Are you looking for a healthy comfort food recipe? This creamy roasted cauliflower soup is easy to make, flavor packed, and vegan.
If you enjoy cooking up delicious vegan recipes, we think you will love our copycat Panera Bread 10 Vegetable Soup and our Panera Black Bean Soup.
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Why This Recipe Works
- This recipe uses fresh cauliflower that has been roasted for 30 minutes so it has plenty of color and has caramelized. This step will provide a nutty flavor.
- A Granny Smith apple is used to provide tartness and is cooked with the aromatics to build another layer of flavor.
- Deglazing the pot with vegetable broth give this more flavor as it releases the brown bits of fond from the bottom of the pot after sauteing the aromatics.
- To make this recipe thicker and velvety smooth, it is blended in a high speed blender.
- Coconut milk is added instead of heavy cream to keep this recipe vegan.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice is added at the very end to bring balance and to brighten up the flavors.
The ingredients for this creamy roasted cauliflower soup are all wholesome, plant-based basic pantry staples which are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Cauliflower: We used two heads of fresh cauliflower that was cut up into florets.
- Aromatics: We used yellow onion and freshly minced garlic.
- Spices: We used fresh thyme leaves, bay leaves and salt and pepper.
- Fresh Fruit: We used a granny smith apple for additional flavor.
- Dairy Free: We used coconut milk instead of heavy cream to make this vegan.
How to Make
- Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil and spread on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast for 30 minutes at 425°F, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil.
3. Add the apple and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Pour in the vegetable stock, then add the roasted cauliflower, fresh thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Puree using a blender.
6. Return the puree to the pot and set over medium heat, then stir in the coconut milk. Cook until it's heated through, roughly 5 minutes.
7. Remove the soup from the heat and add a splash of lemon juice.
8. Garnish with chives and extra roasted cauliflower, and serve hot with fresh crusty bread.
The best way to make this recipe thicker is to blend it with a powerful stand blender like a Vitamix, Blend Tec, or Nutra Bullet. An immersion blender is easier to use, but doesn't achieve the same results. If it is still not thick enough, you can simmer it on the stove top with the lid off and the extra liquid will evaporate.
The best way to make this vegan recipe creamy is to add coconut milk. Another option is to use raw cashews that have been soaked in water and then blended smooth with a powerful blender.
Use roasted cauliflower instead of boiled. Start with a base of aromatics (onion and garlic) then deglaze the pot with broth. Add a chopped apple for tartness. Season with a combination fresh and dried spices. Finish the soup with coconut cream and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Fresh thyme, and freshly grated nutmeg and lemon juice all pair nicely with this recipe. If you are looking to add a bit of heat a pinch of cayenne pepper or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes would work.
- Make ahead? Wait to add the coconut milk and lemon juice until just before serving.
- Garnish with ½ cup of roasted florets.
- No roux is needed to thicken this recipe; the pureed cauliflower does it instead.
- Roasting this vegetable gives it a caramelized note and a depth of flavor.
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Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup
For the Soup
- 8 cups cauliflower florets, from 2 large heads
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (from 5 large cloves)
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 7 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Garnish
- ½ cup roasted cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon chives
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Making the Soup
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line one large cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then brush it lightly with olive oil.
- Toss the rinsed cauliflower florets in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then evenly spread it on the prepared trays. Place the tray inside the oven and roast for 30 minutes, stirring it very ten minutes. (Set aside ½ cup of roasted cauliflower for garnish.)
- While it is roasting, saute the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Deglaze with ½ cup of vegetable broth. Add the apple and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the rest of the vegetable broth, then add the roasted cauliflower, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme sprigs. Stir then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Puree the soup in a stand blender in two batches. Be careful not to burn yourself.
- Return the pureed soup to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Heat through then remove from heat and pour in the lemon juice. Stir, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Garnish each bowl with the roasted cauliflower florets, chives and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread.
- Wait to add the coconut milk and lemon juice until just before serving, if you plan on making this ahead.
- Keep ½ cup of roasted florets for garnish.
- The pureed cauliflower thickens the soup.
- To give the soup a caramelized note and a depth of flavor, roast the cauliflower.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
This recipe was originally posted on November 16, 2018 and was updated with new photos and content on April 1, 2022.
The soup is nice and warm, and the spices make the soup delicious. The garnish of chives adds a nice color.
We're glad you enjoyed it, Alex!
I don't eat cauliflower that often, but this is super good. This smooth soup has the wonderful flavor of roasted cauliflower. It's uncommon for soups to be made with cauliflower, but it is very tasty!
Roasted cauliflower is definitely so much better than boiled! Glad you like this soup!