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Vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

Ivory cauliflower florets, sautéed aromatics and mild green chiles cooked in vegetable broth and blended until the vegetables become part of the broth, this soup is creamy without a lick of cream. Southwestern cauliflower soup is a delicious quick and easy recipe you’ll make again and again!

Vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup with pumpkin seed, green onion, and cilantrogarnishes.

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

An elegant head of cauliflower tucked in our fridge crisper drawer inspired this simple silky-rich vegan soup. For color, contrast, and crunch, we give each bowl finishing sprinkles of toasted pumpkin seeds, sliced green onions, and cilantro leaves.

This healthful soup is more brothy than thick. If you prefer a thicker soup, you’ve got a few options. One is to include peeled potato chunks along with the other vegetables. You could also add cooked white beans–not only will the beans give this soup a creamier texture, they’ll bump up the protein ration. And the easiest way to give your velvety pureed cauliflower more body is to reduce the vegetable broth from 5 cups to 4.

If your kitchen sports a couple of worthy time-saving tools, you can make this soup in half an hour. A pressure cooker, stove-top or the electric Mealthy or Instant Pot, and an immersion blender, are the best speed tools I know for smooth creamy soups.

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Know that you can make this soup without a pressure cooker. And of course you can puree it in a regular blender. Without those time-savers, it will just take a little longer. You’ll find directions for both pressure cooker and stove-top Southwestern cauliflower soup in the recipe card below.

ingredients for Southwestern Cauliflower Soup. Immersion blender.

Make this soup your own–this easy recipe offers plenty of riffing possibilities. One day sub in cauliflower’s cousin broccoli. Another, add a sweet potato and a carrot along with the cauliflower and season the soup with curry powder instead of cumin.

To make this soup in your pressure cooker, sauté the aromatics first, then add the caulflower, chiles, and broth. Lock the pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure. Maintain the pressure for 6 minutes, then quick-release the pressure. With an Instant Pot, you turn the top dial to vent, for a stovetop pressure cooker, place the pot under cold running water until the pressure valve drops.

As I mentioned, a hand-held immersion blender (Affiliate) makes it easy to puree creamy soups. Really, especially if you make a lot of soups like we do at our house, an immersion blender is a very handy kitchen gadget, in my mind practically essential. Simply 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 hand blender up, down, and around the pot until no chunks remain.

I mean, have you ever tried to liquefy hot soup in a regular blender jar? Don’t try to puree the whole batch at once, it’s just about impossible to hold the lid on tight. The heat/steam pushes the lid off, the hot soup splatters everywhere, on your clothes and all over the kitchen counter. You have a big cleanup situation. If a jar blender is all you have, be safe–blend in small batches, transferring the pureed soup to another pot as you go.

More amazing creamy soups made easier with an immersion blender:

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook a quick and delicious soup!


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5 from 4 votes
Delicious Southwestern Cauliflower Soup--vegan and easy to make.
Vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup (Pressure Cooker)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
 

Once you have this simple creamy yet cream-less soup in your recipe repertoire, you’ll be making it over and over. For a more protien-rich soup, add 1 3/4 cup white beans, 1 (14-ounce) can, rinsed and drained. Cooking times based on pressure cooking. Recipe includes instructions for regular cooking too. Makes about 8 cups soup.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Pressure Cooker, Vegan
Keyword: cauliflower, Instant Pot, pressure cooker
Servings: 6 servings.
Calories: 78 kcal
Ingredients
  • 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
  • fine 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
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium flame, in a pressure cooker or soup pot. (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. 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.

  3. For regular stovetop cooking, cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.

  4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in a blender jar. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If a jar blender is all you have, be sure to blend in small batches, transferring the pureed soup to another pot as you go.

Nutrition information is meant to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Southwestern Cauliflower Soup (Pressure Cooker)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 78 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 786mg34%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1330IU27%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

** This is an update of the Southwestern Cauliflower Soup I posted 4 ago! I’ve made it twice last month, thinking I really should republish so you can enjoy it too!  Now includes with nutrition information and more.

7 comments

  • 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

  • This looks just soo good and comfy! I’m really into that kind of warm soups when it’s autumn Reply · 4 October, 2019

    • Thank you–yes warming soups hit the spot this time of year! Reply · 4 October, 2019

  • Well, I must admit, I’m not a big fan of cauliflower (and I don’t even know big fans personally), but sometimes I cook cauliflower in batter or breadcrumbs, and my family and I find it quite tasty as a side dish. I think this is due to the specific smell of cooked cauliflower. Despite this, your recipe caught my attention and I wanted to make this soup. I like its texture and that this soup doesn’t require too much time for preparation. By the way, adding toasted pumpkin seeds on top is also an original idea. Thank you! I will definitely try to make this soup. Reply · 2 weeks ago

    • Hi Ann, Truth be known, we’re not huge fans of cauliflower either. This soup came about as a way to get cauliflowers nutritional quality in a quick easy and flavorful recipe! Let me know what you think when you make this recipe. Reply · 1 week ago

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