Creamy Broccoli Soup

This is my variation of a broccoli cheddar soup that uses nutritional yeast for the creamy texture and salty/cheesy taste.  You could use a cup or so of shredded vegan cheese instead, but in my opinion, the nutritional yeast does a much better job.  The first time I made this soup, I actually made two batches, one with the nutritional yeast and one with real shredded white cheddar.  I let someone else try both to do a comparison and I was told they could hardly tell the difference!  This soup is great served with toasted bread for dipping.
 
Side Note: You can find nutritional yeast it in specialty stores like Whole Foods, generally in the vitamin/supplement section.  You can buy the Better Than Bullion pastes at Publix (in the Greenwise section – small jar with a black lid) or at Whole Foods.  Don’t forget Amazon!
 
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Margarine (or other vegan margarine)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons Better Than Bullion Vegetarian No-Chicken Base + 3 cups boiling water (or 3 cups veg stock)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1 cup unflavored non-dairy creamer (I used the SO Delicious brand coconut milk creamer)
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (I used the stalk as well, chopped)
 
Boil the 3 cups of water and dissolve the no-chicken base in it and set aside.  If you’re using veg stock, skip this step and make note that you may want to season with salt later.
 
Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onion for about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the flour to the pan and stir until absorbed.  Add the water/no-chicken base mixture (or veg stock), creamer, milk, and pepper and slowly bring to a simmer.  You don’t want to full on boil liquids with coconut milk or it may separate.
 
Add the broccoli and cover with the lid slightly askew to release a small amount of steam. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Next, add in the nutritional yeast and stir well.  At this point you can puree half of the soup (or all of it) in a blender, if you wish.  I puree half as it makes the soup creamier, but I like to have some whole pieces of broccoli as well.

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