On many weeknights, when I don't feel like using my brain, when my soul needs soothing, my stomach needs comfort and my body needs time to rest on the couch, I turn to this recipe for vegan cauliflower soup. I don't fuss with it, or add any extras. All you have to do is barely chop up some cauliflower and some onion. Then sauté and simmer, blend and sprinkle. In under an hour you'll find yourself in front of a fragrant pot of homemade soup that is ready for dinner, and delicious as leftovers the next day.
What Makes This Soup Special?
I lovingly call this constellation cauliflower soup because after I swirl in some sour cream, and crack on fresh black pepper, and sprinkle on chili flakes, it looks like a beautiful photo of our solar system. See? (ps if you're vegan, just swirl in tofutti sour cream or a vegan crema!)
Fresh Out of Cauliflower?
Have a little fun! Broccoli would be a great substitute, and so would cabbage. If you wanted something with a little more protein, you could use a white bean like Cannellini. The idea is to use a fairly mild base so that the soup can be comforting, and you can go crazy on the toppings 🙂
Spruce it up.
The soup can essentially be boiled down (haha, get it?) to just 3 ingredients: cauliflower, onion and broth. Aside from that, you'll need olive oil, salt + pepper. It will be absolutely delicious as is, but if you'd like, you can get more creative and throw in an endless variety of things. You can add garlic for oomph, and sherry vinegar for acid. You can add coconut milk and curry for southeast-Asian spin on the original. You can add Parmesan cheese and truffle oil for a cheesy, Italian feast. Have a little fun!
You can use an immersion blender, a food processor, a regular blender, or heck, even a smoothie maker if that's all you have around. Because this soup is so simple, a key component of the flavor is the creaminess, which can only come from blitzing- otherwise, you're just eating boiled cauliflower and onion.
photo credit:James Ransom for Food52, where this article originally appearedPrint
5-ingredient cauliflower soup with lots of toppings for flavor
- 1 head of organic cauliflower (stem removed and cut into florets)
- 1 large Vidalia onion (cut into chunks)
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Sour cream (chili flakes, flaky salt, za’atar, pesto, what have you—for garnish)
- In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and turn the heat to medium-high. Add cauliflower florets and brown for about 5 minutes. Let the cauliflower get just a bit of color. Remove, set aside on a plate.
- Add onion (and additional oil, as necessary) and sweat for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Add the cauliflower back in. Season with salt, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, all the broth, and cover. Let it come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook the soup for 30-45 minutes.
- You want the cauliflower to come apart if you poke it. Add fresh-cracked pepper, then blend (I use a Vitamix). Taste for seasoning, and add salt if need be. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with desired toppings (I do sour cream, flaky salt, and chili flakes).
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soups
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cauliflower soup, soup, cauliflower, vegan soup
In the mood for more cauliflower soup? Check out this version with chestnuts and porcini mushrooms.