Do you ever crave hot soup in the middle of July when it's incredibly hot outside? I mean, you might be sweating just to walk outside to pick some ice cream. So what do you do when you want to enjoy the deliciousness of a creamy soup but don't want to sweat while eating it? Make raw soup! I know, know. It sounds weird. I thought that raw soups were weird for the longest time. Until I made this Raw Broccoli Soup and became a convert.
Unlike hot pureed soups that are designed for comfort - such as creamy butternut squash soup or cream of mushroom soup - raw, slightly warm soups should wake you up, taste intensely of their key ingredients, and zing with freshness. This Raw Broccoli Soup is no different and you'll fall in love with it even if you don't like broccoli. Sounds like a bold promise? Read on . . .
Broccoli is one of those things that many people can't handle eating. Growing up, I was no exception. I loved tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peas, but couldn't stand any cruciferous vegetables, broccoli included. So if you don't like the taste of cruciferous vegetables, there's actually an interesting explanation why that's the case.
There are five flavors that we taste in food - sweet, salty, umami (savory), sour, and bitter. The most popular are the sweet and the salty flavors. From biological perspective, our bodies crave salt (sodium) because of its numerous life functions from the cellular level to nervous system control. Sweet flavor is associated with survival as well because sugar is our main source of fuel and energy. Savoriness, by definition, means good taste so that's a favorite one as well.
But then there is sour and bitter taste, which many people don't like. There's actually a really good reason for it - sour and bitter flavors alert us to foods that might be toxic or harmful. Vegetables, although very healthy, do have a component of bitterness to them. This could be from a low level of toxins created by the plant to avoid being eaten, or a kind of bitterness camouflage to make an animal think the plant is toxic. The good news is that once you understand why vegetables don’t taste good to you or your children, you can work with that knowledge to make them more appealing.
I have no doubt that you'll love this Raw Broccoli Soup even if you don't like broccoli. It's not hot, but it's not cold either because the blender warms the soup up. It's thick and creamy and nutty and very un-raw-broccoli-like.
Tips for Making Raw Broccoli Soup
Start with whole broccoli. I know you can buy pre-chopped broccoli, but I would highly advise against it. First of all, pre-chopped broccoli has a tendency to dry out, which results in less flavor when you blend it. Second, pre-chopped broccoli usually includes only the florets and not the stems. However, since the stems have much less bite than the florets, you want to use them as well. So buy whole broccoli and chop it yourself. Also, if you can get your hands on organic broccoli, your soup will be out of this world. I know that organic food tends to be more expensive, but if you want to have the best-tasting broccoli soup, organic broccoli is the way to go.
As I've already mentioned, the most popular flavors are salty, sweet, and savory.
- The best flavor for overcoming bitterness is saltiness. It also goes well with vegetables, which have natural salts in them. Salt can come in the form of pure salt, tamari, miso, or ground seaweed (such as kelp).
- Sweetness can’t neutralize bitterness in the same way saltiness can, but enhancing the sweet flavor can help make a dish more delicious overall. Using a small bit of sweetener is the trick Italians use to make tomato sauce so good. My favorite sweetener is maple syrup, but you can also use raw honey (if not vegan). A small amount goes a long way so be careful you don't add too much.
- Savoriness adds punch and overpowers bitterness. You can think of it as a little boost of flavor. When I make this broccoli soup, I like to add a bit of miso or even steep some dried kombu to make stock and use it instead of just plain filtered water. These umami boosters are instant flavor game-changers.
Next ingredient are avocados. Avocados lend the same creamy texture and unctuous richness without the use of any diary. Avocados are rich, buttery, creamy, and even slightly sweet if you use them in this recipe. You can use avocados to create creamy dishes where you'd normally reach for butter, milk, or even cream. And just in case you're wondering, you really can't taste the avocados at all.
To make this soup even more creamy, I use cashews. It's amazing how a swirl of vegan cashew cream can transform this soup into a dreamy wonderland of goodness. I consider cashew cream one of secret vegan ingredients everyone should know of. Cashews are not only rich and creamy, but they also add a hint of natural sweetness.
A little bit of nutritional yeast to mimic the cheesy taste of dairy, and flat-leaf parsley and lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.
Blending works wonders for hiding the taste of bitter vegetables. I would highly recommend using high-speed blender as opposed to just a regular blender or even an immersion blender. The goal is to not only achieve smooth and creamy texture, but also heat up the soup slightly.
Tools You'll Need
1. Blender (Vitamix 5200) | 2. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 3. Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 4. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass) | 5. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 6. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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Raw Broccoli Soup
Raw Broccoli Soup
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
- ⅛ cup nutritional yeast (not raw)*
- ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ⅛ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked**
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp. lemon juice, optional
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- Add all the cashew cream ingredients into a blender. Blend on the highest setting until completely smooth. Season to taste. Set ½ cup of the cream aside and leave the rest in the blender.
- Blend all the ingredients together with the remaining cashew cream. Blend on the highest setting until completely smooth. Season to taste.
- To serve, pour the soup into bowls. Add a few spoonfuls of the set aside cashew cream and swirl it into the soup. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and a few leaves of parsley. Serve warm, straight from the blender.
- Store leftover soup covered in the refrigerator for a few days, though best within the first 24-48 hours.
**Soak the cashews in water for at least 8 hours (or overnight) so they soften up and are easy to blend. To quick-soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews and soak for 1 hour uncovered. When the cashews are done soaking, drain the water and rinse the cashews thoroughly. (Note: if you do the quick soak, the soup will no longer be raw).
***Prep time does not include soaking the cashews (8 hours). This recipe has been adapted from Alissa Cohen's cookbook Living on Live Food.
Soup is good. Would recommend using 1/2 garlic clove instead.
Thank you Brigitte 🙂
What is the crouton-looking item next to the soup?
Hi elaine - it's sourdough bread that I make at home 🙂 I haven't shared a recipe for this bread on my website because it's not gluten-free (and I try to focus on gluten-free recipes).
Can u boil the broccoli before blending with the rest of the ingredients in case u have frozen broccoli? Or I can blend it frozen? I wanna try this soup even though I don't like broccoli
Hi Patila - I would just let the broccoli thaw on the counter ... or sure, you can totally boil the broccoli 🙂 It doesn't have to be raw.
This cashew cream is now a staple in my fridge. Im dreaming up new ways to use it all the time. I use it to make penne a la vodka, creamy base in veggie soup, I also substituted asparagus in place broccoli. Delicious stuff!
So happy to hear that, Khrys! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback ❤️
I just got a new Vitamix and I'm constantly on the look for new ways to use it. This soup has me super eager to get a head of broccoli tomorrow morning at the market!
Thank you for your beautiful, informative and heartfelt content. Sending love from Italy!
Thank you so much Chiara! Hope you enjoy the soup 🙂
Is it worth to try with 850w blender?
Hi Indre - a great question! To be honest, I don't know. I only own a Vitamix, so I can't test it. I am sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Did you try it with your blender yet? Curious to know if it worked...
looks yumy! but no macro? 🙁
Hi Christina - here are the macros for one serving (without the cream): 213.5 calories, 13.7 g fat, 18.4 g carbohydrates (10.7 g fiber, 2.3 g sugar), and 9.6 g protein. Please, let me know if you'd like me to add macros for the cashew cream as well.
What's the recipe for the cooked version? Thank you so much I love your youtube channel!
Hi Lisa - thank you!! ❤️ You're so kind. The cooked soup is a little more labor-intensive than the raw version, but really good! I start with aromatics (sauteing 2 medium onions ~ 250 g in total, and 3 cloves of garlic). Then add 4 cups broccoli florets (~ 400 g) and 3 cups vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil over high heat, add salt, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the broccoli until tender (be careful not to overcook the broccoli, so it retains its bright green color). Add it to a blender together with 2/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, lemon juice (start with a little bit and add more to taste), and salt. Once blended, add the cashew cream. (You will need much less cashew cream because the broccoli is cooked, aka not as pungent and raw-tasting. I usually half the cashew cream recipe for the cooked soup (and then add half of it directly into the soup, and reserve the other half for serving). Let me know if you have any questions 🙂
I'm going to make the cooked version of this soup and am wondering if I should add some avocado for extra creaminess. Also what would you use the other half of the cashew cream for if I only am using half of it in the cooked soup? What other recipes could this other half of cashew cream be used for? I can't wait to try this recipe because it contains lots of my favorite ingredients. My husband loves cream of broccoli soup and he will not even know that I'm not using cream or cheese.
Looking forward to watching more of your videos as I am a new subscriber and recently switched to a whole food plant based diet.
Hi Laurie - here is what I do for the cooked version: I only make half the amount of cashew cream for the cooked broccoli soup (half of the half goes straight into the soup; the other half is for swirling into the soup before serving). Once you have the cashew cream ready, saute half an onion with a couple of cloves of garlic. Add the broccoli (I use ~ 3 cups for the cooked version) and 3 cups vegetable broth. Simmer the broccoli until al-dente (make sure you don't overcook the broccoli, so it maintains it's beautiful green color. Into the blender (with half of the cashew cream) goes the cooked broccoli with the broth, onions, and garlic, about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, a splash of lemon juice, and salt to taste. Blend and that's it 🙂
Thanks Petra. I actually made the soup and I added an avocado into the food processor. I used my Ninja to blend up the cashew mixture along with a half of avocado. Then I ended up putting another avocado in with the soup and I actually left some of the broccoli out so it would have chunks in it along with the cream of broccoli & then I added it back in at the end. I probably put a little too much nutritional yeast in or lemon juice but I will definitely make it again & I also used a generous amount of flat leaf parsley which is a great addition to this soup because it really turned out excellent and either way it is super healthy. Thanks for your response and I look forward to more videos with your demonstration of healthy cooking!
So happy you enjoyed the recipe, Laurie! Thank you for sharing your modifications and feedback!❤️ I really appreciate it.
Your recipe for cashew cream calls for 1 cup cashews and 1/2 cup water plus a couple other ingredients. In the video it appears that the ratio of water to cashews looks like much more than 1/2 cup water as the water level before blending is much higher than the 1 cup of cashews.. Could you just verify for me if the recipe is accurate as listed? Thank you for sharing this recipe
Hi Paula - my apologies for the confusion! I would recommend following the recipe on my blog. I don't always measure when I'm filming but always measure when developing recipes.
So happy to find a raw broccoli soup recipe. It tastes great! My daughter had major dental surgery and could only have soup, And her diet is almost all raw cruciferous at this time. She has a little sensitivity to garlic, so I added 2.6 ounces of yellow onion and that was really wonderful. And I definitely will make this again!
So good to hear that you and your daughter liked the recipe! Thank you so much for the feedback and rating!