Here’s an easy & simple weeknight winter soup that’s not only kid approved, but vegan and dairy-free, if you omit the parmesan cheese. This soup only requires 4 simple ingredients; a head of cauliflower, yellow onion, garlic, chicken or veggie stock.
I love this soup because it’s a creamy soup without the cream! Yippee! The cauliflower adds a wonderful creamy texture to the soup, so it’s warm, comforting rich and smooth on the taste buds. Whenever I make this soup, people always ask me if there’s milk or cream in it, but there’s not, it’s the pureeing of the cauliflower that makes this soup naturally creamy! I love topping this soup with some oven roasted shiitake mushrooms, as it converts this simple plain-jane soup into a gourmet restaurant soup! Delish! I also love topping it with some sliced avocado and chopped raw cashews for some added texture and healthy fats!
My kids rates this soup a 10, and they always ask for it when the weather starts turning cool. I usually serve this up with some couscous cakes or chickpea veggie burgers. We also love pairing this soup with a grilled cheese and roasted broccoli sandwich. Total comfort cooking!
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 medium sized head cauliflower – If you get a large head, then you may want to add a bit more stock.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, or more to depending on the size of your head of cauliflower – I used chicken stock – Note: if you use vegetable stock your soup will look browner than my photo, but it will still taste the same.
- 1-2 teaspoons celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
Optional add ins:
- optional: 1/2 cup finely grated or shredded Parmesan cheese – this soup tastes amazing with or without the parm.
- optional: 1/4 cup raw cashews – cashews add layer of rich creaminess to the soup, as well as some healthy fats – see my note in the recipe below as when to add the cashews.
- optional: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice – Adding and acid at the end can brighten and lift the flavors of a soup.
Remove the leaves and thick core from the head of cauliflower, and then rinse it. You can actually use some of the core in the soup, just make sure to remove the leaves. I love rinsing my veggies in this strainer, especially when there’s a lot to rinse at once.
Coarsely chop the cauliflower (and core if using) and set it aside (coarsely chop means to just cut up the cauliflower in random sizes).
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pan or Dutch Oven over medium heat.
Once the oil is heated, add in the onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Cook until the onion is softened, but not browned, about 5-8 minutes.
Once the onion has softened, add in the chopped cauliflower and chicken/veggie stock, and bring to a boil.
You want to add enough chicken/veggie stock to cover the cauliflower.
Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15-20 minutes.
Below is a photo of how it should look.
Remove the soup from the heat and puree it using either a blender, (I used my vitamix) or a hand held immersion blender. If you want to add in 1/4 cup raw cashews, now is the time. Add the 1/4 cup (no more as it can be overwhelming) raw cashews to the soup and puree until smooth and creamy!
Tip: If you’re using a blender, wipe the leftover pieces of onion and cauliflower out of the pan, so you have a nice clean pot for the pureed soup.
Add the soup back to the pot and add in the parmesan cheese, if you’re using it, and stir until smooth.
Taste the soup and season with a bit more salt if needed. Please don’t be afraid of using salt, (be sure to use unrefined celtic sea salt) as salt brings out the natural flavors! If you feel the soup’s flavor is too bland for your liking then you can always add in some fresh lemon juice. It helps to liven up the flavor as well.
Keep soup warm until ready to serve.
Below is the finished product, doesn’t it yummy and creamy?
Top each bowl with a bit of parmesan cheese (if using) and some freshly ground pepper. You can also top the soup with some roasted shiitake mushrooms!
Try topping your soup with some sliced avocado and chopped cashews! It not only adds flavor and texture, but some healthy fats as well!
You could even top the soup with some leftover quinoa or brown rice.
I love making my soups on the weekends or during the day while the kids are at school, and then storing them till dinnertime or later that week. It just makes dinner that much easier when all you have to do is re-heat some soup and add some warm crusty bread or a pre-made chickpea burger or couscous cake!
These quinoa cakes go amazing with this soup.
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