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Vegan Cauliflower Cheese Soup Served in Bowl

Vegan Cauliflower Cheese Soup (Gluten-Free)

The Pesky Vegan
This vegan cauliflower cheese soup is creamy, indulgent, and gluten-free. Easy to make and cheesy in taste, you won't even notice there's no dairy.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan
Servings 6
Calories 267 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) plant-based butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 leek, trimmed, cut lengthways, and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large cauliflower head, including leaves and core, cut into bite-sized pieces (approx. 2 lbs / 900 grams total)
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 cups (1.2 litres) vegan stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Dijon mustard (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or vegan white wine vinegar)
  • ½ cup (75 g) unsalted cashew nuts
  • 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¾ cup (200 ml) unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 large handfuls (100 g) fresh spinach or wild garlic (see recipe notes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Plant-based crème fraiche and fresh parsley, to serve (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan before adding the chopped onion and leek. Season with salt and pepper and soften on low heat for 6-8 minutes.
  • Once the onion and leek have softened, add the chopped garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add the cauliflower and potato and stir well for 2-3 minutes.
  • After 2-3 minutes, add in the veg stock, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, cashews, nutritional yeast, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato cubes are soft.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the plant-based milk. This will help to slightly reduce the temperature before blending. Remove the bay leaves and then transfer the soup to a blender, doing this in batches if necessary (don't overfill). Blend until smooth and creamy. Note: It's perfectly fine to use a hand blender here, it just won't be as creamy as in a larger blender.
  • Once blended, return the soup to the pan and bring to a low simmer. Add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until it has wilted. At this point, you can adjust the seasoning and flavours to suit your preferences – more salt if it tastes bland, more nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness, more mustard and/or vinegar for added sharpness (go easy on the vinegar though as this can quickly hijack the whole thing).
  • Once the spinach has wilted, turn off the heat and serve with plant-based crème fraiche and chopped fresh parsley.

Notes

Extra cheese: For additional cheesiness, try sprinkling over some of this 4-ingredient vegan parmesan.
Dijon mustard: Since Dijon mustard is traditionally made with white wine, it's not always strictly vegan. That being said, I've seen several varieties around that are labelled vegan. You can swap this out for wholegrain mustard.
Cider vinegar: If swapping this for white wine vinegar, just be aware that it isn't always strictly vegan. Vegan alcohol is a bit of a grey area for people, so don't worry if it doesn't bother you! 
Wild garlic: If wild garlic grows near you and it's in season (around April in the UK), definitely use this in place of spinach! The delicious green leaves have a similar texture to spinach, but with a subtle garlic flavour. It's what I've used in the pictures above. 
Blending: It's perfectly fine to use a hand blender, but if you want to achieve the creamiest possible soup you'll need a large blender. It's a bit of extra washing up, but I feel like it's worth it for this recipe. 
Plant-based milk: I'd recommend using oat, cashew, or soya milk, and I'd avoid rice or almond milk. I definitely wouldn't use coconut milk for this soup. 
Gluten-free: If you need to ensure that this recipe is 100% gluten-free, use a vegan stock and a plant-based milk that are certified or labelled as such. You’ll want to do the same for any vegan cream etc. that you use when serving.
Storage: You can store this soup in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to six months.
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* The nutrition info below is for one serving of the soup, based on a total of six servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 267kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 12gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 158mgPotassium: 1090mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 2007IUVitamin C: 86mgCalcium: 127mgIron: 4mg
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cauliflower Cheese Soup (Gluten-Free)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 267 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 158mg7%
Potassium 1090mg31%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 2007IU40%
Vitamin C 86mg104%
Calcium 127mg13%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cheesy, vegan cauliflower cheese, vegan soup
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