Let’s make a Norwegian-style vegan cauliflower soup! This one is so simple and full of savory goodness that elevates the mild cauliflower.

This cozy soup can be made in advance and enjoyed snuggled up in the wintertime as a lunch, dinner, starter, or main. 

Vegan Cauliflower Soup served with a swirl of vegan pesto

Do you love finding new soup recipes? Try my cherry tomato soup or this hearty vegan potato kale soup.

Why you’ll love this vegan cauliflower soup

This is my favorite way to make cauliflower soup; here’s why:

  • Creamy texture: Despite being dairy-free, this soup achieves a luxuriously creamy texture thanks to the blended cashews and water mixture.
  • Rich taste: The combination of sautéed onions, leeks, and garlic provides a robust flavor base for the soup, while the cauliflower adds a subtle sweetness.
  • Versatile recipe: You can adjust the seasoning, spice level, thickness, and more. 
  • Easy to make: This soup is easy to prepare, with simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
  • Comforting and warming: There’s something inherently comforting about a bowl of warm soup, especially during colder months. 
  • Perfect for meal prep: Whip up a batch of this vegan cauliflower soup and portion it out for easy grab-and-go lunches or quick dinners throughout the week.

Ingredients and substitution notes 

Here’s what to gather:

  • Olive oil: Choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil for sautéing the onions, leeks, and garlic. 
  • Onion: Yellow onions work well in this recipe, providing a sweet and savory base flavor to the soup. You can also use white onions.
  • Leek (white part): Leeks add a mild onion-like taste and a subtle sweetness to the soup. 
  • Fresh garlic: Fresh garlic cloves will add a pungent and aromatic flavor to the soup. 
  • Vegetable broth: Choose a high-quality vegetable broth to ensure a rich base for the soup. You can use store-bought or homemade broth.
  • Cauliflower: Choose a fresh and firm head of cauliflower for the best results. 
  • Crushed red pepper: Crushed red pepper adds a subtle heat to the soup. 
  • Grains of paradise (optional): Grains of paradise are a peppery spice that adds warmth and complexity to the soup. Use sparingly as they can be quite potent.
  • Cashews (blended with water): Blending cashews with water creates a creamy and dairy-free alternative to heavy cream or milk. Make sure the cashews are well blended to achieve a smooth consistency.

Vegan Cauliflower Soup Recipe variations and add-ins

This soup is a great foundation – build on it by adding in:

  • Curried cauliflower soup: You can also include other warm spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander for depth of flavor. Finish with fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro for brightness.
  • Roasted red pepper: Roast a couple of red bell peppers.
  • Thai-inspired coconut curry cauliflower soup: Infuse the soup with Thai flavors by adding coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and a touch of red curry paste. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a drizzle of sriracha for heat, and a handful of fresh basil or Thai basil leaves!

Top tips for making the best vegan cauliflower soup

This is a simple soup, but here is how to make it first class:

  • Choose fresh cauliflower: Go for fresh cauliflower over frozen for better flavor and texture. Look for cauliflower heads that are firm, white, and without any brown spots.
  • Use homemade vegetable broth: Choose a high-quality vegetable broth to add depth to the soup. 
  • Balance with acid: A splash of lemon juice at the end can brighten up the soup and balance its flavors. Adjust the acidity to taste, but start with a small amount and gradually add more if needed.
  • Season generously: Cauliflower can be quite bland on its own, so don’t be shy with the seasoning. 
  • Texture: Consider the texture you want for your soup. For a chunkier version, leave some cauliflower florets whole or partially blend the soup for a thicker consistency. For a smoother soup, use an immersion blender or regular blender until silky smooth.

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Making vegan cauliflower soup ahead of time can be convenient for busy schedules or meal planning. Here’s a guide on how to do it effectively:

Make Ahead Instructions:

Follow the recipe up until the point where the soup is fully cooked and ready to be served.

Allow the soup to cool down to room temperature. This step is crucial to prevent condensation from forming inside the storage container.

Storage Guidelines:

Refrigeration: If stored in the refrigerator, cauliflower soup can typically last 3-4 days. Keep it in airtight containers to maintain freshness and prevent odors from permeating the soup.

Freezing: Cauliflower soup freezes well and can be stored for 2-3 months without significant loss of quality. When freezing, remove as much air as possible from the containers or bags to prevent freezer burn.

Serving suggestions 

Serve your vegan cauliflower soup with a slice (or 2) of crusty bread like my homemade wholegrain bread or my roasted garlic and fresh rosemary dutch oven bread.

I also love to eat soup with a light and bright side salad; try this quick + easy kale salad with it!


Just skimming through? Here are the key take-outs:

Can I use frozen cauliflower instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower if fresh cauliflower is not available. However, the texture and flavor may be slightly different. Thaw the cauliflower before using it in the soup, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How can I make cauliflower soup thicker or thinner?

To thicken cauliflower soup, you can add more cauliflower or simmer it uncovered for longer to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. 

Alternatively, you can blend the soup until smooth to achieve a thicker consistency. To thin it, simply add more vegetable broth or water until you reach your desired consistency.

How long will cauliflower soup last in the refrigerator?

Cauliflower soup will typically last 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to cool the soup completely before refrigerating it.

Can I freeze cauliflower soup?

Yes, cauliflower soup freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or resealable bags.

Be sure to leave some room at the top of the container or bag to allow for expansion. Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

How can I add more flavor to cauliflower soup?

You can add more flavor to cauliflower soup by incorporating various herbs, spices, and seasonings such as thyme, rosemary, curry powder, cumin, or smoked paprika. Additionally, you can add roasted garlic, nutritional yeast or tamari for extra depth of flavor.

Can I make cauliflower soup in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, cauliflower soup can be made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot for added convenience. Simply follow your appliance’s instructions for cooking soups, adjusting the cooking time and settings as needed.

Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the size of your cauliflower pieces and the type of cooker you’re using.

Watch my Vegan Cauliflower Recipe Video

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Vegan Cauliflower Soup served with a swirl of vegan pesto

Vegan Cauliflower Soup

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  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


Let’s make a Norwegian-style vegan cauliflower soup! This one is so simple and full of savory goodness that elevates the mild cauliflower.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced leek (just the white part)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grains of paradise (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (well blended with 1 cup water)


  1. Sauté onion and leek in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic, sauté for a few more minutes.
  3. Add vegetable stock, water, salt and pearl of paradise. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add cauliflower, simmer until tender (15 min. or so).
  5. Remove from heat, let cool slightly.
Blend the soup mixture in a blender, return to pot.
  6. Blend cashews and water in blender, and add to soup mixture.
Season to taste.


Use less water, if the cauliflower is medium to small.  This recipe is based on a large cauliflower.