No-Cream Cream of Broccoli Soup

Inspired by the shockingly good vegan broccoli soup from California Chicken Cafe, this is a vegan adjacent version that employs ghee and Parmesan cheese but otherwise no dairy. And yet it’s smooth and creamy and delicious. I usually serve it with crostini on the side topped with ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Of course, it’s easy to make the soup fully vegan (olive oil for the ghee, no cheese on top) if you’d like.


  • 1 heaping teaspoon ghee
  • 1 shallot, roughly diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 heads broccoli, stems removed, discarded and florets roughly chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Fresh chives, finely chopped for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
  • Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Step 1

Melt ghee in a medium heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they smell sweet and look soft and translucent, almost browning, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook another minute or two to soften.

Step 2

Add potatoes, a big pinch of kosher salt, and stock. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let potatoes cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, until fork tender.

Step 3

Add broccoli, bring the liquid to a boil again and then reduce to a simmer. Let broccoli cook until tender, another 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 4

Using a hand immersion blender (or regular blender), blitz the soup until you get your desired consistency. I like to make it very smooth. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Aleppo pepper, if using.

Step 5

To serve, scoop soup into individual bowls and garnish with finely chopped fresh chives and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if using. Serve warm.