The Creamiest Vegan Soup (Cauliflower)

If you’re looking to make a silky smooth, creamy vegan soup, today is your day. This gem caught my attention because it is quite different than most “creamy” vegan soups I come across. It uses a clever trick to achieve its signature texture. And the resulting soup doesn’t rely on heavy cream or lots of coconut milk. Bingo.
The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe
The lineage of this soup goes something like this. Genius recipe-spotter Kristen Miglore highlighted this Paul Bertolli recipe on Food52 back in 2011. The CAP Beauty ladies gave it a turmeric and mustard twist in their new book, and I went from there. Adding yellow split peas on top make it a one-bowl meal, nutritional yeast tees up some cheesy flavor notes. I also upped the quantity because, leftovers.

The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe

The Technique: Make a Vegan Soup Super Creamy

The base of this soup is cauliflower. I make cauliflower soup all the time. The thing that makes this recipe special is the cooking technique. You let the cauliflower steam, in the pot, for 15 minutes. You can do this with cauliflower and get tender delicious florets out of the process. When you do this with vegetables like asparagus you end up with sad, overcooked, off color asparagus. Long way of saying, cauliflower is a great ingredient for this technique. Carrot and sweet potato also love the steam approach. 

The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe

This is a vegan soup.  It is also gluten-free, boosted with turmeric, and relatively quick to make on a weeknight. Leftovers are great and endlessly adaptable.

Other Ideas

This version is spike with  turmeric and mustard. You can certainly explore other directions. Grated ginger would be a great addition. Or, if you have spices left over from chana masala, perfect! I even stir a cup of rice porridge into the leftovers, for an excellent rice soup.

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Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

Today’s recipe is a fantastic mash-up of sorts. It’s an Insta-friendly riff on the Chickpea Cauliflower Korma recipe in Jennifer Iserloh’s The Healing Slow Cooker. An Instant Pot korma. I paired it with the high-impact Indian-spiced Simmer Sauce from Coco Morante’s The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook. If you have a simmer sauce on hand, whether it’s this aforementioned one, or a store-bought version you love, this couldn’t come together more quickly. It’s the perfect vehicle to get all sorts of goodness into your body in one, delicious sitting.

Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

I love this recipe because it’s absolutely packed with power ingredients, including a nice range of fragrant spices. I like to think I get a lot of spice in my diet, but I think the real key is integrating spice blends into lots of meals. Not just a few times a week, but daily. For example, the simmer sauce has coriander, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and whatever spices are in your garam masala blend. It’s how you shift from single notes to a chord.

Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

No problem if you don’t have an Instant Pot, a stovetop version is a breeze as well, and I’ll include guidelines for that down below! Also, for reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Instant Pot Chickpea Cauliflower Korma

Side note – Another way to get a medley of spices and power-ingredients into your meals are pastes. That’s part of the reason I love strong curry pastes like this one, or a boosted miso paste like this one.

Lastly, if you have an Instant Pot, be sure to poke around this new section with all the instant pot recipes in one place.

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How To Make the Creamy, Toasted Coconut Milk of Your Dreams

Let me start by saying, if you already make your own nut milks at home, you have to try this. I mean – walk to your kitchen, turn the oven dial, and get some coconut in there. You have to trust me here. I started making homemade toasted coconut milk a few months ago, and it has become one of my favorite things. It’s creamy, rich, nutty, and intense. I enjoy it immensely on its own, and as an ingredient in other preparations as well. It’s a real flavor punch. Imagine all the ways you can use it to make some of your favorite preparations even better. It’s great in chai tea, in morning oatmeal, baked oatmeal(!). You can use it in a wild range of sweet preparations, but it’s also good as a way to add a little je ne sais quoi, to broths, soups, and weeknight curries.

You can see how it comes together in a video of the process here, and you can find the recipe down below, as well as a few notes. Let me know if you make it, and if you do, please let me know how you’re using it!

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A couple notes. If you want to totally geek out on this, play around with the toastiness of your coconut. If you toast coconut deeply, you’re going to have a different profile than a more lightly toasted coconut. I tend to ride the dark side of the spectrum, but it’s wild the difference between a milk made with lightly toasted versus dark. Both delicious, just different.

Toasted Coconut Milk

Toasted Coconut Milk

Also, like all pure coconut milk, it will separate. And it solidifies in the refrigerator. Use it as you would canned coconut milk, and expect it to behave similarly (i.e. you might need to warm it up a bit, and give it a good stir before using)…

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Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables

This is my favorite kind of weeknight meal. Noodles tossed with a quick sauce, topped with an abundance of vegetables, and kissed with chile feistiness courtesy of the condiment shelf. Spicy tahini noodles. It’s in high-rotation around here at the moment, and I’ll mention some variations down below. The gist: make a simple, thinned-out tahini sauce, roast the vegetables while your pasta water is coming to a boil, toss and serve on one platter. If you like those old-school Chinese restaurant spicy peanut noodles, these are sort-of their tahini slathered distant cousins.

A couple things worth noting. I’ve made this with fresh udon noodles (delicious!), you see it pictured here made with whole wheat fettuccini (thumbs up), and I’m also convinced thick, wide rice noodles would be good. Feel free to experiment. I think the key is a substantial noodle – skip the angel hair, and soba for this round.

Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables

Spicy Tahini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables

On the vegetable front, literally clean out your crisper, and play around with the different vegetables you use here. Just group them in neighborhoods. This way if some of the vegetables cook more quickly than others, you can just move them off the sheet pan.

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California Tom Yum Soup

This soup is a distant relative of the vibrant, brothy tom yum soup you likely know from many Thai restaurants. Part of its magic is the way (a good version) plays sweet off sour, balancing herbaceousness, feisty heat, and just the right amount of saltiness. There are infinite interpretations of it, but this is how I make it in my (California) kitchen. It has evolved over the years, and this version is vegetarian / vegan, made with a fresh tom yum paste, highlighting whatever seasonal produce is on hand. It evolves with with the seasons, and I like to use any leftover to the next day to add dimension to rice bowls, or as egg poaching liquid, or as the broth in a breakfast congee. Be sure to read the headnotes before you dive into this one. Enjoy! -h

California Tom Yum Soup

California Tom Yum Soup

California Tom Yum Soup

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