Broccoli, Sweet Potato “Cheesy” Soup, so tasty with its combination of veggies, a wonderful vegan spice called nutritional yeast, and garnishings of spiced croutons and pepitas, giving you a vegan and gluten-free dinner that will have you licking your lips.
Broccoli, Sweet Potato “Cheesy” Soup, a meal that is lovely and luxurious, with a velvety texture that leaves a wonderful sensation on your tongue of wanting and scrumptiousness.
Broccoli is a vegetable that I love. It’s texture whether stir-fried, or boiled, or even raw I don’t mind, but in combination with sweet potato and a good rich vegetable broth, and some vegan ingredients, gives you a soup with lots of soul and goodness.
Nicoletta often asks me how I make such good soups, I think it is through osmosis. Growing up in the west, especially in the winter, gave way to soup stewing on the stove. I would wake up to clanging and banging in the kitchen as my mother Ilia, and father Americo would be making soup. They cooked a lot together which taught me how to work together to create wonderful dishes and meals, one experience that I share with Nicoletta. I loved when the holy trinity went into the stock pot, carrots, onions, and celery. The aroma always enough to make you hungry and impatient. Whoever came up with this mirepoix is a genius, and it is the base of most of my soups today.
I have put my own little twists depending on what type of soup I am making. One herb that I use quite often is bay leaves. It gives such a beautiful aroma to the mix and a peppery herb flavor, elevating any soup to new levels.nThis Broccoli, Sweet Potato “Cheesy” soup has some interesting ingredients that I have only come to know recently. Things such as nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese. These add such amazing flavor to this soup, and compliment the taste of the broccoli, sweet potato mix, nicely. It was in Seattle that I found out about nutritional yeast. We had a vegan mac and cheese at this wonderful cafe in an open marketplace. The mac and cheese was phenomenal. The flavor, the texture, I knew I had to find out more about this product. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, and it has a cheesy smell and taste to it. It can be found at any of your organic markets. We usually find it in the bulk spice section. The vegan cheese is also very strong in flavor, made from plant-based proteins, some lactic acid for the acidity factor and oils for the fat content, producing a very similar texture and taste to dairy cheese, usually found with all the soy products in your local grocery store.
Behind the scenes of this silky, velvety Broccoli Sweet Potato “Cheesy” Soup!
This soup is quite easy to make, the base, carrots, onion, celery. The stock vegetable, herbs such as bay leaf, paprika, nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper of course. The main flavor notes coming from the broccoli, sweet potato, and vegan cheese.
I like to saute my veggies first before adding the stock. It brings out all the flavors and caramelization, and with the herbs creates a wonderful place for each ingredient to get to know each other. This is usually how I do it. I heat up some good olive oil in the soup pot. Throw in the carrots, onions, and celery. Let that get all nice and soft. Then I add in my broccoli and sweet potato. Season a bit with the paprika, salt and pepper, some onion powder, and garlic. The reason I put the garlic in last is I don’t want to burn it. I want to slowly cook it to release some of its natural sugar. Now for the elevation, some bay leaf, and freshly squeezed lemon, and the aroma gets kicked up a few notches. Now to seal the deal in goes the stock capturing all the flavors, spices and aroma, down goes the heat to a simmer. When the vegetables are fork tender I take it off the heat and using a hand blender puree the soup until it is silky and smooth. Oh don’t forget to take out the bay leaves, you don’t want those hard shards coming into your mouth taking away the smooth consistency of the soup. Add the nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, and stir well allowing that cheese to dance and drift the night away with all the goodness of this dish.
While the soup is cooking we make up some croutons with some old bread, tossing them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Into an oven they go to get all golden brown and crunchy. The pepitas which will also garnish the soup and were toasted.
So our soup is done, blended and pureed. The croutons and pepitas nicely toasted, we are ready to plate this beauty. We are serving the Broccoli, Sweet Potato “Cheesy” Soup, in these beautiful vintage bowls we found at Maven & Grace. A local Edmonton antique and home decor store that has amazing kitchenware, and all sorts of interesting things for your home. I love this place, always makes me feel like I stepped back in time and went into one of the stores way back when. A great place to find props for food bloggers such as myself and Nicoletta.
Into the bowl goes the soup, always remember to stir it a bit to ensure all is well blended. A dusting of nice smoked paprika. Slowly place croutons and pepitas, and you are ready to chow down on this lovely and tantalizing dish!
This soup is like velvet and silk to your tongue. The smoothness of the sweet potato holding the flavors of the broccoli and cheese nicely. The bits of the smokiness of the paprika, the zing of the bay leaf coming at just the right times. I love the crunch of the croutons and the nuttiness of the pepitas, adding such delight and joy to an absolutely luxurious dish. I was scraping the bottom of the bowl and was tempted to lick it clean, but subdued my animal instincts in the name of grace, poise, and table etiquette. It is winter and the nights are cold, treat yourself well and curl up with a bowl of this wonderfully flavorful Broccoli, Sweet Potato “Cheesy” Soup!
Song of the day: “Warm and Sunny Days”, by The Dears.Print
Recipe adapted from the cookbook “Oh She Glows Everyday” by Angela Liddon.
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 small-medium carrots, chopped
- 1 broccoli head, cut into florets
- 1 small sweet potato or half big one, peeled and diced.
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- sea salt, and cracked black pepper
- Toasted pepitas
- Cubed bread croutons
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper
- In a large soup pot drizzle in olive oil and bring to a medium to high heat.
- Toss in carrots, onions, and celery.
- Season with a bit of sea salt, cracked pepper, and paprika.
- Saute until veggies start to soften.
- Now add in broccoli, sweet potato, garlic, and bay leaves.
- Splash in lemon juice.
- Cook for a few minutes, then pour in vegetable broth.
- Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Check sweet potato and broccoli, when they are fork tender turn heat off.
- Take out bay leaves, and with a hand blender puree until smooth and velvety.
- Add in nutritional yeast and vegan cheese and stir until well blended and melted.
- While soup is simmering combine in a bowl croutons, salt pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well, tossing with your hands.
- Place croutons on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 400° F oven till golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Take out of oven and cool.
- Ladle soup into a bowl.
- Sprinkle some paprika onto surface of soup.
- Carefully place the garlic croutons on top, along with the toasted pepitas.
- Ready to serve.
Use gluten-free bread to make croutons, in order for the soup to be gluten-free.
- Serving Size: 4 servings
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