Healthy Broccoli Soup with Nut & Olive Pesto

This delicious, healthy Broccoli Soup is thick and creamy without using dairy or coconut cream. Topped with a robust nut and olive pesto, it’s flavoursome and satiating. This soup recipe is gluten-free, paleo Whole30, vegan-friendly, and rich in anti-ageing antioxidants. This post was recently updated!

Healthy Broccoli Soup Recipe With Nut Olive Pesto (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)
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Healthy Broccoli Soup

I love this broccoli soup for its health benefits AND taste. Made with nutritious vegetables, and lots of healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, and olives, it is very high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 

I originally made it as Whole30 and paleo broccoli soup, so I didn’t use any dairy or flour to thicken it. I also didn’t want the coconut flavour, so I avoided using coconut milk or cream. So what makes it thick and creamy?

Well, the hack is using some white potatoes. The starch in the potato is great for both thickening and making this soup more satiating. It adds that velvety, thick texture. If avoiding nightshades, feel free to use sweet potato or swedes/rutabaga instead. Are Potatoes Paleo? An In-Depth Analysis

This soup is quite satiating and can be served as a main dish. And, with only about 25-28 grams of net carbohydrates per serving, it will suit those following a low-carb or carb-restricted diet, plus it’s gluten-free and vegan-friendly!  

PS. If you want another dairy-free, gluten-free veggies soup, I have recently been obsessed with this curried broccoli cauliflower soup from Salted Plains.

healthy broccoli soup recipe
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Olive Pesto

To go with the soup, I made a nut and olive pesto. It’s similar to an olive tapenade – nutty, salty, garlicky with a note of bitterness. While the soup is tasty as is, I use this pesto as a bit of condiment or topping. It adds a more intense and interesting flavour and some crunchy texture.

These toppings would also work well instead of the pesto: crispy bacon bits, fried shallots, shredded chicken or diced smoked chicken, sun-dried tomato pesto or basil pesto.

Olive pesto made with nuts
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Nutrition Notes

For a vegetarian dish, it’s very nutrient-dense. I call it an anti-ageing soup with high amounts of antioxidants (vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium, indoles, and allium sulphur compounds). 

It’s also rich in vitamin K, which you need for bone health and blood clotting, and many essential minerals. Protein is decent with 8 grams per serving thanks to the nuts pesto, and you’ll be getting plenty of fibre, too. 

This healthy broccoli soup is paleo, gluten-free, Whole30, vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Nutrition Macros Per serving (with olive pesto): 365 calories, 35 g total carbs, 7.5 g fibre (28.5 g net carbs), 8 g protein, 24.7 g fat.

More Healthy Broccoli Recipes

How To Make Healthy Broccoli Soup

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions and extra cooking notes below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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healthy broccoli soup recipe
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Healthy Broccoli Soup with Nut & Olive Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 4 servings
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Healthy
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5 from 15 votes
Calories: 388kcal
You will love this healthy yet delicious broccoli soup served with a topping of nut and olive pesto. This soup is nutrient-dense and full of antioxidants, plus it’s Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free and vegan-friendly. It’s easy to make and is great for batch cooking and freezing.


For broccoli soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 celery stick diced
  • 0.7 lb. white potato 350 g, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water 250 ml
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 large head broccoli broken into florets (sliced large florets in half)
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the nut & olive pesto

  • 1/2 cup nuts I used walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup diced green olives I used 6 large, meaty Greek green olives


  • Add olive oil, onion, salt and lemon zest to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Sauté for 3 minutes until softened and lightly golden.
  • Add celery and diced potatoes, stir and cook together for a minute.
  • Add the stock, water, and cumin powder and stir through. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and bring the heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes until broccoli has softened but hasn’t lost its green colour.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the contents of the soup – in batches – to a food processor or a blender (remove the bay leaves). Process into a smooth puree, then return to the saucepan and add stir in the lemon juice.
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the pesto. Place the nuts into a food processor with an S-blade attachment and grind into crumbs. Add the rest of the ingredients and process together until ground up and blended into a course, pesto-like consistency. Remove to a bowl.
  • Serve the soup in bowls with a tablespoon of pesto stirred in.


  • Instead of using the vegetable stock and water combo, you can use 1.5 litres of water and two organic, natural vegetable stock cubes. If the stock you’re using is quite salty, reduce the amount of salt added at the beginning and taste for seasoning at the end instead.
  • Beef or chicken bone broth is also fantastic to use and will make this soup even more nourishing. 
  • You can use cauliflower instead of broccoli.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 1767mg | Potassium: 999mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1548IU | Vitamin C: 158mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: Pesto, Vegetable Soup, Broccoli Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian, Soups
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been craving soup constantly since our weather has turned rainy and cold! This looks so good, and I have everything I need on hand which is always a major bonus!

  2. 5 stars
    I always love your recipes. My repertoire of soups is also verry small, so I feel like this would be a great addition. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my goodness… this look divine! I can’t eat potatoes, do you think I could use soaked cashews instead? Also… I made a version of your egg wrap and it’s now on permanent rotation in my house. Yum!

    1. Thanks Cristina! I would use something like sweet potato or rutabaga instead of white potatoes, and of course you could add some soaked cashews for extra creaminess as well. That would be lovely, I think.

  4. Oh man, an olive and nut pesto sounds AMAZING with a broccoli soup! Sometimes soup can be a bit bland, but a tangy, crunchy topping just sounds absolutely perfect! Will definitely be trying this!!

  5. This soup looks great but it’s not paleo ,paleo donot use white or any potatoes except sweet potatoes

  6. 5 stars
    Made this soup as I am stuck at home with a bad cold! This really did the trick! The soup is delicious on its own and even better with the pesto! Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    I loved making this soup. Not only was it easy to follow your instructions, but it was so delicious! The nut topping was fantastic. Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    I had some broccoli I needed to use up so I was so glad to find your recipe. The pesto topping was absolutely amazing!

  9. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! And that homemade pesto–man! I’m going to be making that all the time. Thanks for the great recipe!

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