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Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)


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Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup (Vegan)

https://www.cookincanuck.com/instant-pot-cauliflower-soup-vegan/

This Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup is creamy without a drop of cream, rich with herbs and spices and freezer-friendly, making it ideal for meal prep! Vegan, nutrient-dense and delicious, all in one bowl. Stovetop instructions are also included.
Cauliflower soup in a gray bowl, with an Instant Pot behind.

Cauliflower soup in a gray bowl, with an Instant Pot behind.

Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup is a fantastic option for when you feel like something hearty and creamy, but you want to stick with a plant-based option. Creamy, but dairy-free. If you’ve tried my Moroccan Carrot Soup or Vegan Sweet Potato Soup, you know it can be done!

Most cauliflower soups turn to some combination of milk, sour cream and Cheddar cheese to achieve a creamy texture. But if you want to slash the fat grams – saturated fats, in particular – there are other common ingredients and methods that can achieve the same result.

If your goal is to simply produce a vegan soup, coconut milk is a good substitute. However, coconut milk is still high in saturated fat.

So, what’s the trick? Blended chickpeas. In this Instant Pot recipe (though it can be made on the stovetop, too), canned chickpeas are cooked and blended with the rest of the ingredients. They add a thick, creamy texture along with a dose of protein.

Two bowls of curried vegan cauliflower soup topped with pepitas.

Two bowls of curried vegan cauliflower soup topped with pepitas.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR INSTANT POT CAULIFLOWER SOUP:

These are the main ingredients needed for this recipe (affiliate links included)…

  • Cauliflower: Either start with a 2-pound head of cauliflower or buy bags of cauliflower florets. You’ll need about 6 cups.
  • Broth: Use your favorite vegetable broth. I did NOT use low sodium broth, but feel free to make that substitute if you’re watching your sodium intake. Chicken broth can be substituted (not vegan).
  • Chickpeas: For convenience, I used canned chickpeas. Be sure to drain and rinse well before using. White beans, such as cannellini, white kidney or great northern beans, can be substituted if needed.
  • Mirepoix: Diced onions, celery and carrots
  • Aromatics: Plenty of garlic and fresh ginger!
  • Spices: Use a combination of curry powder, ground coriander, dried thyme, kosher salt and ground pepper. I also added a dash of cayenne pepper for a little extra spice. Feel free to leave that out if you prefer.
  • Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor, but it’s dairy-free. It can be found in most well-stocked grocery stores and health food stores. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, it’s also available there.
  • Pepitas: These are optional, but add wonderful texture to the soup. Toast the pepitas for a few minutes in a dry skillet set over medium heat. Alternatively, garnish with chopped green onions or chives.

What’s to love about this vegan cauliflower soup:

Healthy & plant-based: This vegan soup is packed with fiber and nutrients, from healthy carbs to plant protein. It’s ideal for a dairy-free or gluten-free diet. The creaminess come from blending the cauliflower and chickpeas.

Freezer-friendly: This soup freezes very well. Divide it into serving-sized or meal-sized portions and store in freezer-friendly ziplock bags or airtight containers for several months.

Taste: And let’s not forget the flavor! The curry powder and ground coriander add rich flavors and a little zip. If you like, crank up the spice a little with a dash of cayenne pepper.

How to make healthy cauliflower soup:

Here are the instructions for cooking this creamy cauliflower soup in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) or on the stove top. Below that are directions for blending the soup.

Instant Pot:

Set the Instant Pot to the SAUTÉ mode and add a little olive oil. If you prefer to cook oil-free, add a little water or vegetable broth instead and add more as needed while the vegetables cook. Stir in the onion and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are starting to soften.

Stir in the minced garlic, ginger, herbs and spices, and cook for another minute.

Cauliflower, spices and broth in an Instant Pot.

Cauliflower, spices and broth in an Instant Pot.

Pour in the vegetable broth and water, along with the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and nutritional yeast. Scrape the bottom of the pot to release any cooked vegetable bits.

Close the lid of the Instant Pot, set the valve to SEALING and pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.) Once the time expires, use quick release for the pressure. Carefully remove the lid once the pressure is completely released.

Scroll down a little further for directions on blending the soup.

Stovetop:

Heat the olive oil (or water if cooking oil-free) in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery until the vegetables are tender. If the saucepan is not nonstick, you may need to add a little water while cooking to stop the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add the garlic, ginger, herbs and spices. Cook for another minute.

Stir in the cauliflower, chickpeas, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat slightly and cook at a lively simmer until the cauliflower is very tender. That should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Blending the soup:

There are two options for blending the soup: immersion blender and regular blender.

For the immersion blender, submerge the head of the blender completely in the liquid so that the hot liquid doesn’t spray out of the pot while blending. Blend the mixture, pushing down the pieces of cauliflower and chickpeas as you go, until the mixture is smooth.

For the regular blender, cool the mixture for about 10 minutes. Blend the mixture in two batches. The liquid will still be quite hot, so occasionally release the steam (while the blender is off) to avoid the lid blowing off the top of the blender. Blend until smooth.

Ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with toasted pepitas, toasted almonds, or thinly sliced green onions or chives.

Light gray and white bowls filled with healthy cauliflower soup. Spoons on the side.

Light gray and white bowls filled with healthy cauliflower soup. Spoons on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Instant Pot Cauliflower soup be made ahead of time?

Yes! Don’t you love having a stash of soup ready to go for an easy dinner? Once the soup is blended, let it cool completely. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days when stored properly. I like to use airtight containers.

Can vegan cauliflower soup be frozen?

The beauty of this dairy free cauliflower soup is that it freezes well, making it ideal for meal prep.
Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer to freezer-friendly containers. No matter what kind of container you use, be sure to leave extra room at the top of the bag or container to allow for expansion as the soup freezes.

If using ziplock freezer bags, squeeze out the extra air before sealing. Lay the filled bags flat on a baking sheet and pop it all into the freezer. Once the soup is frozen, the bags can be stored horizontally or vertically.

What can I use instead of chickpeas?

If you don’t have chickpeas on hand, use canned white beans instead. Cannellini beans, great northern beans and white kidney beans are all good options.

Another great option is to substitute potatoes for the chickpeas. Peel and cut a russet potato into small pieces (about 1/4-inch dice). Since the cauliflower only cooks for 6 minutes on HIGH pressure, you want to make sure the potato cooks quickly. Keeping the potato pieces small ensures the potatoes will be tender enough for blending.

Can I substitute chicken broth for the vegetable broth?

Yes, that works. However, the soup will be a different color – likely a very light orange color – and it will no longer be vegan/plant-based.

Cauliflower soup in a gray bowl, with an Instant Pot behind.Cauliflower soup in a gray bowl, with an Instant Pot behind.

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Healthy Cauliflower Soup (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

This Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup is creamy without a drop of cream, rich with herbs and spices and freezer-friendly, making it ideal for meal prep!

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Course: Soups

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: Instant Pot Soup, Plant Based Soup, Vegan soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

To reach pressure: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 5 Servings

Calories: 178kcal

Author: Dara Michalski | Cookin’ Canuck

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Instructions

Instant Pot:

  • Set the Instant Pot to the SAUTÉ mode and add a the olive oil. If you prefer to cook oil-free, add a little water or vegetable broth instead and add more as needed while the vegetables cook.

  • Stir in the onion and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are starting to soften.

  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, curry powder, thyme, ground coriander, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook for another minute.

  • Pour in the vegetable broth and water, along with the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and nutritional yeast. Scrape the bottom of the pot to release any cooked vegetable bits.

  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot, set the valve to SEALING and pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.)

  • Blending directions are below.

Stovetop:

  • Heat the olive oil (or water if cooking oil-free) in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery until the vegetables are tender. If the saucepan is not nonstick, you may need to add a little water while cooking to stop the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, curry powder, thyme, ground coriander, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook for another minute.

  • Stir in the cauliflower, chickpeas, broth and water.

  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat slightly and cook at a lively simmer until the cauliflower is very tender. That should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Blending the soup:

  • For the immersion blender, submerge the head of the blender completely in the liquid so that the hot liquid doesn’t spray out of the pot while blending. Blend the mixture, pushing down the pieces of cauliflower and chickpeas as you go, until the mixture is smooth.

  • For the regular blender, cool the mixture for about 10 minutes. Blend the mixture in two batches. The liquid will still be quite hot, so occasionally release the steam (while the blender is off) to avoid the lid blowing off the top of the blender. Blend until smooth.

  • Ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with toasted pepitas.

Notes

Note 1: Use low sodium vegetable broth and/or adjusted the amount of added salt if following a low-salt diet.

Note 2: Not included in the nutritional information.

Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I provide nutritional information for my recipes as a courtesy to my readers. It is calculated using the LoseIt! calculator and Weight Watchers points are calculated using the Recipe Builder on their site. While I attempt to provide information that is as accurate as possible, you should calculate the nutritional information independently before relying on it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.33cups | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.6g | Protein: 10.2g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 1725mg | Fiber: 7.6g | Sugar: 4.6g


Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I’ll be sure to find it.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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