We kept Christmas dinner incredibly simple this year.
Soup + grilled cheese. No joke!
For Thanksgiving I love a huge spread. I want all the sides. I want to make a million things. I want the meal to last forever + ever. But for some reason with Christmas I love simplicity. Maybe it’s the time of year when I realize I need a little break from the kitchen. Maybe I would rather spend my time watching my niece dance around the room with her new toys than be in the kitchen all day. Maybe it’s the time of year I realize simple is just as good as complex.
It’s also kind of nice to not have 23 different dishes to choose from when it comes time to eat.
You have soup. You have grilled cheese. And there you go.
This soup doesn’t need a special occasion, though. And while it’s made without a lick of cheese or cream it’s absolute comfort in a bowl. An anytime soup.
Each bowl is studded with bite-sized pieces of broccoli and potato swimming in the creamy thick base. It’s thick but not too thick. It’s simply seasoned. It’s incredibly filling. It’s totally delicious.
And I’ve made it twice in 2 weeks.
Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped ~1 1/4 cups
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2-2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 cups finely chopped broccoli florets, divided
- 2 1/2 cups [1/4-1/2-inch] cubed yukon gold potatoes, divided
Soak cashews in a bowl covered with water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain water and rinse cashews. Blend cashews with 1 cup of vegetable broth in a high-powered blender until fully smooth. Add more broth if needed. Will thicken as it sits. Set aside while making the soup.
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium with the oil. Once hot add in the onion and cook for about 8-10 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Stir frequently. Add in the garlic, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir for 30-60 seconds until fragrant, then pour in the 4 cups of vegetable broth and stir.
Add in 2 cups of broccoli and 1 1/2 cups of potatoes and bring to a low boil for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked. Carefully pour 1/2 of the mixture into your blender and blend on low speed slowly working to high until smooth. Be sure to leave the lid cracked or top plug removed from the lid [to allow steam to escape] and monitor the entire time. Pour into a bowl and repeat with remaining mixture.
Pour soup back into the pot and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add the remaining broccoli and potato to the soup and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. At about the 5 minute mark start tasting the soup and adding more salt + pepper as needed.
This soup needs quite a bit of salt. If it seems bland it just needs more salt [promise], which I like to add in 1/4 teaspoon increments. I ended up adding around 1 1/2 teaspoons and another 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. After each addition stir and let cook another minute then taste again. I’ve made this twice and had the same thing happen with needing to add quite a bit of salt slowly until it tasted just right.
As soon as the soup is seasoned to your liking stir in 1/3-1/2 cup of the cashew cream. Turn off the heat and pour into mugs or bowls then top with another drizzle of cashew cream.
notes: If you would like a fully creamed soup add all broccoli and potato to the broth before boiling and blending. Cashew cream can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Thin out with more broth as needed. This recipe easily doubles to feed a crowd. You could also use a hand immersion blender instead of a stand up blender to cream the soup but it will not turn out quite as smooth.
Looking for an alternative to grilled cheese? Toast up your favorite bread and slather it with salt + pepper cashew butter. Avocado toast works, too.
Cheers to a productive week!