cauliflower soupThis cream of cauliflower soup is lusciously creamy, a bit garlicy, and slightly nutty. What makes this cauliflower soup shine is roasted cauliflower and caramelized aromatics. The recipe is simple but it will surprise you in the best way possible. It’s vegan (dairy-free), grain-free (gluten-free), and soy-free.

I make soup probably more often than any other dish. It’s a year-round affair in our house – from clear light (sometimes raw) vegetable soups in the summer to thick and hearty soups in the winter. 

This roasted cauliflower soup strikes the middle ground. It’s thick yet light; warm yet cooling; flavorful but not assertive. It’s one of those soups you can eat as an appetizer or a main course. The recipe is fairly flexible except for the fat content.

When you blend a vegetable into a purée, it attains a nice, smooth consistency as you blend it. However, if there’s not enough starch or fat content (compared to the amount of liquid present in the purée), the particles of puréed vegetable will float atop the liquid. This separation happens shortly after you stop the blending process.

Cauliflower works great in purees because it has a low insoluble fiber content, which doesn’t fully break down during cooking and produces a velvety-smooth consistency. However, since it’s a non-starchy vegetable, there is not enough starch to emulsify the soup and hold it in suspension. This is where the added fat comes in – oil, butter, cashews, full-fat coconut milk*, anything with a high-fat content. 

*I wouldn’t recommend using coconut milk in this soup because it would completely overpower the delicate flavor of cauliflower.

cream of cauliflower soup

Tips for Making Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

If you have a head of cauliflower in the fridge, you can most likely make this soup. Here’s the complete list of ingredients:

  • Cauliflower: with its neutral taste and color, this vegetable is an excellent blank canvas for a myriad of dishes. Look for firm cauliflower with compact florets and crisp, fresh leaves with no sign of yellowing or wilting. 
  • Onion and garlic: allium vegetables – onion, garlic, leek, shallot, scallions – are the best supporters for creamy soups. You won’t likely notice them but without them, pureed soups tend to be rather boring. 
  • Vegetable broth: homemade vegetable broth is best, of course. You can use any broth you like, but the goal here is to enhance the light vegetable flavor of cauliflower, not to overpower it. 
  • Cashews: the fat component in this soup is provided by cashews. Cashews both emulsify and thicken the soup. They also add creamy, luxurious flavor and texture without any cream.
  • Lemon juice: an acid brings balance and brightness.
  • Coriander: cauliflower goes well with just about any seasoning. For this soup I chose coriander because its floral and citrusy undertones pair wonderfully with the caramelized vegetables.
  • Salt: one of the best flavor enhancers. 

cream of cauliflower soup ingredients

How to Make Cauliflower Soup

There really isn’t a lot to creating the perfect cream of cauliflower soup recipe. Making puréed soups is as easy as using a blender.

  1. Cut the cauliflower. Start by thoroughly trimming the cauliflower’s core of green leaves and leaf stems, which can be fibrous and can contribute to a grainy texture in the soup. Then cut around the stem of the cauliflower, separating the cauliflower into florets. You can also cut the whole cauliflower into quarters, and then angle your knife to cut out the cores. 
  2. Roast the cauliflower and the aromatics. Sprinkle the cauliflower, quartered onion and garlic cloves with salt, drizzle with olive oil, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure you have a large enough baking sheet (use two sheets if necessary), so the vegetables aren’t too crowded and don’t steam instead of roasting. Roast the cauliflower and aromatics at 415°F/212°C until caramelized and golden at the edges, 15-20 minutes. The bake time for roasted cauliflower will depend on the size and thickness of the cauliflower. Larger florets can take up to 25 minutes to turn golden while small florets can be done in as little as 15 minutes.
  3. Blend. Add the roasted cauliflower, roasted aromatics, cashews, vegetable broth, lemon juice, coriander, and salt into a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth. 

how to make cauliflower soup

cream of cauliflower soup in a Vitamix blender

How to Serve Cauliflower Soup

There are so many wonderful toppings that would go well with this soup – roasted cauliflower florets, roasted chickpeas, fresh sprouts… You can also serve the cauliflower soup with a side of crusty sourdough bread for dipping or bread croutons. Choose topping that add not only crunch, but also play off the flavors in the soup. 

Also, don’t forget to add a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper right before serving. 

How to Store Cauliflower Soup

The flavor of puréed vegetable soups typically improve when made in advance. The reason is that the carbohydrates in vegetables break down into flavorful compounds. So, make a large enough batch, so you have leftovers.

  • Refrigerate: allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container (leaving a little bit of room for expansion) and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: transfer frozen soup into the refrigerator 24 hours before reheating to thaw slightly. Reheat in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Add ¼ cup/60 ml water/broth at a time if too thick.

vegan cauliflower soup

MORE PURÉED SOUP RECIPES

If you’re interested in more puréed soup recipes, I have an entire blog post with Vitamix soup recipes and tips for making blended soups. Some of the recipes include:

  • Butternut squash soup: this butternut squash soup is everything you expect from a traditional butternut squash soup – rich, creamy, and full of roasted butternut squash flavor. It undoubtedly falls into the comfort food category.
  • Cream of broccoli soup: you would never know this broccoli soup is entirely plant-based. It has a rich taste and the most luxurious creamy texture.
  • Cream of mushroom soup: if you love cream of mushroom soup and want to skip the canned stuff, this soup is your new favorite soup. It’s so creamy, rich, and satisfying that you would never guess it’s dairy-free. 
  • Roasted red pepper soup: this light roasted red pepper soup is a twist on the classic cream of tomato soup. The sweetness of roasted bell peppers blends beautifully with the distinctive tartness of sun-dried tomatoes. The result is a comforting, delicious soup.
  • Gazpacho: there are a million and one versions of gazpacho out there, so this is my most basic recipe to get you started. This soup is refreshing, light, and flavor-packed.

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

cauliflower soup

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 people
This cream of cauliflower soup uses no cream or cheese but is still plenty creamy. What makes this cauliflower soup shine is roasted cauliflower and caramelized aromatics. The recipe is simple but it will surprise you in the best way possible. It's vegan, grain-free, low-carb, and oil-free.

Ingredients
 

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 head (1) cauliflower, , cut into florets*
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 (1) yellow onion, , quartered
  • 3 cloves (4) garlic
  • 1/4 cup (34 g) cashews, , soaked**
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. (2.1 g) coriander
  • 4 cups (960 ml) vegetable broth , (or more for thinner consistency)
  • salt, , to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 415ºF/212ºC.
  • Roast the cauliflower and the aromatics. Sprinkle the cauliflower, quartered onion and garlic cloves with salt, drizzle with olive oil, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure you have a large enough baking sheet (use two sheets if necessary), so the vegetables aren’t too crowded and don’t steam instead of roasting. Roast the cauliflower and aromatics until caramelized and golden at the edges, 15-20 minutes. The bake time for roasted cauliflower will depend on the size and thickness of the cauliflower. Larger florets can take up to 25 minutes to turn golden while small florets can be done in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Blend. Add the roasted cauliflower, roasted aromatics, cashews, vegetable broth, lemon juice, coriander, and salt into a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth. 
  • Season. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity, and coriander for a citrusy-nutty flavor.
  • Serve. Pour the soup into serving bowls - it will be hot straight out of the blender (if using Vitamix). Top with a few roasted cauliflower florets, chopped chives or green onions (optional), and a sprinkle of black pepper.
  • Store. Leftover soup keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat. Transfer frozen soup into the refrigerator 24 hours before reheating to thaw slightly. Reheat in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through. Add 1/4 cup/60 ml water at a time if too thick.

Notes

*1 large head cauliflower (~ 2 lb/0.9 kg) yields ~ 4-5 cups/340-425 g cauliflower florets.
*Trim the cauliflower's core of green leaves and leaf stems, which can be fibrous and can contribute to a grainy texture in the soup. Then cut around the stem of the cauliflower, separating the cauliflower into florets. You can also cut the whole cauliflower into quarters, and then angle your knife to cut out the cores.
*Soak the cashews for 4-8 hours (or overnight). To quick-soak, pour boiling hot water over the cashews and soak for 1 hour. Drain, rinse, and use as instructed.
*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4, Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 4g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g