A creamy vegan cauliflower potato soup with added protein from blended chickpeas. Simply flavoured with rosemary and garlic, then topped with rye bread croutons.
Cauliflower can be grown year round in the region I live in, albeit different varieties (I just planted my winter cauliflower out last week), but it’s most common around this time of year. Combined with main-crop potatoes, white beans for a filling protein boost, and hardy rosemary, it’s a velvety soup with subtle, delicate flavours.
I think many of us probably grew up with the cauliflower cheese kind of cauliflower potato soup, absolutely drowning in orange cheese to try to make up for an otherwise lacklustre and bland soup. Luckily, this version doesn’t need cheese! It’s delicious as is.
Sourdough rye bread croutons take things over the top here (replacing cheese, I guess) and add a nice textural element to an otherwise smooth dish. You can use any kind of bread (see substitutions) but the rye is a very nice pairing.
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Sea salt and pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Vegetable stock
- Potatoes (see tips)
- White beans or chickpeas (cooked/canned)
- Dark rye bread
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the onion. Sauté for a few minutes, until softened and fragrant, before adding the garlic and rosemary. Cooking the rosemary for a short time in the hot pan better releases the oils than adding it to the soup at the end of cooking.
Stir in the spices, then add the vegetable stock, followed by the potatoes, cauliflower, and beans/chickpeas. Cover and bring to a rolling boil before reducing the heat to simmer, covered, for about half an hour. The vegetables should be fork-soft after this time.
While the soup is cooking, make the croutons. Simply mix the rye bread cubes with the oil and salt, then bake for about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if they’re finished a few minutes before the soup, they’ll stay crisp until they’re added to the dish.
Remove the soup from the heat and puree, either with an immersion blender or a standing blender as outlined below. Serve topped with the croutons. Leftovers (without croutons) keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days and freeze very well.
Tips and Notes
Floury potatoes are ideal for this soup and will make for a creamier end result. Russet potatoes, which are widely available, are a very good option. Use a potato that you’d use for mashing, rather than potato salad.
Use a good vegetable stock, homemade if you can wrangle it, for this recipe. It relies on solid base flavours like the stock, garlic, and rosemary, so you can’t have any ingredients that you don’t like the taste of.
I use a different method for this soup than I typically do for others, and don’t sauté all the vegetables. The cauliflower and potatoes are added after the stock for two reasons. One, potatoes in particular tend to stick to the bottom of the pan and easily burn, and two, adding to the stock makes for a nicer colour of soup. This is the typical German style of cauliflower soup.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in a regular standing blender. If it’s not heat safe, then make sure to cool the soup before blending, and then heat it back up again before serving. I use my immersion blender every day and highly recommend having one in the kitchen.
There’s not really much in the way of substitutions here – you can, of course, use a different kind of bread for the croutons if you prefer, or change the herbs. Any kind of bread you have on hand, preferably slightly stale, will work for croutons. I recommend one with lots of flavour, like a strong sourdough.
You can use just rosemary if you prefer, or go with dried herbs. Rosemary and thyme are both very good dried. If you go that route, make sure to use smaller amounts (to taste). Or try adding fried sage, which is also excellent here.
I prefer white beans over chickpeas, but both are good (I have had some difficulty finding white beans lately). Hypothetically you could use other beans, but a darker colour of bean will turn the soup into an unappetising shade of grey or dark brown.
More Cauliflower Recipes
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (~70 grams)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced (1-2 sprigs)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 500 grams (2 cups) potatoes, roughly chopped
- 300 grams (1/2 head) cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 180 grams (1 cup) cooked chickpeas or white beans
- 2 thick slices rye bread, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat a large pot over low-medium heat with the oil. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and fragrant.
- Stir in the garlic, rosemary, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Pour the vegetable stock into the pot, followed by the potatoes, cauliflower, and beans. Stir to mix, then increase the heat and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer, covered.
- Simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork-soft. Puree with a stick blender or carefully with a standing blender (make sure it's heat safe).
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Serve hot, topped with croutons.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Place the bread, oil, and salt onto a baking sheet and use your hands to mix until the bread is coated.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Serve immediately. This can also be done in a frying pan but there's a high risk of burning the bread.
• Leftover soup will freeze well for up to a month (without the croutons).
• Potatoes will take on a lot of the salt added to this dish. It shouldn't be bland - if it is, make sure to season to taste.
Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 1455mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 12gSugar: 5gProtein: 14g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
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This post was originally published in March 2018. It has been updated with new photos and changes to the text as of September 2020.