This healthy gluten free broccoli cheddar soup is filled with so much flavour. Packed with carrots, broccoli, garlic and onions - it’s a nourishing meal that everyone will love!
If it’s possible for a soup to taste like comfort, this one is it.
Is broccoli cheddar soup gluten free?
Unfortunately, not all broccoli cheddar soups are gluten free. Most use wheat flour as a thickener, so those versions are not suitable for anyone who is on a strict gluten free diet.
If you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, be sure to check the ingredients in the soup prior to eating it. (Or make this recipe, which you know will be gluten free!)
Can celiacs eat cheddar cheese?
Yes, cheddar cheese is naturally gluten free, so it’s safe for anyone on a gluten free diet. My favourite is sharp cheddar cheese. No one else in my house likes it - so it’s all mine!
As always, be sure to check the labelling if the cheese has had any additional flavouring added. Some additives can contain gluten.
Why you should make this
I’m a bit biased, because I’m a huge fan of soups - but this recipe is definitely one you’ll want to keep making over and over again! Here are a few other reasons why you’ll love this recipe:
- It’s the perfect weeknight meal. From prep to finish, this soup only takes 30 minutes to make. It’s filling enough to be served on its own, but goes great with a side salad, or some Gluten Free Garlic Bread.
- No milk needed! Typical versions use milk to make the soup rich and creamy, but this is a recipe for broccoli cheddar soup without milk. It’s still rich and creamy, thanks to a bit of gluten free flour, without all of the extra calories. Plus, you can use your favourite brand of vegan cheddar cheese and make this a dairy free broccoli cheddar soup!
- It’s freezer friendly. Double this batch of soup and freeze the extras in airtight containers. Defrost the frozen soup in the fridge overnight, or heat it up on the stove from frozen.
Ready to make your own broccoli cheddar soup? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten free flour: I use a homemade all purpose blend, but any brand will do.
- Vegetable broth: most brands are gluten free, but check the product labelling just in case. I like to use the Imagine or Culinary Treasures brands.
- Extra virgin olive oil: buy it in a dark-coloured glass bottle and store it away from sunlight to prevent it from going rancid. It’s a staple in my pantry!
- Onion: finely chopped
- Garlic: 2-4 cloves, depending on your preference.
- Salt & pepper: they are best buds.
- Broccoli florets: cut into bite-sized pieces
- Carrots: grated
- Cheddar cheese: I like to use sharp cheddar cheese, but any will work. Use your favourite vegan cheddar if you need a dairy free version.
How to make this recipe
In just 30 minutes, you’ll have a bowl of hearty, delicious gluten free cheddar cheese soup!
Start by whisking the gluten free flour into 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Set this aside to be used later.
Next, in a large pot, cook the onions in olive oil until they are translucent, then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in all of the vegetable broth, including the gluten free flour mixture, and add in the salt and pepper. Cook this for 5 minutes until the broth starts to thicken.
Add in the broccoli and carrots, set the heat to high and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Remove the soup from the heat and mix in the cheese.
I would not recommend making broccoli cheddar soup in the crockpot or an Instant Pot - the broccoli gets way too mushy!
How to thicken the soup
Gluten free flour is used to thicken this soup by mixing it with vegetable broth and cooking it over medium heat. If the flour mixture starts to clump during cooking, you can use a whisk to break up the clumps, or they will naturally dissolve once the soup is simmered with the carrots and broccoli.
If you’d like an even thicker soup, you have a few options to choose from:
- Add more gluten free flour. Remove about a cup of the vegetable broth from the pot, add in tablespoons of the gluten free flour, whisk it, then add it back into the pot.
- Add extra cheese. Once the soup is removed from the pot, add in a bit more cheese to make a thicker, richer soup.
- Blend it. Use an immersion blender to slightly blend some of the vegetables, which will thicken the broth.
How to make this soup dairy free
Rocking a gluten free AND dairy free diet? You can still enjoy this delicious soup!
The only substitution you’ll need to make make a dairy free broccoli cheddar soup is the cheese. (There is no milk in this recipe, so no need to worry about that!) Choose your favourite brand of vegan cheese that melts well and add it into the pot after cooking.
If a simple dairy free broccoli soup is what you are after, simply omit the cheese. It’s still comforting and delicious - even without the cheddar!
Cool the soup completely before storing. Keep any leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
For longer term storage, use a suitable freezer container and freeze for 1-2 months. Leave a bit of space in the container, as liquids expand when they freeze.
Brands of broccoli cheddar soup
If I haven’t sold you on making homemade broccoli cheddar soup, you might be wondering about specific brands and if they are gluten free. Here’s some information for you:
- Is Campbell’s Broccoli Cheddar soup gluten free? No, this product isn’t gluten free as it contains wheat starch.
- Is Campbell’s Cream of Broccoli soup gluten free? No, this brand also contains wheat flour as a thickener.
- Is Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup gluten free? No, this isn’t safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet because it contains wheat flour.
- Is Kirkland Broccoli Cheddar Soup gluten free? Maybe - check the label to be sure. Some Costco labels indicate they use a soy sauce that contains wheat and is not safe for someone on a strict gluten free diet. Check the ingredient listing for any wheat-specific ingredients to be sure.
Gluten Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- ⅓ cup gluten free flour see note below
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅔ cup onion finely chopped (1 small)
- 2-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 4-5 cups broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup carrots grated (2 small or 1 large)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- In a medium-sized bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the gluten free flour into 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Set aside to use in a few minutes.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the onion. Cook the onion until soft and translucent, then add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the vegetable broth containing the gluten free flour into the pot, along with the remaining 4 cups of broth, salt and pepper. Continue to heat the soup for about 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken. To prevent clumping, stir the broth frequently. If clumps do appear, whisk the broth (carefully) to break them apart.
- Add the broccoli and carrots into the pot and set the heat to high. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil - then simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. (Use a fork to lightly pierce the broccoli.)
- Remove the soup from heat and then mix in the cheese. Stir until melted and serve.
- Gluten free flour: I used a homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend; however, any other blend of gluten free flour will do in this recipe.
- To make it dairy free: Omit cheese or use grated vegan cheddar.
- Storage: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Keep any leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. For longer term storage, use a suitable freezer container and freeze for 1-2 months. Leave a bit of space in the container, as liquids expand when they freeze.