Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week #4: Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup w/ Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Lettuce Wraps

If you’ve read my Monthly Meal Plan posts, you know I like to experiment with new recipes. Sometimes these experiments work out really well…and sometimes they don’t. Whenever I modify a recipe, I take lots of notes so that I can recreate it in the future if it turns out well.

For my reference and yours, I’ve decided to post my recipe experiments on this blog. I plan to post at least one recipe per week. I will include a link to the original recipe as well as allergen/special diet information, notes about my changes and lessons learned, pictures from various stages of cooking, and my overall impression of the dish. Most recipes will be main dishes, but I may also include desserts or snacks as well.  

Leave a comment below if you think there’s a recipe I might like to try for a future post!

This week’s recipe is inspired by
Joy the Baker’s Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup and
Two Peas & Their Pod’s Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich

*Please click HERE and HERE for copies of both recipes*

Information for Top 8 Allergens

  • Contains TREE NUTS (Cashews)
  • Free From:
    • Dairy
    • Egg
    • Gluten
    • Fish (regular Worcester sauce contains anchovies)
    • Crustacean Shellfish
    • Peanuts
    • Soy (check labels on cooking oil, Worcester sauce, and spices)


  • This meal is my most adventurous to date: it’s totally vegan (as long as you use vegan Worcester sauce), it requires using some special ingredients and appliances (Vitamix or other high-speed blender), and I tweaked major aspects of the cooking process. Was it worth it? YES! Keep reading to learn about how to make this meal in your own kitchen.
  • I made A LOT of changes to the original recipes, so I’ve included a printable version of my altered recipes for your convenience. Scroll to the end of the post for my version of the recipes.
  • I garnished my soup with fresh parsley and fresh ground nutmeg. Garnish with whatever you have on hand.


Feel free to skip this section if you are a pro in the kitchen. For cooking newbies, these prep tips may be helpful:

Soak Cashews

1) Purchase gluten-free cashews (a lot of nuts are processed in a facility that contains wheat and may be unsafe for sensitive folks) → I buy mine at Wegmans.

Cashew Jar via Positively Free

2) In a medium bowl, measure 1-1/2 cups of raw cashews.
Cashew Prep 1 via Positively Free

3) Cover cashews with water → My bowl held about 2 cups of water.Cashew Prep 2 via Positively Free

4) Soak cashews for 1 hour.Cashew Prep 3 via Positively Free5) Drain cashews.Cashew Prep 4 via Positively Free

Roast Garlic

1) Slice horizontally through top of garlic head.Roasted Garlic Prep 1 via Positively Free2) Put in foil and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.Roasted Garlic Prep 2 via Positively Free

3) Roast, covered in foil, in 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. I recommend roasting with the broccoli and onion to save time.Roasting Veg via Positively Free

Roasted Garlic via Positively Free

Cut Avocado

1) Slice avocado lengthwise around pit.Avocado Prep 1 via Positively Free2) Slice this half lengthwise again. Avocado Prep 2 via Positively Free3) Peel off skin from each side. Remove pit, slice the other half lengthwise, and peel off the skin. Avocado Prep 3 via Positively Free

Smash Garbanzo Beans

1) Drain and rinse 1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans. Put in sturdy bag that can be sealed.Chickpea Smash 1 via Positively Free2) Smash away with any sort of mallet-like object. Chickpea Smash 2 via Positively Free3) Combine with avocado, parsley, and seasonings.Chickpea Salad 1 via Positively Free

4)  Mash with a fork.Chickpea Salad 2 via Positively Free


  • Use vegan Worcester Sauce if you want to keep this recipe vegan. I used regular Worcester Sauce because it’s what I already had, and it turned out great!
  • I put my sandwich filling in lettuce wraps, but you could put it in any sandwich or wrap you prefer.
  • I used fresh parsley because it’s what I had on hand. You could use any fresh herbs you like in the sandwich filling.
  • I used a Vitamix to blend the soup, but you may be able to use a food processor or immersion blender to blend it. Let me know if you try it!

Blender 1 via Positively Free Blender 2 via Positively Free

Additional Meal Components

I added roasted sweet potatoes in case the meal was not hearty enough on its own. FYI: It was plenty hearty, so feel free to skip the potatoes if your family members are not big eaters. If you decide to make them, go ahead and roast them while the broccoli, onion, and garlic are roasting.

Sweet Potato Prep via Positively Free Sweet Potato Prep 2 via Positively Free ROTW 4 Oven via Positively Free


When I told my husband that we were having a totally vegan dinner, he was less than thrilled. He’s been verHappy 3 YO via Positively Freey patient with my vegetarian experiments, but I usually add cheese for additional flavor. He and I were both nervous that this particular meal might be lacking in flavor and/or heft. We’re big eaters who like big flavors.

I thought the meal turned out great, but I love meals like this one. My husband was “pleasantly surprised” at the depth of flavor in the dish as well as how filling all the components were together. Even my three year-old son loved this meal—he asked for help with scraping all the bits of soup from the bottom of his bowl. Mommy win!

Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week #4: Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup w/ Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Lettuce Wraps

Inspired by Joy the Baker’s Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup and Two Peas & Their Pod's Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich


  • Soup:
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour then drained
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 heads of broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce (use vegan Worcester sauce if you want to make recipe vegan)
  • Lettuce Wraps:
  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • lettuce wraps


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Soak raw cashews in water for 1 hour (see Prep section).
  3. Add olive oil, cumin, salt, black pepper, and mustard seed to coat broccoli and onion.
  4. Prep roasted garlic (see Prep section).
  5. Roast broccoli, onion, and garlic for 20-25 minutes. Flip broccoli and onion. Roast for 20-25 more minutes. Let cool slightly.
  6. Drain cashews.
  7. In a blender, add half of the soaked cashews, half of the roasted veggies and garlic, half of the fresh ground nutmeg, and 2 cups of water. Blend until smooth. Pour soup into large soup pot.
  8. Repeat previous step with remaining ingredients.
  9. Stir lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce into soup. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. For a thinner consistency, add more water.
  10. Heat soup on low while you prepare the lettuce wraps.
  11. Prep avocado and garbanzo beans (see Prep section).
  12. Mix garbanzo beans, avocado, parsley, green onions, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Fill lettuce wraps with mixture.
  13. Serve soup and lettuce wraps immediately.


Leftover soup will last up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

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