Creamy Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)
This creamy cauliflower soup is filling, rich, so incredibly comforting, and easy to make. Bonus? It’s also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. You won’t miss the milk and cream at all.
A warm bowl of soup makes the perfect light yet satisfying meal when you want something on the table fast. Serve it alongside a fall harvest salad, a basket of cloverleaf dinner rolls, or crunchy Italian breadsticks.
Cream-less cauliflower soup recipe
Just like my Thai curried butternut squash soup and sweet potato soup, this lightened-up cauliflower soup is always a hit (especially on chilly fall/winter days!).
The natural texture of cooked cauliflower blends into a thick, silky, nutrient-rich soup. No cream, milk, dairy alternatives, potatoes, or thickeners are required.
You can serve it as a first course for dinner or with a salad or sandwich for lunch.
Ingredients and substitution suggestions
You only need a few basic ingredients to make this simple soup.
- Cauliflower – one large head of cauliflower, approximately 2 1/2 pounds (1 Kg). You can use pre-chopped cauliflower florets to save time.
- Olive oil – or your preferred cooking oil.
- Onion – if you prefer a milder flavor, leeks or shallots are a wonderful substitute for regular onions.
- Garlic – fresh garlic.
- Fresh thyme – adds flavor! Feel free to experiment with other herbs, fresh or dried.
- Low-sodium vegetable stock – I used my homemade vegetable stock powder. It can be replaced with low-sodium chicken stock.
- Seasonings – salt + freshly ground black pepper.
How to make a creamy soup without cream
To make this healthy cauliflower soup, simply:
- Sautée the garlic and onion until softened.
- Add the cauliflower, vegetable stock, and thyme sprigs.
- Let everything simmer until the cauliflower is soft to the point where it easily breaks apart when touched with a fork.
- Puree the ingredients right in the pot with an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a traditional blender in batches and blend until it’s smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the toppings and this velvety smooth and SO delicious soup will be ready to serve.
If your soup is too thick after blending, thin it out with some more vegetable stock. If it’s too thin, bring it back to a simmer and cook until it has reached your desired consistency.
Instant Pot cauliflower soup
You can easily make this soup in an instant pot.
- Add the cauliflower florets, garlic, onion, vegetable stock, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot.
- Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Quick-release the pressure. Open the pot and use an immersion blender to blend the soup or put the soup in a blender until smooth.
Toppings and garnishes are the perfect way to customize your soup. You can choose to add one or more toppings to your soup, depending upon your preference, or set a bunch of toppings in individual bowls and let your family pick their favorites!
I topped my bowls with roasted chickpeas, chopped fresh thyme, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish it off. Roasted chickpeas add texture and crunch.
Toasted nuts/seeds, homemade croutons, chives, parsley, truffle oil, and a swirl of pesto are also great additions. If you want to treat yourself, stir in a dollop of cream or Greek yogurt.
How do you make roasted chickpeas
Toss the chickpeas in a simple mixture of salt, paprika, chili powder, and cumin, and roast them for 25 minutes. The result is a tender chickpea with a slightly crispy edge and a spicy-smoky flavor.
I advise you to make a double batch of these chickpeas because they’re also a fabulous snack.
- Make it spicy: add a generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes to this soup before serving to give it a bit of a kick.
- Fresh herbs: use rosemary, sage, or oregano instead of thyme.
- Add in some extra veggies: feel free to toss in a handful of chopped broccoli, leek, potato, carrot, kale, or spinach along with the cauliflower.
- Roasted cauliflower soup: toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil and salt and roast in a 400°F oven until tender and charred in spots.
- Make it extra-creamy: after blending, add cream, half-and-half, or whole milk to the soup.
- Add proteins: cooked shrimp pairs wonderfully with this soup!
- Make it heartier: I love to stir in a couple of spoonfuls of cooked basmati rice, quinoa, white beans, or chickpeas.
- Make it cheesy: add a handful or two of your favorite shredded cheese or 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast when you blend the soup.
How to make ahead, store and freeze
Make-ahead – cauliflower soup can be made in advance and reheated when needed. You can reheat it on the stovetop or microwave. If the leftover soup has become thicker during storage, simply add a bit of water or stock to thin it out.
How to store – let it cool and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a little water or stock to adjust the consistency if it’s thickened substantially.
How to freeze – since this vegan cauliflower soup doesn’t contain any cream, it freezes exceptionally well. Let it cool, transfer it to an airtight container, and freeze it for up to three months. The night before you want to enjoy it, transfer the container to the refrigerator to slowly thaw overnight, then reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cauliflower soup is the perfect accompaniment to salads and sandwiches.
This cauliflower soup it’s naturally thickened. The pureed cauliflower makes the soup thick and creamy.
How do you add flavor to a bland cauliflower soup?
This soup already has lots of flavors and should not be bland, but if you want to take it up a notch, sprinkle it with some crushed red pepper flakes.
This soup freezes well. Place it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. To serve, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warm.
More creamy soup recipes without cream
- Creamy Broccoli White Bean Soup
- Ginger and Turmeric Carrot Soup
- Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup
- Browse all Soups
More healthy cauliflower recipes
If you make this healthy soup recipe, please leave a feedback and rating. I always love hearing how it turns out for you! ♡
HOW TO MAKE IT: Creamy Cauliflower Soup
For the cauliflower soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 head of cauliflower (approx. 2.2 lb./1 Kg) stalk trimmed and cut into small florets
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cups (950 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock I used my homemade vegetable stock
- freshly ground black pepper
Toppings & garnishes (optional):
- fresh thyme finely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- roasted chickpeas recipe below
- freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted chickpeas (optional):
- 1 can (14 oz-400 g) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Make the soup:
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sautée for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue to sautée for 1 more minute, until fragrant.
- Add the chopped cauliflower and thyme and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Cover with vegetable stock and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft.Remove the thyme sprigs.
- Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and carefully blend until smooth using a blender, a food processor, or an immersion blender.
- Add more stock for a thinner consistency.
- Serve the cauliflower soup in bowls topped with roasted chickpeas and garnished with chopped fresh thyme, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).Pat the chickpeas dry with paper towels and place them in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and salt until evenly coated.Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent over-browning. The chickpeas are done when they are crispy and golden brown.
- Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 4 servings with all of the recommended ingredients but no toppings/garnishes.
- To store: let the soup cool completely and then store in a covered container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat gently on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave.
- To freeze: let the soup cool completely then place it in freezer-safe plastic containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To make this soup in the Instant Pot: add all the ingredients (leave out the oil) to the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick-release the pressure and blend with an immersion blender or put the soup in a blender until smooth.
So much goodness in a dish…
Yummy and super creamy. I added kale and broccoli to really pack the nutrients in.
Glad you liked it! :)
Mmm, this soup was surprisingly rich and filling! I didn’t have quite enough cauliflower like the recipe called for so I added 1/2 c split peas and added some nutritional yeast, and wow! This was delicious.
Your version sounds amazing, Jess! :)
I made this tonight as a part of my meal prep and it turned out amazing and very easy and simple which is what I like, I used chicken stock instead of the vegetable stock and the onion and garlic really compliment it well.
So glad to hear that, Santannah! Thank you for the feedback! :)
Hello l haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but l know they will be amazing. I’m transitioning into becoming Vegan and l was looking for something with natural ingredients instead of all the creams, milk and butter. After reading a few of your recipes l knew this is what i’m looking for.
Thanks In Advance
Made this soup! It’s wonderful, I used roasted hazelnuts and chili oil then some Parmesan shavings. It’s delicious .
It sounds delicious, Marian! :)
This looks so silky and delicious. I was looking for a healthy soup and this is it. I’m going to make it soon. It looks so good, I can’t wait to try it.
Tried this today!Had to add more olive oil,but was stunning!! Didn’t have any thyme,so used mixed herbs instead!Even my hubby loved it!!
I am so glad you all loved this soup, Georgina! :)
Can i use chicken stock instead of vegetable?
Sure, you can use chicken stock. :)
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