variation: Prepare as directed but use an equal mount of cauliflower in place of the broccoli.