Basil Cauliflower Soup is a comforting bowl of hearty vegetables and aromatic herbs and spices. This soup is both vegan and gluten-free, and while it's warming enough to be perfect for a cool winter night, it's also not too heavy for the warmer months.
I love creating soups that are good fits for all seasons.
This Basil Cauliflower Soup would certainly warm you up on a cold winter night, but it's brightened greatly with fresh basil, also making it a nice fit in the spring and summer.
Really, no matter the season, it's a delicious, rich, flavorful and comforting bowl of soup.
Who wouldn't want that any day?
What You'll Need
- olive oil - I like this one.
- cauliflower - Choose cauliflower heads that are very firm and tightly closed, without any brown areas.
- Yukon Gold potatoes - Look for potatoes that are firm, smooth and free of sprouts.
- onion - Onions should be firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- garlic - Choose heads of garlic that do not have any green shoots, which would indicate they're old. They should also be firm and without dark spots.
- vegetable stock - Preferably low to no sodium.
- basil - Look for perky bunches and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves. If you can, get bunches with smaller leaves -- they're more tender.
- salt - I always cook (and bake) with Kosher salt. It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavors without making them taste salty.
- black pepper - Freshly ground if possible.
How to Make Basil Cauliflower Soup
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. (The very high heat is crucial in making this so delicious!)
- Pour ¼ cup of the olive oil onto a rimmed-baking sheet and set aside.
- Trim the greens and the root off of the cauliflower and cut it into approximately half-inch slices, placing them on the oil-coated sheet pan as you go. Flip the cauliflower pieces over so both sides are coated with the olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast until the bottoms of the cauliflower pieces are very brown, about 15 minutes. Flip them over and sprinkle this side with salt and pepper. Then brown this side as well.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, coat the bottom of a large soup pot with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and cook for another couple of minutes. Then add the roasted cauliflower, along with any oil from the baking sheet.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the basil leaves and nutmeg and mix them in.
- Turn the heat off and use an immersion blender or standing blender to purée the soup until it's smooth. (It will be relatively thick and creamy when it's done.)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Here's how.)
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- To save time you can buy a bag (or bags) of pre-cut cauliflower. Take a good look through the bag if possible to be sure there aren't dark spots on the florets.
- I love the creaminess of Yukon Gold potatoes, but you can also use Russetts or white potatoes.
- The final color of your basil cauliflower soup might vary, depending on the richness of the stock you use.
Creamy Vegan Soups
The cooking technique to achieve a creamy vegan soup is quite simple, and it can be done with almost all vegetables you choose to use in a puréed soup, similar to this one.
The secret: potato!
When soups are puréed with a touch of potato, they can become incredibly rich and creamy. (Not to mention, dreamy!)
I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who tastes it, who wouldn't think there was cream in it. And I think that's pretty impressive for a vegan soup.
Enjoy every last, delicious spoonful of this Basil Cauliflower Soup.
(Here are a few additional ways to thicken soups -- for all diets.)
More creamy vegan soups:
- Cream of Jalapeño Cauliflower Soup
- Coconut Spiced Carrot Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Cream of Asparagus Soup
- Creamy Parsnip Soup
- Vegan Broccoli Soup
Basil Cauliflower Soup Recipe
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3¼ pounds whole cauliflower
- 1 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¾ cup Yukon Gold potato, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 cups packed basil leaves, washed and dried
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Set oven and prep pan. Preheat the oven to 500°F. (The very high heat is crucial in making this so delicious!) Add about 4 tablespoons of the olive oil on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Prep cauliflower. Trim the greens and the root off of the cauliflower and clean it with a damp paper towel. Then cut it into approximately ½-inch slices, placing them on the oil-coated baking sheet as you go. (You won’t have perfect slices, because many of the florets will break into pieces.)Flip the cauliflower pieces over so both sides are coated with the olive oil. Then, generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast. Roast in the preheated 500°F oven until the underside of the cauliflower is very brown, about 15 minutes. Use metal kitchen tongs to flip the pieces over and sprinkle this side with salt and pepper. Then brown this side as well, about 10 more minutes.
- Sauté the ingredients. While the cauliflower is roasting, coat the bottom of a large soup pot with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and cook for another couple of minutes. Then add the roasted cauliflower, along with any remaining oil from the baking sheet.
- Add stock and cook. Pour the vegetable stock over all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. (The potatoes should be very tender when it's done.) Add the basil leaves and nutmeg and mix them in.
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