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Creamy Vegan Cauliflower & Leek Soup Recipe

If you’re craving warm comfort food that’s delicious but still healthy, then this one’s for you.

This soup tastes a lot like “Baked Potato Soup” but instead of being high glycemic and loaded with dairy like most creamy soups, it’s actually low glycemic and totally dairy-free!

Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese. It’s very low in sugar/carbs and is a rich source of dietary fiber. Surprisingly, it also contains a good amount of protein for a vegetable.

CREAMY VEGAN CAULIFLOWER & LEEK SOUP

Beyond its nutrition praise, cauliflower is also a healthy kitchen’s secret weapon for delivering velvety textures to vegan dishes.

Try it tonight, no one will even know it’s vegan 😉

Creamy (But Vegan!) Cauliflower & Leek Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 50 min
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, root and tough dark green tops removed, cleaned and medium chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, cleaned and medium chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cleaned, green stem & leaves removed and cut into 2-inch florets
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (or low sodium chicken stock if preferred*)
  • 3 cups purified water or more stock (more or less as needed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • about 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, more or less to taste
  • about 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, more or less to taste
  • finely chopped chives for garnish

Recipe: In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, celery, and a big pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute until very fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the stock, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the bay leaf, then bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and turn the heat to medium; simmer 30 minutes until the cauliflower is fork-tender. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup with a hand blender, or in small batches in a high-speed blender or food processor until very smooth.  Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir in vinegar and 1/2 to 1 cup more stock or purified water (depending on desired texture.)

Caution: Be very careful when pureeing hot liquid in a blender or food processor as hot liquid expands. Never fill the blender or food processor more than ¼ full with a hot mixture. Work in very small batches until all of the soup is pureed.

Garnish with fresh chopped chives and a few dashes of hot sauce if desired (Cholula is my favorite). The chives really make the soup amazing. Chopped parsley or raw pumpkin seeds are also great additions.

This soup can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for up to 3 days. It also freezes well.

Recipe Notes:

  • I’ve been asked if this soup is great with frozen cauliflower florets. I have to admit I’ve never tried it but I do think it would be great. I’ll update here if I ever try it (or let me know if you do, I would love to know!)
  • For the cauliflower: cut away the leaves and green part of the cauliflower stem, but use the white part of the stem–it’s just as good as the florets.
  • For the leeks: first chop, then clean. Leeks tend to have a lot of dirt inside, so this is one veggie that you first chop then clean. Be sure to rinse them well so you don’t end up with dirt at the bottom of your soup.
  • You’ll need between 7 & 8 cups of liquid to make this soup and can use all stock or a combination of stock and water. If you use water, consider adding a vegetable bouillon cube to the simmering soup.
  • Adding a small amount of liquid after pureeing will help avoid the baby-food texture. Add more or less liquid depending on the texture you prefer.
  • A Vitamix or other high-speed blender will turn this into a very smooth soup, but a food processor or hand blender will work, just be patient.
  • *Chicken stock is of course not vegan, but if you prefer it or are indifferent it’s great to use here.

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower & Leek Soup Recipe
 
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Author:
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, root and tough dark green tops removed, cleaned and medium chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, cleaned and medium chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cleaned, green stem & leaves removed and cut into 2 inch florets
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (or low sodium chicken stock if preferred*)
  • 3 cups purified water or more stock (more or less as needed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • about 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, more or less to taste
  • about 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, more or less to taste
  • finely chopped chives for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the leeks, celery, and a big pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute until very fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. Add the stock, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons sea salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and the bay leaf, then bring to a boil.
  5. Add the cauliflower florets and turn the heat to medium; simmer 30 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  6. Discard the bay leaf.
  7. Puree the soup with a hand blender, or in small batches in a high-speed blender or food processor until very smooth.
  8. Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir in vinegar and ½ to 1 cup more stock or purified water (depending on desired texture.)
  9. Caution: Be very careful when pureeing hot liquid in a blender or food processor as hot liquid expands. Never fill the blender or food processor more than ¼ full with a hot mixture. Work in very small batches until all of the soup is pureed.
  10. Garish with fresh chopped chives and a few dashes of hot sauce if desired (Cholula is my favorite). The chives really make the soup amazing. Chopped parsley or raw pumpkin seeds are also great additions.
  11. This soup can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for up to 3 days. It also freezes well.
Notes
I’ve been asked if this soup is great with frozen cauliflower florets. I have to admit I’ve never tried it but I do think it would be great. I’ll update here if I ever try it (or let me know if you do, I would love to know!)
For the cauliflower: cut away the leaves and green part of the cauliflower stem, but use the white part of the stem–it’s just as good as the florets.
For the leeks: first chop, then clean. Leeks tend to have a lot of dirt inside, so this is one veggie that you first chop then clean. Be sure to rinse them well so you don’t end up with dirt at the bottom of your soup.
You’ll need between 7 & 8 cups of liquid to make this soup and can use all stock or a combination of stock and water. If you use water, consider adding a vegetable bullion cube to the simmering soup.
Adding a small amount of liquid after pureeing will help avoid the baby-food texture. Add more or less liquid depending on the texture you prefer.
A Vitamix or other high-speed blender will turn this into a very smooth soup, but a food processor or hand blender will work, just be patient.
*Chicken stock is of course not vegan, but if you prefer it or are indifferent it’s great to use here.

 

 

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  1. Lauren Cameron

    November 15th, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Yum!! This made some delicious soup! I am on a mission to learn to cook with produce I do not normally use or eat, and this week it was leeks! I also had a whole head of cauliflower I needed to use, so this recipe was perfect! 🙂 And I love that it is vegetarian/vegan!!

  2. Joan Ramler

    April 30th, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    This couldn’t be better. We’ve made it twice now. Bonus that its super low fat and full of veg.

  3. Astrid Van Der Linden

    February 4th, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Thank you 😉 so delicious & creamy !! I blended in some basil & it was amazing too.

  4. Tracyx

    February 12th, 2018 at 3:03 am

    YUM!

  5. Two Weeks Without Nightshades - Diet With Us

    March 13th, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    […] Cauliflower Leek Soup is a good replacement for potato soup.  […]

  6. Carol Balsillie

    October 30th, 2018 at 1:50 am

    This was so good! I made it in the Instant Pot. Saute setting to begin. I used frozen organic cauliflower. I didn’t have any vinegar so I omitted that and the garnish. It was still yummy!

  7. Elizabeth Rider

    October 31st, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Hi Carol, ooh, great idea! Thanks for letting us know and stopping by to comment. ~E

  8. Jeanette

    November 11th, 2018 at 3:17 am

    I accidentally left the bay leaf in the soup when I puréed it in my Vitamix. Is that ok, or do I have to toss this soup? 😏

  9. Elizabeth Rider

    November 12th, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Jeanette, that is totally ok! Bay leaves are usually discarded because they are a little tough in texture and strong in flavor, but totally save and ok to blend in and eat. Let us know how it tastes, maybe this is a better method 😉 ~Elizabeth

  10. Carol Balsillie

    December 26th, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Great! I used frozen cauliflower, no oil, and used my instant pot! Yummy!

  11. Elizabeth Rider

    December 30th, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Carol, thanks for sharing this great idea. Glad you like it! ~E

  12. Jett Danger Mannings

    April 5th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Hi, by stalk of celery, is that a whole grpup of them? Or two individual branches/ribs?

  13. Elizabeth Rider

    April 8th, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Jett, I mean individual ribs. ~E

  14. GardenBar

    August 13th, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Wow this recipe is really nice.

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