Make this creamy vegan Cauliflower soup with a crunchy and herby breadcrumb topping to satisfy that urge for something warm and comforting in your belly as the leaves turn brown and the weather begins to bite. A soy-free recipe, can be nut-free and gluten-free.
Creamy soups are my thing, and this ultra comforting and creamy vegan Cauliflower Soup has gone to the top of my favorites.
Winter cooking to me is all about foods that feel warm and cozy on the inside, and they don't all have to include pumpkin or pumpkin spice or some variation thereof. (No offence, punkin.)
And while the warmth of a kitchen can be welcome in fall and winter, recipes I can accomplish in minutes -- or that are mostly hands-off -- are still very much my preference, because who has the time?
The great thing about this creamy vegan Cauliflower Soup is that it needs just five ingredients. And what is even more amazing is the crunchy breadcrumb topping that goes on top of it. I got that idea from Jamie Oliver who used it in a cauliflower pasta recipe, and it tastes so good, you will be licking the bowl. Maybe the pot too.
What we love about this recipe
- It's creamy
- It's comforting
- It's so much deliciousness for so little work and with so few ingredients
- It's healthy, through and through.
- You get to use every bit of the cauliflower, leaves and all.
- The crunchy breadcrumb topping is the perfect complement.
- It looks totally appetizing because, you know, you eat with your eyes first and all that.
Tips for making the creamy vegan cauliflower soup
- There are just a few ingredients here, so don't skip on anything. And if you want your soup to look as white and pristine as possible, which is a nice look, try not to brown or burn anything, especially the garlic.
- You'll start out by warming up some garlic in extra virgin olive oil. You can use vegan butter as well. Don't brown the garlic, just let it get warm in the oil and simmer slightly, then proceed with the other ingredients.
- Next to go into the pot are the cauliflower and the cashew milk. I like cashew milk because I find it is the creamiest in these recipes, and I make mine at home by blitzing four cups of water with 1 cup of raw cashews (soak the cashews in the milk for 30 minutes, if you don't have a high-powered blender). You can use storebought cashew milk.
- Let the cauliflower simmer in the cashew milk with a sprig of sage (don't chop it so you can fish it out later), and salt and a dash of ground white pepper (or black pepper is fine). Simmering the cauliflower for a long time--about 20-30 minutes--does two things. It tenderizes the cauliflower, of course, but it also rids it of that cauliflower-y smell.
- Next fish out the sage leaves and blitz the cauliflower, cashew milk until very smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot and thin out a bit with water if you wish. Check seasoning and finally, stir in some lemon zest. It really livens up the soup.
- The cauliflower soup is delicious by itself but what makes it spectacular is the crunchy breadcrumb topping. I had never thought of using the cauliflower leaves in cooking until I heard of this idea from Jamie Oliver, and it is a good one.
- I toss the cauliflower leaves in the food processor and chop them up until they are in small bits. Put them in a small skillet with some oil or butter and let them begin to brown. Then add in herbs like more sage and/or thyme and breadcrumbs (gluten-free breadcrumbs work just as well) along with salt and ground black pepper.
- You want the breadcrumbs to get crunchy and I realized that it was almost impossible to do it without a lot of oil, which is fine on TV but not in a home kitchen. So I put the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes, which did a nice job of crisping up the breadcrumbs and making them all golden and crunchy.
- Stir some vegan parmesan into the breadcrumb topping, if you wish, for even more flavor.
Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup Recipe
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 medium head cauliflower (florets separated. Reserve the green leaves)
- 4 cups cashew milk (or another nondairy milk)
- 8 large leaves sage (crush them with your fingers to release the oils but don't chop them--you want to be able to fish them out before you blend your soup)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Zest of two lemons
For the crunchy breadcrumb topping
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Cauliflower leaves
- 4-5 leaves sage
- 1 tbsp thyme (fresh. If using dry, use ½ to 1 tsp)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (can use gf breadcrumbs)
- Salt and ground black pepper
Make the soup:
- Place the olive oil and garlic in a cold pan and heat over a medium-low flame for about a minute or until the garlic just begins to simmer. Toss the garlic in the oil but don't let it color.
- Add the cauliflower florets and the cashew milk to the pan along with the bruised sage leaves and salt and pepper. Let it all come to a boil.
- Cover the pan and turn down the heat to a simmer. Let the cauliflower cook until it's butter-soft and a knife inserted in the center goes through cleanly, about 25-30 minutes.The milk might appear to curdle as the cauliflower cooks, but don't worry, it will become smooth and creamy after you blend the soup.
- Once the cauliflower is soft and thoroughly cooked, fish out the sage leaves. Place the cauliflower, milk and all, into a blender and blitz until very smooth.
- Pour the cauliflower-milk blend back into the pan and warm through. Thin out with water to your liking and add salt and pepper as needed. Turn off heat just as the soup begins to return to a boil. Stir in the lemon zest and serve hot with the breadcrumb topping.
Make the breadcrumb topping:
- Chop the cauliflower leaves roughly and place in a food processor. Chop into small but discernible bits by pulsing three to four times. You can also just chop them very finely by hand.
- Heat the oil in a small, broiler-safe skillet and add the cauliflower leaves to it with salt and pepper. Toss around for a couple of minutes, then add the breadcrumbs and herbs. Check seasoning and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another couple of minutes.
- Place the skillet under the broiler for three to four minutes and check if the breadcrumbs are turning golden about halfway through. Toss them around if needed with a spoon or ladle. Continue broiling until golden and crunchy.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, add the breadcrumb topping, and serve.