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Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Leeks and Potatoes

By January 22, 2020January 10th, 2022Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Soups and Stews

This deliciously creamy broccoli soup is loaded with flavor and hearty chunks of potatoes. It’s the perfect comfort food on a cold winter night to soothe your body and soul!  It’s vegan, paleo, gluten free.

The “cheesy” flavor in the soup comes from nutritional yeast, a golden yellow powder that tastes great and is really good for you. It is a is a deactivated yeast with a cheesy, nutty, umami flavor. The flavor makes it a great replacement for cheese in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Even if you’re not vegan you’ll love using nutritional yeast because it’s full of B vitamins including vitamin B12.

What could be better on a cold winter evening than curling up with a warm bowl of this rich creamy soup?

It’s not just the delicious warm, cheesy taste, the ingredients in this soup provide nutrients that make you feel calm and satisfied.

Cashews are blended into the broth providing protein and healthy fat. Cashews make you feel good because they contain tryptophan the amino acid that improves the critical uptake of serotonin, the feel good hormone, in your brain. The B6 and magnesium in cashews help to put you into a zen state.

I’ve actually been craving broccoli recently. Can you believe that?  It’s a powerhouse of nutrients packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber that benefits digestion, the cardiovascular system and the immune system, and has anti-inflammatory and even cancer-preventing properties.

The ingredients are simple and delicious, nothing fancy. This soup comes together in 30 minutes.  You start by cooking the leeks, garlic and potatoes in water or stock. Stock gives it a little more flavor and nutrients but it tastes great with water.

The broccoli is cut into large pieces because you’re going to pick them out once they are cooked.

The cashews, nutritional yeast and cilantro are blended until smooth.  The broccoli is blended and pulsed then added back to the soup giving a chunky texture to the broth.  But you can make it smooth if you prefer.

The carbohydrates from the potatoes help your body feel fed and relaxed. We need this in the winter when it’s so nice to feel cozy.  I need it all the time, I love comfort food.

But are white potatoes healthy?

Yes, white potatoes are high in carbs, but eating a healthy, vegan, or paleo diet isn’t about limiting carbs – it’s about eating real food.  We need carbs to feel good. You can read my article Are You Eating Enough Carbs?

I often get asked if white potatoes can be eaten on a paleo diet. The answer depends on who you ask but most will say yes, they are fine. For more information on eating potatoes on a paleo diet click here.  A few years ago white potatoes were added to the Whole30 protocol.

White potatoes might not be for everyone.

Many people who eat a healthy diet are fine with some white potatoes occasionally.  They are a whole food and can be a good carb for anyone living grain free.  You have to listen to your body and decide what works for you.

If you want to leave out the potatoes, the soup can be made with cauliflower instead.  It’s a low glycemic version that also tastes delicious.

Enjoy this creamy, “cheesy”, warm, comforting and super healthy soup on a cold winter day. It will soothe your body and soul.

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If you like this recipe try these other delicious soups:

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Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Leeks and Potatoes

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Enjoy this creamy, “cheesy”, warm, comforting, super healthy soup on a cold winter day. It will soothe your body and soul. It’s vegan, paleo & gluten-free.


  • ½ cup cashews, soaked 4 hours or overnight
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes, (about 1 pound)*
  • 4 cups stock or water plus 1 cup for blending cashews
  • 2 ½ cups broccoli crowns cut into large chunks, (leave big you’re going to pick them out later)
  • ½ fennel bulb, cored, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 24 tablespoons nutritional yeast (depends on how ‘cheesy’ you like it)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until leeks are tender 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  3. Add potatoes and 4 cups stock or water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer 10 minutes until potatoes are almost tender.
  4. Add broccoli and fennel. Simmer 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  5. Rinse and drain the soaked cashews and put into your blender.
  6. Add 1 cup stock or water, 2-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, most of the cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Save a few sprigs of cilantro for garnish.
  7. Using tongs, pick out the broccoli chunks and put into the blender. Don’t worry if you don’t get every last bit.
  8. Scoop out 1 cup of the soup liquid and add to the blender. Pulse gently until semi-smooth or blend until smooth. It’s up to you if you want it chunky or smooth.
  9. Pour broccoli mixture back into the pot with the leeks, potatoes and fennel. Stir to combine. Add more salt to taste.
  10. Serve with chopped cilantro.
  11. Store in the refrigerator for 4 days.


*Note: Substitute cauliflower instead of potatoes for low glycemic, Whole30 version.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Vegan, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

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