Cream of Broccoli Potato Soup and Broth Powder Recipe

This cream of broccoli potato soup is my most requested recipe. It's often served to guests, is my favorite potluck contribution and is my go-to meal when I prepare food for a family in need, ie: the arrival of a new baby.

Everyone who has eaten it likes it, which is saying something since it's absolutely vegan, very healthy, relatively easy to make, cheap to prepare and tasty too.

I am a "take what you've got, put it in the pot" soup cooker. So writing down this recipe has been a real trial for me. I prepare it different each time but there are some basic guidelines I follow each time.

Also, I own a pressure cooker, which I use every day for cooking beans, soups, stews etc... Most kitchens don't have one of these great tools but I highly recommend it (and a powerful blender). Susan V. from FatFree Vegan Kitchen writes about her pressure cooker (the same model as the one I own) here and here. Having said that you absolutely can use a regular pot to cook this soup but it will take longer and might require more liquid. 

For these reasons - no exact recipe and using a pressure cooker-  I can't guarantee your results. Oh well. I never said this was a food blog.

Broth Powder Recipe

Firstly, we don't eat chicken 'round these parts (in my vegan kitchen that is). No chicken, no chicken broth.

Instead I make my own powdered vegetable broth with ingredients I buy in bulk. I use this broth mix to make all my soups so I will share the ingredients here.

You can substitute you own version in the soup recipe below but please note I add no salt to mine so you might have to make adjustments if your broth mix is high in sodium.


  • 1 part dehydrated vegetable flakes (mine look like this but I buy them in bulk from our buying club)
  • 3 parts nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 part onion powder
  • 1/4 part garlic powder
  • 1/4 part italian seasoning
  • 1/2 part dried parsley


Put all ingredients in a blender and pulverize to a fine powder. Store in airtight container.

2 tsp - 1 tbsp of broth powder mixed with 1 cup of water makes a flavorful broth. Add salt to your own tastes.


When I make this I make lots, about 4 cups worth (1 cup of dehydrated vegetable flakes). I use this broth powder mixed with water whenever broth is called for in a recipe. Easy, cheap, healthy and tasty.

Cream of Broccoli Potato Soup

The cool thing about this soup recipe is how versatile it is. I have added many odd and interesting vegetables to this soup. Parsnips, turnips and rutabagas cooked up with the potatoes (you have to give those veggies more time than potatoes to cook). Cabbage, kale or cauliflower added with or instead of the broccoli.

If I don't have fresh broccoli I use frozen and in fact will chose this some days for ease of preparation - no chopping required. This is also a good soup to use up less-than-lovely and downright aged potatoes. 

The concentration of green/cruciferous vegetable and all whole food ingredients makes this a very nutritious and filling soup.

Here's the general directions.

1. Saute onions.

Two for a large pot, one for a small. Garlic optional, though I usually don't put it in this soup.

2. Add chopped potatoes.

For a family sized pot of soup that will feed one supper with leftovers I use 14 or so medium sized potatoes. 

3. Cover potatoes with water (1 inch or so above potatoes). Add broth powder and seasonings. 

  • generous dollop (2 tbsp?) of miso paste Since reading Kika's comment below and the Wild Fermentation I reserve this for the end
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup broth powder (see recipe above)
  • dill, thyme, parsley - whatever else I might be in the mood for
  • generous squirt of Bragg Aminos, good quality soy sauce or sea salt to taste

4. Cook the potatoes, onions and seasonings.

This is where I use my pressure cooker and it takes 5 minutes at low pressure to cook the potatoes.

5. Add chopped broccoli (or cauliflower, kale or other great vegetable) and simmer long enough to cook vegetable.

Time needed will vary depending on vegetable you use and if it's frozen to begin with.

6. Blend cashews with some of soup broth.

  • Remove 1 - 2 cups of broth from the pot, pour into blender.
  • To the blender add 1 cup raw cashews for a large pot of soup, less for a smaller pot of soup.
  • Add a generous dollop or two of miso. Blend till really smooth.
  • This is your "cream". Pour back into the pot.

7. Mash potatoes and broccoli to your liking.

  • Using a potato masher, mash the ingredients a bit to make sure the pieces are bite sized.
  • Depending on your family's tastes you might want to blend the soup completely but you may need more water and seasoning in step 3 if you anticipate doing that. 

8. Serve soup to loved ones - family, friends and neighbors. 

Tastes better the next day.

Post Script: I made this soup tonight (it was one of our favorite soups) and didn't realize till step 6 that I didn't have any cashews. Whoops.

Instead I added a teensy bit of soymilk (all I had in the fridge) and mashed up the cauliflower and potatoes just a wee bit to thicken the broth. My family all loved it this way and I may choose to make it without the rich cashews from time to time. 

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  • Misha@ beauty and joy

    Misha@ beauty and joy on May 19, 2010, 5:16 a.m.

    The whole post I was thinking oooooh I am so cooking this tomorrow it looks amazing and we can do it (no gluten, no dairy)! Then I saw the cashews and felt sad (my daughter can't do tree nuts), then I saw your ps and was happy again. :) So thank you, I will be making this in the morning tomorrow for our dinner. It looks incredible!


  • Kika

    Kika on May 19, 2010, 3:40 p.m.

    Looks nice. I thought that Miso shouldn't be added until the end, though - not supposed to be boiled?! I love how you have learned how to make your own mixes for things (broth powder, pancake mix, baking powder...). I've been making my own veggie broths at home (thanks to NewUrbanHabitat)so use that now instead of other broths - and I like adding miso when I remember.


    • renee

      renee on May 19, 2010, 4:42 p.m.

      I didn't know this about miso. I add miso to a lot of our foods, especially soup broths but it never occured to me to add it after boiling. Good to know!  Is this for taste or nutrition?


      • Kika

        Kika on May 19, 2010, 11:12 p.m.

        My understanding is that while miso can be used as marinade and in lots of cooking, that the acidophilus in it can be killed off by over-cooking. Therefore, it is recommended to cool soup somewhat and then stir the miso in. I choose to use miso because it is fermented and has these beneficial enzymes but I see that I could also use it in different ways and simply enjoy the flavor. You can tell I am no expert on the matter!


  • Granola Girl

    Granola Girl on May 19, 2010, 4:24 p.m.

    I'm so excited about the powdered veggie broth and cashews. I LOVE soup, especially when backpacking, but all the soup mixes and such are so salty. Salt is not your friend when you are trying to stay hydrated. Yay, now I can have them all sealed in little, light weight packets!

    Jules has absolutely no idea that we are pulling off of flour and cream. Your recipes have been so helpful in convincing him that we are eating "normal" food :)


    • renee

      renee on May 19, 2010, 4:41 p.m.

      Lol! I love being a part of this covert action. And yes, this broth powder is used on trail as well. One of the ways we use it is as base for making gravy, to pour over boiled potatoes & onions. Oh yum, yum... that is one of favorite camp foods.


  • Francesca

    Francesca on May 19, 2010, 7:43 p.m.

    I used a pressure pan for cooking pulses, rice and soups for many years, until I discovered earthenware. I still cook beans, chickpeas, and broth in my pressure pan, but I slow cook lentils and veggie soups in my earthenwares. It does take longer (and uses more gas), but I do find that the taste is so much better and I'm also convinced that it produces a healthier meal (based on, hmm, what?).


    • renee

      renee on May 19, 2010, 7:44 p.m.

      Francesca, what exactly do you mean by earthenware? Have you written about that or have a photo on your blog to point me to? I have clay baking dishes but those are longish and flat, not for the stove top. Curious...


  • Francesca

    Francesca on May 20, 2010, 12:03 p.m.

    I mean terracotta pots. I don't think I've actually posted a photo of them, but I'll send you one. And I wish I could send you a real terracotta pot, you'd really love it, I'm sure. PS I came back to check on the bouquet thing tomorrow. Ciao!


  • Kika

    Kika on May 22, 2010, 7:20 p.m.

    Hi Renee, I use aluminum-free baking powder. Are there health reasons, beyond the aluminum, which led to you making your own baking powder substitute? Since my youngest cannot have yeast, I'm using more baking powder these days to make bread-type foods she can eat.


    • renee

      renee on May 23, 2010, 11:11 a.m.

      I'm assuming you're asking this since I posted my own baking powder recipe with the g-free pancake recipe? Every baking powder I've seen has cornstarch. Damien's body reacts to corn in unpleasant ways, even small amounts of it. So I make my own to eliminate the corn.


  • Janelle Stone

    Janelle Stone on Nov. 9, 2010, 3:10 p.m.

    Hey Renee, just wanted to let you know I have adapted you recipe for a yummy carrot, potatoe, cashew soup we have been eating weekly. We had a bumper carrot crop, making carrot soup weekly may not occur otherwise. Anyone it works brilliantly!


  • desilou

    desilou on Feb. 25, 2011, 6:03 a.m.

    Renee, I was SO very excited to find this post of yours! I've been re-evaluating my family's nutrition and having a plant-based, whole food diet makes so much sense. I am very encouraged by the information you share here. I had just been wondering what you used in place of chicken broth that is called for in so many popular recipes, when I came across one of your links back to this post. I can hardly wait to get all the ingredients and make some of this delicious soup, with the great broth powder recipe you share. Thank you! :)


  • ItsLily

    ItsLily on June 13, 2011, 4:16 p.m.

    Renee, I'm a little late to this post, but I have a question about the broth powder recipe. When you are talking "parts" and I was to use cups, are you saying it should be 1 cup dehydrated vegetable flakes and 3 "cups" nutritional yeast? Thanks.


    • renee

      renee on June 13, 2011, 4:45 p.m.

      Yes, if you're using 1 cup dehydrated veggie flakes then you'd use 3 cups nutritional yeast. I like to make big batch but if people make smaller they could use 1/2 cup veggie flakes to 1.5 cups nutritional yeast and change the other ingredients accordingly.


  • Sarah B.B.

    Sarah B.B. on Feb. 7, 2012, 1:58 a.m.

    OH! I am so happy to see this recipe for broth powder. I have tried making broth from my vegetable scraps and have never been happy with it, so I have been using vegetable bouillion cubes with the hopes that eventually I would find a way to make those on my own. This looks just incredibly perfect.


  • Heather

    Heather on Feb. 7, 2012, 2:21 a.m.

    Seriously, this sounds so wonderful, and something that I am very anxious to try. I love innovative and healthy recipes, and you have both here.


  • Elaine

    Elaine on May 17, 2012, 10:05 p.m.

    Hi there,

    I'm wondering if you know how long the veggie broth powder would last stored?


    • renee

      renee on May 18, 2012, 10:49 a.m.

      Since all the ingredients are dry storage foods (dried vegetable flakes, nutritional yeast, herbs, etc) it lasts indefinitely I guess but I've never tested the indefinitely part. I make a large batch and keep it in the pantry. It doesn't go bad but it might lose freshness over the months the same way herbs and spices lose their potency. 


  • Rachel Himes

    Rachel Himes on Sept. 21, 2012, 1:46 p.m.

    I am stupidly, ridiculously excited about your homemade broth powder. I am gradually replacing our store-bought mixes with home made one because of all the added ingredients that are NOT food. It never would have occurred to me to make my own veggie broth except on the stove top. This would take up so much less space! Thank you for sharing.


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 21, 2012, 2 p.m.

      Rachel, making homemade, vegan broth powder is so easy. I make big batches at a time and use it for all my gravies, soups and stews. I'm happy you find the recipe helpful.


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