Creamy Broccoli Chickpea Soup

Back in college, I loved going to Panera Bread with my friends and getting a big bowl of broccoli cheddar soup and baguette. I'd always feel terrible afterward but the stomach issues were "worth it" to me for the cheesy satisfaction. Now, I know better!

I rarely eat dairy now (it can interfere with our hormones and cause health problems for some people), but nostalgia is a powerful thing, and sometimes my tastebuds will "remember" back in the old days when I consumed cheese almost daily. 

While this recipe doesn't use a cheese alternative or homemade cheese sauce, it incorporates those cheesy elements to give you a creamy, nutty flavor that satisfies your tastebuds--without putting your body at risk for hormone disasters. It's also naturally loaded with vitamins, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats and protein from the nuts. Let me know what you think in the comments! 

Creamy Broccoli Chickpea Soup

Ingredients
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, drained/rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth or water
3 cups broccoli, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1 1/4 cup water, for blending
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 to 1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
In a medium/large pot over medium heat, sautee the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and some vegetable broth or water until soft and fragrant. Then add the chickpeas, broccoli, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Meanwhile, add the soaked cashews along with 1 1/4 cup of water and the vegetable bouillon cube to a blender (I use a magic bullet). Blend until smooth, then add to the pot and mix well. Stir in the turmeric and nutritional yeast. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Add the kale last, cooking for a few more minutes, until the flavors expand. Serve with sprouted grain bread or homemade crackers and a side salad. 

Enjoy!