Chicago Diner Vegan Cream Of Broccoli Soup And Cornbread Muffins

September 20, 2010 by Keri

When I ate at The Chicago Diner for the first time, I was so excited about their vegan food I wanted all things The Chicago Diner: the t-shirts, the packaged treats, the cookbook.  I didn’t end up getting any of those things because it was our first stop in the city and we thought we’d be going back (we didn’t), so I was thrilled when I received it from Book Publishing Company.  The book is a nice collection of appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, entrees, sauces and desserts.  Enough to fill an entire menu, in fact, but before you ask, no the recipe for the Radical Reuben isn’t in there!  That seems to be the first question I get whenever I show off the book.  I have to mention, the only thing that bums me out about this cookbook is it isn’t entirely vegan, but that’s to be expected since the restaurant is vegetarian.  As far as I can tell, every single non-vegan recipe in the book, and the majority are vegan, can be made vegan with just a simple substitution.  For the first meal from The Chicago Diner Cookbook, I wanted to find something very quick and simple, yet something I hadn’t eaten in awhile.  After browsing each recipe, I settled on Cream of Broccoli Soup (page 53) and Diner Cornbread Muffins (page 34).

Vegan Soup Recipes

Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 2 pounds broccoli, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 1/2 cups soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

Place all the ingredients except flour and 1 cup of the broccoli into a large pot, and bring to a boil.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Place the mixture in a food processor with the flour, and blend until smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the pot with the reserved broccoli, and simmer until it thickens.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.

It may say the nutritional yeast is optional, but for a creamy, broccoli cheese-like soup, I highly recommend using it.  It’s so much better than any boxed vegan cream of broccoli soup I’ve had, and didn’t take very long at all to make.  Actually, all of the recipes in this book seem to be very quick and simple!  We crumbled Diner Cornbread Muffins, also from The Chicago Diner Cookbook, into our soup, freshly made in my new Demarle flexipan.  I purchased the pan from a Demarle party at my mother-in-law’s house; you know how you always end up coming home from those parties with a thing or two.  I didn’t expect it to be anything special, but after making these cornbread muffins, I couldn’t be more thrilled.  The muffins pop right out, even straight from the oven!  I can’t wait to try cupcakes in this baby.

Vegan Bread Recipes

Vegan Bread Recipes

Do you own any restaurant cookbooks?

HealthBlogger Network
Get To Know Keri

I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Sava says:

    I do not own any restaurant cookbooks, but I HAVE been craving broccoli soup!

    How did you know? 😀

  2. Megan says:

    I have the Cafe Flora cookbook from a vegetarian and vegan restaruant in Seattle. It has complex recipes so I don’t take their meal prep for granted when I go there! They pair up the recipes like they would their plates, including sides.

    • Keri says:

      Ooh, the pairing sounds like a great idea! I was expecting the Chicago Diner recipes to be more complicated, but luckily they’re all very simple.

  3. Noelle says:

    I do not have ANY restaurant books at all! I am sad. 🙁

    Good post!

  4. jane says:

    I love that you made the cornbread in the flexipan molds. They turned out so cute!