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Vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

Ivory florets blended with mild green chiles and a pinch of cumin, this rich vegan smooth and creamy soup gets a finishing touch with crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds and contrasting green onion and cilantro sprinkles. Southwestern cauliflower soup is a delicious easy recipe you’ll make again and again!

Southwestern Cauliflower Soup | Letty's Kitchen

More often than not, our crisper drawer holds vegetable inspiration–this time an elegant head of cauliflower. Cook the cauliflower, onions, chiles, and seasonings in veggie broth, and blend until silky smooth. Creamy, without the cream.

“Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.” ~~ Mark Twain, via Food Lover’s Companion.

Veggies in the fridge mean soup in a flash, especially if you’ve got a few time-saving tools. I’m talking pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, and the best speed tools for smooth soups, immersion blenders. This soup is easy to make without a pressure cooker too. I give directions for stove-top soup in the recipe.

ingredients for Southwestern Cauliflower Soup | Letty's Kitchen

Have you ever tried to liquefy hot soup in a regular blender jar? You can’t hold the lid on tight enough—the heat/steam pushes it off, the soup goes everywhere, and you have a big cleanup situation. You can blend in small batches, but you have to transfer the puree to another pot, risking a similar mess.

This is where an immersion blender comes in. Stick that wand in the cooking pot and whir–until you’ve got smooth, creamy, no muss no fuss, lickety-split soup. All you do is keep moving the blender, up, down, and around the pot.

OXO sent me their new digital immersion blender to test and review. The first thing I puréed was this Southwestern Cauliflower Soup. Here’s what I think.

  • Immersion blenders are like upside-down jar blenders. A measuring beaker comes with the OXO—for blending salad dressings and smoothies. Pull the blade wand up and out–and the beaker becomes a storage jar.
  • The OXO has a light–in the middle of the wand–meant to help you see what’s going on in the pot. For me the soft illumination has no value, though I do appreciate the LED light in the power display on the top of the wand.
  • My old immersion blender was all one piece and I had to be careful to not get the electrical parts wet; with the OXO you can detach the blending shaft to clean the blades.
  • Versatility–for soup and a whole lot more, an immersion blender means fast easy cooking. I used my high-power OXO immersion blender to whip roasted sweet potatoes with eggs, sugar and cream into smooth filling For Thanksgiving pies this year. Even in a shallow bowl, the cupboard doors stayed spatter-free, by starting low and moving up the dial through all six speeds.

Vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Southwestern Cauliflower Soup notes:

  • This simple vegan soup recipe offers plenty of possibilities. You can green it up by substituting cauliflowers cousins, broccoli, or kale. Throw in a peeled potato for thicker texture, or blend in a can of white beans for protein and extra body. Simply cook the veggies in broth and blend until silky smooth. Creamy, without the cream.
  • Be sure to sauté the aromatics, the onion and garlic, in a little olive oil first. Skip that step and your soup won’t have the same depth of flavor.
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with garnishes for crunch, color and added flavor.

You might like these other recipes–made easier with an immersion blender:

What would you, or what do you blend with an immersion blender?

If you make this soup, please let me know! Leave a comment, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #lettycooksveggies!

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This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase any products via my links, including immersion blenders, pressure cookers or books, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen.

Delicious Southwestern Cauliflower Soup--vegan and easy to make.
Southwestern Cauliflower Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Once you have this simple creamy yet cream-less soup in your recipe repertoire, you’ll be making it over and over—and inventing your own variations, depending on what you have in the fridge. Makes about 8 cups soup.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Pressure Cooker, Vegan
Servings: 8 cups.
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (see note)
  • 1 head (1 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chilies
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • sea salt , to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions , for garnish
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds , toasted, for garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium flame, in a soup pot or pressure cooker. (see note) Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cauliflower, chiles, cumin, and white pepper.

  2. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes, or 6 minutes under pressure in the pressure cooker.
  3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with cilantro, green onions and pumpkin seeds.
Recipe Notes
  • Keep it easy--use instant vegetable bouillon dissolved in hot water for broth.
  • For pressure cooking: Lock the pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure. Maintain the pressure  for 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure: With an Instant Pot, turn the top dial to vent. For stovetop pressure cooker, place under cold running water.
Smooth and silky vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup--made easy with Instant Pot pressure cooker and OXO immersion blender.


  • Christy Bohn

    What brand of veggie bouillon do you recommend? Reply · 3 December, 2015

    • Christy–my favorite is Rapunzel. It comes in cubes and in a jar. Reply · 3 December, 2015

  • I originally resisted the immersion blender as too gadgety. I was wrong. It’s so much easier and less messy than a traditional standing blender. Gorgeous soup. GREG Reply · 4 December, 2015

  • […] You might also like this Instant Pot creamy vegan Southwestern cauliflower soup. […] Reply · 9 October, 2017

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