One side benefit of following a strict, special diet is getting extra creative about cooking. It’s hard to rely on a creamy soup if you can’t use, well, cream, to make it delicious. But this creamy cauliflower soup happens to be vegan and has a secret to make it rich and smooth: Cashews! Whether you are vegan or not, it’s hard not to love this ingenious kitchen trick. First you microwave cashews until soft, blend them until smooth, and voila, you’ve got a flavorful soup-thickener. Cannellini beans add body and protein, too, ensuring that a bowl of this cauliflower soup recipe really feels like dinner.
¾ cup raw cashews, divided
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 5 cups)
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 1/2 cup each cashews and water in a microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes; let cool. Transfer to a blender, add cup broth, and blend until very smooth.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes.
Add beans, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and remaining 2 1/2 cups broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Toast remaining 1/4 cup cashews on a baking sheet until golden, about 6 minutes; chop and set aside.
Add cauliflower mixture to blender and puree until smooth. Serve soup topped with toasted cashews, a drizzle of oil, and several grinds of pepper.
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