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 dairy-free cream of broccoli soup.
Dairy-free Cream of Broccoli Soup
Bright green and velvety smooth, dairy-free cream of broccoli soup is a welcome, warming bowl in the chilly months. Even today in usually sunny Orange County, California, it was gray, chilly and drizzly. Perfect soup weather, so I made this new soup. The chicken sausage adds protein and makes it more satisfying but it’s fine without, it’s your choice. 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 healthy fat you do not need to worry about. Still nervous about coconut milk? Read this article.
How to Keep it Bright Green
Raw 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.
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 Applegate Organics and always have a package of the Sweet Italian style or apple in the freezer for quick meals.
Recipe Edits 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.
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 1/2 pounds bagged broccoli florets or several large heads
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth preferably homemade
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 4 handfuls raw baby spinach
- 3/4 pound pre-cooked chicken-turkey sausage 4 links, optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley for garnish optional
- 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 chopped broccoli 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.
- 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.
- When serving, portion soup into bowls and top each bowl with crisped sausage pieces. Add chopped chives or parsley for garnish if desired.