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Vegan Cauliflower Soup

This Vegan Cauliflower Soup is thick and creamy and highlights the nutty and grassy notes of the cauliflower. It’s accented with a tangy paprika drizzle and toasted pine nuts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Soup
Servings: 4


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 8 Tablespoons plant-based butter divided
  • 1 leek white and light green parts only; cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly
  • 5 cups water divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sherry vinegar see note
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Chives to garnish


Prepare the cauliflower

  • Carefully remove the stem and core of the cauliflower with a knife. Slice the core and stem thinly. Break off about a cup of nice-looking small florets, each 1/2 inch across at the largest, and set them aside in a bowl. Slice the rest of the cauliflower into 1/2-inch slices. Separate the sliced cauliflower into two equal batches.

Saute and Simmer

  • Heat 3 Tablespoons of plant-based butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion and leek. Saute until the onion is translucent and tender, 7-8 minutes, stirring often. If either ingredient starts to brown at any point, reduce the heat slightly.
  • Add 4.5 cups of the water, the sliced cauliflower stem and core, and half the sliced cauliflower. Increase to medium-high heat until the water begins to simmer, then bring it back down to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the rest of the sliced cauliflower. Simmer until the second batch of cauliflower is tender, 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the drizzle

  • Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of plant-based butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower florets and pine nuts. Saute until the florets are lightly browned and the pine nuts are toasted, 5-7 minutes, stirring often to prevent the nuts from scorching. Add the paprika. Stir for 1 more minute to mix well and lightly toast the paprika.
  • Transfer the contents of the skillet to a bowl and stir in the vinegar.


  • Transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until smooth, about a minute. Transfer the soup back to the pot. Taste the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste (see note). Stir in water, 2 Tablespoons at a time, if you want a thinner consistency.


  • Transfer the soup into portion-sized bowls. Divide the drizzle among the bowls, making sure to include some paprika oil, some cauliflower florets, and some pine nuts. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.


You can use other types of vinegar, though sweeter ones with some color (apple cider, red wine, or balsamic) are preferable.
You can save time if you prepare the drizzle while the cauliflower is simmering.
Practically all plant-based butter contains salt, so be sure to taste the soup before adding salt, so you don't oversalt it.
If you’d like to simplify the recipe, you can add all the cauliflower at once. The flavor of the soup will not be as complex in this case, though.