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Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder {Instant Pot pressure cooker}

Cauliflower soup with both charred and pickled cauliflower–stellar layering. You will love the amazing depth of flavor in this rich vegan and gluten free roasted cauliflower and white bean chowder. Use the Instant Pot pressure cooker to cut simmer time by a third.

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder

Darkly blistered cauliflower, from the oven or your grill, gets this tasty slurpable vegetable chowder started. Chunky with potatoes and white beans, it’s finished with wilted sharp bitter spinach and a salty lemony cauliflower relish.


The cauliflower is used 3 ways. 1/3 cup is for the pickled relish, 2 slabs are charred, and the remainder gets coarsely chopped and cooked in the broth with the potato.

After the vegetables are tender, blend some of them with the broth, for creamy-chunky chowder-y-ness. Both spinach and parsley add eye-catching color. There’s enough protein from the tender white beans to make it a simple dinner soup.

ingredients for Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder notes:

  • Char the cauliflower slabs under a broiler, or on a grill, high flame.
  • Be sure to puree a portion of the cooked veggies with the hot broth, then pour it back into the pot. That step turns what would be soup, into chowdery thick and chunky.
  • Use the pressure cooker to cut the “simmer” time down. Quick release after 6 minutes under pressure.
  • Keep it easy: For broth, use instant vegetable bouillon dissolved in hot water.

charred cauliflower for Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder

  • Loosely adapted from a recipe by Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy, the New York restaurant. Dirt Candy—can you dig that name for a vegetarian restaurant?
  • Chef Amanda tops her stew with grated cheddar cheese, which would play well with cauliflower and white beans. I left out the cheese garnish to make this soup vegan. If you eat cheese, bring in that salty creamy dimension.
  • Dirt Candy, the cookbook, illustrated in black and white comic-style graphics, teems with tricks to transform vegetables from ordinary sides to daring enticing meals.

What’s your recipe inspiration? Run with it! Get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder
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4.72 from 7 votes

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder

Tasty and slurpable, chunky with potatoes, beans, and cauliflower, with stellar flavor balance, this hefty roasted cauliflower and white bean chowder satisfies the tummy. Times are for pressure cooking--add 12 more minutes for regular stovetop cooking. 
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: soup, cauliflower, pressure cooker
Servings: 6 servings


Pickled cauliflower relish:

  • 1/3 cup grated cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (see note)

Charred Cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower, (see note)
  • Olive oil , as needed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium onion , diced, about ¾ cup
  • 1 stalk celery , diced, about ½ cup
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato , peeled and diced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • cup white beans , home-cooked, or one (14-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
  • Handful baby spinach leaves , coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves


Make the pickled cauliflower relish garnish:

  •  Remove the leaves from the cauliflower. Grate about 1/3 cup from the head of cauliflower. Put the gratings in a small bowl with the lemon juice and the 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

Char the cauliflower:

  • Slice off two (1-inch thick) slabs from the center and place on a baking sheet or grill pan. Rub both sides of the slabs with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (see note)
  • Cook the slabs until they are nicely charred on one side, and then turn over and char the other side. That will take about 10 minutes. Let slices cool, and then roughly chop them. Set aside.

Make the soup:

  • Coarsely chop the remaining cauliflower.
  • Heat the oil in the Instant Pot. Saute the onions, celery, garlic, coriander, mustard, thyme, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Alternatively, heat the oil in a large pot or stovetop pressure cooker over medium flame. Saute the onions, celery, garlic, coriander, mustard, thyme, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable broth, the coarsely chopped raw cauliflower, and the potato. Press the Manual button on the Instant Pot and set the timer for 6 minutes. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, after the pot is up to pressure, set the timer for 6 minutes. When time is up, turn the dial to vent on the Instant Pot, or quick release a stovetop pressure cooker under cold water. Stir in the white beans.
  • For regular stove-top, bring the broth, coarsely chopped raw cauliflower and potato to a simmer and cook 15 to 18 minutes. When the potato is tender, stir in the white beans.
  • In a blender, puree 1 1/2 cups of the vegetables and beans along with 1/2 cup of the broth, being careful that the hot soup doesn’t explode out of the blender. (Cover the lid with a towel and hold the lid on tight.)
  • Pour the blended mixture back into the pot. Stir in the chopped charred cauliflower. Simmer about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and and plenty of freshly ground pepper.
  • To serve, divide the spinach between 4 bowls and ladle hot soup on top. Top with the chopped parsley and the grated cauliflower that has been “pickling” in lemon and salt.


  • The cauliflower is used 3 ways. 1/3 cup is for the pickled relish, 2 slabs are charred, and the remainder is coarsely chopped and cooked in the broth with the potato.
  • Amount of salt depends on the saltiness of your broth. Start with 1/2 teaspoon salt.


  • Corinne

    Another home run, Letty! We loved this- didn’t purée any of it, just left it chunky. Wasn’t sure about the “pickled” garnish, but it added a lot and was wonderful. I put the spinach in the pot at the same time as the charred cauliflower- was perfect. Thanks for the great tastes! (It was all I could do to not eat all the charred cauliflower before it was time to add it to the pot!) Reply · 10 October, 2017

    • Thank you Corinne. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe–I appreciate your comments! Reply · 10 October, 2017

      • corinne crandall

        Update: We enjoyed this again tonight but I didn’t have any celery so I added some carrots for color and it was great! Reply · 19 December, 2018

        • Love to know you have a winning recipe that you keep going back to. Thank you for the note. Reply · 19 December, 2018

  • Letty, thanks! Very tasty chowder turned out. Very cool photos! Reply · 28 March, 2019

    • Thank you Alyssa! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Reply · 28 March, 2019

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