This cream of cauliflower soup uses no cream or cheese but is still rich and 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.
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 blending.
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.
Tips for Making Cream of Cauliflower Soup
If you have a head of cauliflower in the fridge, you have most likely everything you need.
Alliums – onions, shallots, garlic, and the like – are the best supporters for creamy soups. You won’t likely notice them but without them, your soup would be rather boring. Nearly every soup I make starts with onions or leeks and garlic.
This cream of cauliflower soup calls for vegetable broth as the main liquid ingredient. You can use other broths, but the goal here is to enhance the light vegetable flavor of cauliflower, not to overpower it.
The fat component is provided by cashews, which both emulsify and thicken the soup.
The flavoring is really simple – a splash of lemon juice (to bring balance and brightness to the soup), coriander, and salt. Feel free to use any herbs and spices you like.
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.
Cauliflower’s flavor changes depending on how long you cook it. Short cooking time will give you grassy undertones while long cooking time will yield a sweeter, nuttier flavor. You can steam the cauliflower, saute it, or roast it. I usually roast the cauliflower because it requires minimal effort and does double duty as both a flavor enhancer and a beautiful garnish for the soup. The same goes for the aromatics – you can saute them in a little bit of oil or roast them with the cauliflower.
The smoothness of your final soup will depend on the tool you use. An immersion blender will give you decently smooth results. A standard blender will give you the absolute smoothest results, due to its high speed and vortex action. A high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, will produce even more velvety results.
More Cream of Cauliflower Soup Recipes
If you’re looking for a more classic creamy soup recipe with cauliflower, you might enjoy this cream of mushroom soup based on cauliflower. It’s so rich and creamy that I bet you won’t be able to tell that the main ingredient is cauliflower (and mushrooms, of course).
For even more pureed soup recipes, check out this blog post with Vitamix soup recipes and tips for making blended soups.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Blender (Vitamix 750) | 2. Griddle (12-Inch, Lodge, Cast Iron) | 3. Knives Set (Set of 5, Utopia Kitchen, Stainless Steel) | 4. Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 5. Measuring Cup (2 Cups, Anchor Hocking, Glass) | 6. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 7. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
- 1 head cauliflower*
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil (optional)
- 1 yellow onion, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked**
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or more for a thinner consistency)
- salt, to taste
- Cut the cauliflower into florets. Pull off the outer leaves of cauliflower and trim the tough stem. Using a knife, separate the cauliflower into florets.
- Roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Transfer the cauliflower florets onto a baking sheet (or a pan), drizzle with olive oil (optional), season with salt, and toss to coat. Roast until the cauliflower is tender and caramelized on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway.
- Roast the aromatics. Transfer the onion and unpeeled garlic cloves onto another baking sheet (or use the sheet with cauliflower if you have enough room), rub a little oil on the cut-side of the onion (optional), and place on the baking sheet. Roast the aromatics with the cauliflower until tender, 25 to 35 minutes, turning halfway.
- Blend the cauliflower. Set a few roasted cauliflower florets aside for garnish and peel the garlic cloves. Add all the "cream of cauliflower soup" ingredients into a 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, Garnish the soup with a few roasted cauliflower florets, chopped chives or green onions (optional), and a sprinkle of black pepper. Serve hot, straight out of the blender.
- Store. Leftover soup keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.