This broccoli soup is nutritious, warming, and super easy to make. It’s a copycat recipe of California Chicken Cafe… but better!
I am not a soup girl. I am a pasta girl, a cheese girl, a dessert girl, a dips girl etc etc. But soup? Never had the craving. Until I tried the broccoli soup from California Chicken Cafe.
- What is California Chicken Cafe?
- How to make the California Chicken Cafe Copycat Broccoli Soup
- Do I need to use the stalks?
- Why you’ll love this broccoli soup:
- 📖 Recipe
- You may also like
- 5 responses to “Broccoli Soup (California Chicken Cafe Copycat!)”
- 💬 Comments
What is California Chicken Cafe?
If you live in Los Angeles then you know CCC, and you probably don’t associate this rotisserie chicken spot with soup. I’ve eaten there countless times throughout my life but never even peaked at the soup section… until one day my dad requested the broccoli soup. Of course when it arrived I took a spoonful. Oh boy, I nearly finished it. In that moment I knew I’d need to make a copycat California Chicken Cafe broccoli soup!
Their broccoli soup is vegan – no cream, no dairy substitute, and with vegetable broth. Such a light soup but actually filling and surprisingly flavorful! Chunks of broccoli swim throughout the soup. I love that it isn’t pureed.
Soups are so incredibly easy to make in bulk and they last for days in the fridge, even longer in the freezer. No excuses! I couldn’t find a recipe at the time so I just made one on my own broccoli soup, using most of the ingredients they list on their site. I’ve made the broccoli soup a few times and this is just the best way.
This isn’t an exact replica – it came out WAY better.
With surprisingly few ingredients, this broccoli soup is extremely easy to make!
- Broccoli: I love that this soup uses both the stalks AND the florents. Don’t buy those bags of broccoli florets, buy the whole flower. If you are only using the florets in other recipes, you can save any uneaten stalks you have from other recipes for this broccoli soup! Just dice them up and freeze them. When you want to make this soup you can toss those babies in. So much flavor and nutrition comes from the stalks!
- Potatoes: I like the taste best using one russet potato and one sweet potato (you could use a Japanese sweet potato or yam as well)
- Stock: If I have a homemade stock that’s what I’ll use, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with store-bought, chicken or veggie! The broccoli soup will taste delicious either way.
- Spices: the tiniest bits of cinnamon and nutmeg go a long way and make this soup so special. Obviously, you must add salt and pepper to taste.
- Dairy-free: Dairy has been intentionally excluded. I tested this recipe by adding cream, milk, some cheddar. All times I preferred the broccoli soup without any form of dairy.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make the California Chicken Cafe Copycat Broccoli Soup
Step by step instructions:
Peel off the tough outer layer of the broccoli stalks and chop off the ends.
Roughly chop the broccoli stalks into half-inch pieces. Set about ¼ aside.
Sautee the onions in olive oil on medium heat, then add the chopped garlic.
Add the grated nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Take out the cinnamon stick, if using.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup together.
Add the chopped sweet potato, russet potato, ¾ of the stalks, and stock.
Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat.
Add all of the broccoli florets and cook.
Add the remaining broccoli stalks and cook until soft.
Hint: this soup is very forgiving, so don’t worry about getting each measurement exactly right. Your soup will taste delicious! Before serving, try a spoonful and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Do I need to use the stalks?
Yes. A lot of the flavor and texture of the soup comes from the broccoli stalks. They are chopped up and blended and become very soft in the soup. This is a great recipe to use stalks instead of throwing them away.
In fact, if ever using broccoli in another recipe without the stalks, I encourage you to peel the stalks, dice them up, and freeze them for when you are ready to make this soup! You can add those extra broccoli stalks in.
Why you’ll love this broccoli soup:
- Tons of flavor
- Very filling but anti-inflammatory (and not “heavy”)
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be made vegan without losing any flavor
- Nutrient-rich: with fiber, vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium, manganese, and other antioxidants from the broccoli and potatoes. Whether you use chicken stock or veggie stock, you will be adding more of that good stuff too
- Few ingredients and not fussy!
- Potatoes: in a pinch, you can use two russet or two sweet potatoes. I have tested this recipe a few time and my preferred combination is to use one of each.
- Chicken stock: replace the chicken stock with any broth or stock of choice.
This soup is naturally diary-free and gluten-free.
- Adding dairy: commonly, broccoli soups have cheddar or cream. I have tried adding these ingredients to the soup and prefer the recipe dairy-free. Feel free to add these ingredients though!
- Homemade stock: You can use homemade or store-bought stock or broth for this soup.
- Vegan: to make this soup vegan, use vegetable stock/broth.
I use an immersion blender because it’s the most simple. If you don’t have one, you can pour the soup into a food processor or a blender. I have done this and it works fine, just an extra step.
Store in the refrigerator for up to five days after making. Freeze any extra soup. Reheat the broccoli soup in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop.
Lastly, if you do make this broccoli soup (California Chicken Cafe Copycat) recipe (then first of all, thank you!!), be sure to rate this recipe and leave a comment and rating below! It would mean the world to me if you tagged me on Instagram or TikTok so I can see your creations.
Broccoli Soup (California Chicken Cafe Copycat!)
- 2 yellow onions diced
- 5 cloves garlic diced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 russet potato peeled and diced
- 1 sweet potato peeled and diced
- 4 heads broccoli stalks AND florets
- 8 cups stock vegetable or chicken
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Water as needed
- Prepare the broccoli: separate florets from stalks. Using a peeler or a knife, peel off skin of the stalks to remove the hard outer layer. In separate piles, chop up the stalks and the florets into small pieces, about 1 inch thick.
- In a 8 quart or larger pot on medium heat, add olive oil and onions to sautee. After three minutes, add the garlic. Sautee until translucent about 8 minutes.
- Add potatoes and chopped broccoli stalks. Note: if you want a chunkier soup, add ¾ of the chopped stalks now and save ¼ to be added at the end.
- Cover the vegetables with stock and set to boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Add the florets and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup together. (You can also use a food processor or stand blender if you don't have).
- If you want the chunkier soup, add the remaining chopped stalks to the soup and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
You may also like
5 responses to “Broccoli Soup (California Chicken Cafe Copycat!)”
I am so happy I found this recipe. It definitely reminded me of the ccc soup but BETTER!!! Thanks for sharing!! Best soup I’ve ever made hands down.
CCC broccoli soup is great, and yes, yours is better!!
I looove this recipe! Better than CCC and a lot less expensive 😂
This is a great recipe and super healthy…love it for a warm or cold day!
Leave a Reply