This cauliflower soup is rich, comforting, and perfect for the holidays. It’s also a very healthy meal, and both vegan and gluten-free.
As soon as the weather gets cold, soup becomes one of my favorite foods. There’s just nothing like a chilly day and a warm, cozy bowl of hearty soup. This vegan cauliflower soup is one of my favorite recipes, and it’s perfect for the holidays. It’s hearty and filling, but also rich and creamy. It tastes a little indulgent, but it’s vegan, gluten-free, and super healthy for you.
Instead of meat or dairy, this soup gets its richness from raw cashews and nutritional yeast. Cauliflower adds heartiness and helps thicken the soup, while strong flavors like garlic, leeks, and chili flakes shine through. White beans and nutmeg make the soup feel wintry, and all the ingredients come together to form something magical and comforting. I’ll eat this as a first course at Thanksgiving or Christmas … or simply while curled up on the couch on a cold winter evening.
What You’ll Need
Here are all the ingredients you need for this warm and cozy vegan holiday soup. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the article for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Olive oil
- Nutmeg – For best results, use freshly-grated nutmeg.
- Red pepper flakes
- Sea salt
- Black pepper – Be sure to use freshly-ground black pepper.
- White beans – Try to find organic white beans for this recipe, and make sure they’re drained and rinsed.
- Vegetable broth
- Cashews – Use raw cashews, not toasted ones for this soup.
- Nutritional yeast – This is optional, but really makes the soup taste a lot better.
- Pomegranate seeds – These are an optional garnish.
- Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds are also an optional garnish.
What Does Nutritional Yeast Taste Like?
Nutritional yeast is a common ingredient in vegan cooking, because it has a flavor that strongly resembles cheese. It’s a subtle flavor, but it really shines through in this cauliflower soup, and makes the dish taste a little cheesy, and even a little meaty. It adds a lot of depth and richness to the vegan soup.
Beyond tasting good, nutritional yeast is really good for you, as it’s packed full of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
How to Make Cauliflower Soup
Here’s how to make this decadent winter soup. It only takes 45 minutes from start to finish!
- Sauté the aromatics. Heat the olive oil in a pot or a dutch oven, then add the leeks and garlic. Cook until they’re soft, about 1-2 minutes.
- Cook the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower to the pot along with the nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the broth. Pour the vegetable broth into the pot, along with the water and the white beans. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and put a lid on the pot. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
- Blend. Once the soup is done cooking, pour it in a blender and add the cashews. If the soup is too thick, add a little bit of water to thin it out.
- Season. Pour the soup back into the pot, and stir in the nutritional yeast if you’re using it. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and nutmeg.
- Serve. Serve the soup while it’s still hot, and top with the garnishes of your choice.
Tips for Success
Here are some tricks and tips for making the best vegan cauliflower soup.
- Use homemade broth. This hearty vegan soup will taste great with a store bought vegetable broth, but you can bump it up a notch by using homemade stock. I recommend using my instant pot mushroom vegan bone broth, which will make this soup very rich.
- Blend in batches. The soup probably won’t all fit in a blender. To make life easier, and to ensure that you get the smoothest soup, add it to the blender in batches. Taking a few extra minutes at this stage can make the soup a much nicer texture, and save you some mess.
- Have fun with the toppings. I love to top this soup with a nice glug of olive oil, some pomegranate seeds, and some pumpkin seeds. But you can have fun with the toppings, and add whatever you like. The soup would go great with some croutons, some fresh herbs, some vegan creme fraiche, or even a drizzle of a nice vinegar reduction. Customizing the toppings is a great way to make this soup really stand out, especially if you’re serving it on a holiday.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
This soup will last in the fridge for 5 days. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container. To reheat, heat the soup on the stove over low heat until warm, or microwave on medium heat in 30-second increments until heated. If the soup is too thick, add a little bit of water before or during the reheating.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Absolutely! This is one of my favorite recipes to freeze, because it makes such an easy weekday dinner. Freeze the soup in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or defrost in the microwave before heating.
More Vegan Soups to Make
If you loved this cauliflower soup, then check out some of my other favorite vegan soup recipes.
- Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- Chili Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Super Healthy Green Detox Soup
- Curried Cauliflower & Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 medium leeks , sliced (about 2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 medium head cauliflower , chopped (about 6 cups)
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg + more as needed
- 1/2 teapsoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more as needed
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 15 oz can organic white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth
- 2 cups water + more as needed
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. When hot, add the leeks and garlic, and saute until softened, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and spices and saute again for another 5 minutes or so.
- Add the beans, broth, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let soup simmer on the stove for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have the time.
- When done, transfer half the soup to a high powered blender. Add the cashews and puree until smooth. If too thick, add a little bit of water until desired consistency has been reached. Repeat with the other half of soup.
- Transfer all soup back to the pot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Sprinkle in more nutmeg/pepper flakes if desired. If using nutritional yeast, stir in here as well.
- Serve immediately, garnish with your desired toppings and enjoy the healing vibes this soup will bring!