When it comes to delicious soup with rich flavor and the perfect blend of creamy and chunky, there’s no need to get complicated. This dairy-free broccoli chowder is made with a combination of nutritious vegetables and everyday pantry basics. It’s naturally high in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, and other micronutrients. And it’s versatile enough to suit nearly any dietary need.
Dairy-Free Broccoli Chowder is a Favorite Bistro-Style Soup
This recipe was originally shared with us by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, from her vegan cookbook Appetite for Reduction. We’ve made just a few changes and added variations to the recipe. We also have some more ingredient options in the FAQs below.
Can I Substitute Other Vegetables?
Definitely! As noted, you can use just broccoli and potatoes, if you don’t have any parsnips. But you could also use zucchini, asparagus, or cauliflower in place of the broccoli. Just make sure to use 1 1/2 pounds of starchy vegetables, like the potatoes and parsnips, for thick and creamy results.
Can I Use Chicken Broth in Place of the Vegetable Broth?
If you don’t need a vegan broccoli soup, then chicken broth can be substituted. But the original recipe was written specifically for vegan living.
What Type of Milk Alternative Should I Use?
Isa uses unsweetened almond milk in this dairy-free broccoli chowder, but your favorite type for soups should work well. Just make sure it is plain and unsweetened to avoid any unwanted flavors (like vanilla) or sweetness.
Can I Use Dairy-Free Cream Alternative Instead of Non-Dairy Milk Alternative?
If you want a richer finish, you can certainly use a vegan cream. Brands like Silk, Country Crock, and Califia Farms are readily available. You could even use canned coconut milk, but that will add hints of coconut to the flavor.
Do You Recommend Adding Dairy-Free Cheese?
That’s up to you! But I do think dairy-free cheese shreds would go nicely. You can see our Dairy-Free Cheddar Guide for brands that melt well. If you’re just craving a hint of cheesiness, you can blend some nutritional yeast in. I would start with 1 tablespoon, taste, and add more if desired. Another umami type option is to add a little miso. I would start with 1 teaspoon white miso and see what you think! It’s a favorite in my Dairy-Free Potato Soup. I also offer a Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook.
It’s Not as Flavorful as I Would Like. How Can I Fix It?
Isa does use regular vegetable broth. If you use a low sodium or less flavorful variety, this could affect the results. And depending on the season, your vegetables can be less flavorful. Some quick ways to amplify the flavor are to add a little more salt and pepper, or squeeze in a little lemon juice. You could alternatively use one of the dairy-free cheese options above.
Can I Puree All of the Soup?
You can! That’s completely up to you. If you do puree all of this vegan broccoli soup, you might need to whisk in more milk alternative or broth, as it will be quite thick. Add more seasonings, to taste, if you do thin it with milk alternative.
My Soup is Too Thick or Too Thin. How Can I Fix It?
If it’s too thick, whisk in more milk alternative or broth. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. If your soup is too thin, puree more of the vegetables.
Does this Dairy-Free Broccoli Chowder Freeze Well?
It freezes just like any other soup. Store it in an airtight container in your freezer for up to 3 months.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Broccoli Chowder
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, added sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian. It’s even coconut-free and soy-free!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks (no need to peel)
- ½ pound parsnips, peeled and cut into ¼-inch chunks (can sub more potatoes)
- 5 cups chopped broccoli (the stalks chopped into thin slices, the tops cut into small florets)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (1 quart)
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy-fee milk alternative
- Heat the oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté it for about 5 minutes, or until translucent and softened. Add the garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 1 more minute.
- Add the potatoes and parsnips to the pot, and pour in the vegetable broth. Stir, cover, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the broccoli to the soup, and cook it for 20 more minutes.
- Whisk the milk alternative into the soup and use an immersion blender to blend about half the soup, keeping it a bit chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, then transfer about half of the soup to a blender. Remove the center piece from the blender lid, cover it with a tea towel, and puree (this allows the steam to escape as you blend. Stir the pureed soup back into the soup in the pot.
- Taste and season with more salt and/or pepper, if needed.