Roasted cauliflower soup is made with beautifully browned vegetables, which adds to the depth of flavor. This full-bodied soup gets added richness from the addition of cashew cream. It’s finished with fried capers.
Enjoy this soup as a starter for dinner, or have it on its own with crusty bread. Vegan & gluten-free.
Here’s a cauliflower soup that’s guaranteed to impress.
Cauliflower is roasted with leeks, garlic, and onions. Once everything is nice and toasty, the vegetables are simmered with broth on the stove. Finally, the soup is finished with cashew cream to make it extra velvety & silky.
It’s garnished with fried capers for a briny finish. The capers add a jolt of unexpected interest, giving an intense burst of flavor.
This cauliflower soup recipe comes from the Crossroads Cookbook by Tal Ronnen.
Crossroads is an upscale vegan restaurant in Los Angeles that opened in 2013. You may have seen Tal on Oprah, or heard about the vegan menus he created at Wynn Hotels in Las Vegas.
If you’ve spent any time at the restaurant, you won’t be surprised that the Crossroads Cookbook is equally eye-catching. It would do just as well on the coffee table as it would in the cookbook holder.
In addition to the recipes themselves, I like it when cookbook authors transport me to another place or time in their introduction to each recipe. I want to know about the little café where they had something similar or the trip where they discovered an ingredient they couldn’t live without.
In this cookbook, there’s plenty of that. I could enjoy it simply as reading material if I didn’t long to cook from it too.
Crossroads is a cookbook that puts vegetables in the forefront. They’re prepared in new & unusual ways that accentuate their innate flavors – like this roasted cauliflower soup.
How to make roasted cauliflower soup
Toss cauliflower florets, garlic, sliced leeks, and onions in oil with salt & pepper.
Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
In a soup pot, melt non-dairy butter with a bay leaves. Add roasted vegetables and vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend raw cashews with water to make cashew cream.
Add cashew cream to soup pot & simmer until thickened. Discard bay leaves.
Blend soup with an immersion or stand blender.
Fry capers in oil & use as a garnish.
Make it your own
As written, the soup calls for ample amounts of extra virgin olive oil & non-dairy butter. That isn’t unusual in restaurant meals, but I prefer to use less. If you feel like a more indulgent meal, up the amounts.
If you don’t have vegetable stock, use water + vegetable bouillon.
If you don’t have leeks on hand, replace them with more onions.
How to store
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4 to 5 days.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, it freezes well.
Move any leftovers to a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to use it, move it to the refrigerator to thaw. Or use the defrost function on the microwave.
Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warm.
As the soup thaws, the liquid will separate a bit. Just give it a good stir. Or to make it even creamier, re-blend with an immersion or stand blender.
More cauliflower recipes
Keep the love for cruciferous vegetables going with these cauliflower recipes:
- Cauliflower steaks with lentils & romesco sauce
- Brown rice bowl with cauliflower & hummus
- Mixed vegetable ginger & turmeric rice
- Easy roasted cauliflower – in the oven or air fryer
- Roasted cauliflower steaks with cilantro chimichurri
Roasted cauliflower soup (cauliflower bisque with fried capers)
For the cauliflower bisque
- 1 head cauliflower 1 ½ pounds, stem and core removed, florets chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
- 2 leeks white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, coarsely chopped, and well rinsed
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 1 to 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons non-dairy butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water + bouillon
- 1 cup cashew cream recipe follows
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs leaves stripped from the stems (about 1 tablespoon)
- fried capers recipe follows
For the cashew cream
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon raw cashews soaked
- 1 cup water
To make the cauliflower bisque
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Put the cauliflower, garlic, leeks, and onion in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 to 3 Tablespoons oil (depending on your preferences), season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly.
- Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until tender and slightly charred. Set aside. (The roasted vegetables can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, covered, and held at room temperature.)
- Put a soup pot over medium heat and add 2 to 4 Tablespoons non-dairy butter (depending on your preferences). When it has melted, add the bay leaves and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the roasted vegetables, turning them over with a wooden spoon to coat.
- Pour in the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the cashew cream, and gently simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
- Working in batches, carefully ladle the soup into a blender, filling it no more than halfway each time and adding some of the thyme and salt and pepper to taste to each batch. (If you have an immersion blender, this is a great time to use it.) Puree the soup for a few seconds, until completely smooth (be sure to hold down the lid with a kitchen towel for safety), and transfer to a saucepan or bowl. If desired, pass the soup through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing down on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon; discard the solids.
- Divide the soup among soup bowls, scatter the fried capers on top, and serve.
To make the fried capers
- Heat approximately ¼ inch of oil in a small sauté pan until very hot but not smoking. Carefully add the dried capers to the hot oil (they may spit and bubble) and gently stir until the capers bloom and become crisp, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Remove the capers with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. The fried capers can be kept in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
To make the cashew cream
- Drain the raw cashews in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the cashews to a blender, preferably a Vitamix, and pour in 1 cup water. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy without any trace of graininess. The cashew cream should be smooth on the palate; add more water if necessary. If you’re not using a heavy-duty blender, you may need to strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of any grittiness.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It will thicken as it sits, so blend with 2 Tablespoons or so filtered water if needed to reach the desired consistency.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of Crossroads. The thoughts & opinions are totally my own.
Content and photos updated March 15, 2021. Originally posted February 29, 2016.