There are lots of cream of broccoli soup recipes around. This one is a little different, in a healthy and delicious way. Instead of cream, I use whole coconut milk for creamy dairy-free richness. That is welcome for the many dairy-sensitive people around, and it does not taste at all like coconut. Trust me. It is amazing, rich and velvet, my recipe for cream of broccoli soup.
Bright green and velvety smooth, this cream of broccoli soup recipe is a welcome, warming bowl in the chilly months. Even today in usually sunny Southern California, it was gray, chilly and drizzly. Perfect soup weather, so I created this new soup recipe. If you are looking for a broccoli sop recipe without milk or cream, here you go.
- A large pot like a Dutch oven
- A blender
Broccoli - You can use bagged broccoli florets to save time or two large heads. Frozen broccoli works too.
Spinach - The secret to the bright green color of this soup is adding raw baby spinach to the blender when you puree the cooked broccoli. Without it, the soup will be a drab green. Still tasty, but not the bright, pretty color with the raw spinach.
Coconut milk - for the "creamy" part (or if you're ok with dairy use heavy cream of half and half)
Broth - chicken or vegetable broths work. For chicken broth, choose a low sodium brand and read labels carefully. There are a few good boxed brands around, but check the frozen foods cases for good chicken broth. For vegetable broth, homemade tastes best and is super easy to make. Here is my recipe.
Olive oil - for sauteeing the veggies
Other veggies - Celery and onion for flavor
Optional protein - note below
While this soup is creamy, full of vegetables and healthy fat, you might want to add protein for more of a meal. For that, I've added pre-cooked and pan-crisped chicken-turkey sausage as a garnish. It makes the soup more hearty and satisfying.
The brand I buy is this one and always have a package of the Sweet Italian style or apple in the freezer for quick meals.
The chicken sausage adds protein and makes it more satisfying but it's fine without, your choice.
Coconut Milk for No-Dairy
For those concerned that coconut milk has a lot of saturated fat, know that the saturated fat in coconut milk is a medium chain fat. We burn it more like a carb, for energy. It's a healthier fat most people do not need to worry about.
Still nervous about coconut milk? Read this article. And for another creamy green vegetable soup, try this easy cream of asparagus soup (either coconut milk or heavy cream options)
Start by cooking the onion and celery in olive oil until soft, then add the broccoli and broth. Bring to a boil then turn down to low and cover, cooking until the broccoli is very tender when pierced with the top of a paring knife (about 20 minutes).
When broccoli is tender, add half of it with the broth to a blender. Add half the coconut milk and spinach and puree until smooth. Puree in two batches as hot liquids expand in the blender.
If using the sausage, chop and brown while soup is simmering.
Serve topped with the browned chicken sausage and chopped herbs, fresh parsley or chives is nice.
If there are any leftovers, soup will keep in the refrigerator 4-5 days. It also freezes.
For Vegans or Vegetarians
For vegan or vegetarian cooks, be sure to use vegetable broth and obviously skip the sausage. If you want to add protein, dice extra firm organic tofu or tempeh and brown the cubes in a little olive oil in a non-stick pan as your garnish.
More Broccoli Recipes
- Broccoli bacon salad
- Roasted broccoli with lemon and parmesan
- Broccoli slaw with creamy apple cider dressing
Dairy-free Cream of Broccoli Soup
- 5 quart pot, pan or Dutch oven
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery finely chopped
- 1 ½ pounds bagged broccoli florets or several large heads
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth preferably homemade
- 1 cup canned coconut milk half and half or heavy cream
- 4 handfuls raw baby spinach leaves bagged spinach
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ pound pre-cooked chicken-turkey sausage 4 links, optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley for garnish optional
If starting with bagged florets
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium pot (4-5 quarts) over medium-low heat and cook the onion and celery until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and the broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer until broccoli is very tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 20 minutes.
If starting with broccoli heads
- You can use bundles of fresh broccoli as well. Cut the large, thick stems from the top florets part. Chop the stems small, as they are more fibrous and tough, then chop the florets roughly. Finish by following the directions above.
Sausage instructions (optional)
- While the soup is simmering, brown the sausage. Slice links in half lengthwise, lay them flat on a cutting board and chop them into small pieces on the diagonal. Crisp sausages pieces in a non-stick pan over medium heat in 1 teaspoon olive oil until the edges are browned.
- Place half of the broccoli, half of the coconut milk, and 2 handfuls of spinach into a blender and puree, starting with low speed and gradually increasing to high, with the lid on. Be careful when blending hot liquids. Blending the batch a half a a time is safer. Repeat with the other half and combine back into the pot and keep warm until serving time.
- Taste the soup and add a little more salt and pepper if desired. When serving, portion soup into bowls and top each bowl with crisped sausage pieces. Add chopped chives or parsley for garnish if desired.
Snowed in in NYC, perfect time for this incredibly good-looking dish. I followed the recipe to a T, even added the celery when I really don't care for it. I also probably used a lot more spinach but I wanted it to look bright green 🙂 which it did! This is exceptionally good and wholesome (green = heart chakra 🙂 Thank you!
Sally Cameron says
So glad it worked for you Deborah, and yes, great for a cold snowy NYC day. Thanks for your comment.
The Attainable Gourmet says
Oh this looks divine! It also sounds like a fabulous way to get a little protein into such a healthy and delicious dish. Can't wait to try this! Hope you're well, Sally!
La Torontoise says
Sally, so happy to find this soup today! i'm a broccoli queen... Love broccoli. obsessed with all things broccoli, and I cook for a cancer-sick friend who thinks broccoli is saving her life.
Wish you a great week!