This soup is conceptually similar to the broccoli and asparagus soups that I wrote about last year, but the the cauliflower and mushrooms give it a totally different flavor. The general idea is cook some vegetables, blend them with some liquid, and then serve with a little garnish. I steamed the vegetables, but you could also saute or roast them. I kept the flavor simple by not adding any extra stock. It’s a sort of vegan cream of mushroom soup.
2+ cups water
2 cloves garlic
1 head cauliflower
2 cups mushrooms*
⅓ cup pecans**
salt & pepper
chives for garnish*** (optional)
Makes two large servings.
Start two cups of water boiling in a pot with steamer inserts. I have one like this that has two levels, which is handy. If you don’t have a steamer, you could just use a pot and put the vegetables straight into the water since you will be blending the cooking liquid into the soup anyway. Peel and coarsely chop the onion and garlic and add to the bottom steamer. Wash the mushrooms and cauliflower. Break up the cauliflower head into florets and add them to the top level of the steamer once the onion and garlic have been going for about 6 minutes. Wait about 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and steam for another 4 minutes. These steaming times are not exact, and at the end you should check the cauliflower to make sure it is cooked. Here’s a schematic of my suggested steaming times:
Once the vegetables are cooked, transfer them to your Vitamix or Blendtec pitcher. If you like you can set some aside for garnish. Measure the remaining steaming water, and top it off to 2 cups to make up whatever water boiled off during steaming, and add it to the pitcher. Then add the nuts, salt and pepper (I used 10 whole peppercorns). Make sure the lid is on tight, start on low speed, and ramp up to high and blend until smooth.
Garnish with some vegetables, nuts, and chives.
Part of the reason that it’s been a while since I posted a new recipe is that the first time I made this soup I tried a new technique that was a total failure. I had an idea that I would blend the vegetables raw, and then cook them. The raw blended onions and cauliflower had an extreme smell that never went away even after 20-30 minutes of simmering. It tasted so bad that we had to dump most of it down the drain, and the whole house stank for a couple days. I don’t know the exact chemistry, but I suspect that blending them raw leads to some oxidation products that taste bad and are not improved with cooking.
* I used brown button mushrooms, but you could really use any type of mushrooms.
** Other nuts like cashews or almonds would be also be fine. You could of course also add some butter or cream if you don’t care about keeping it vegan.
*** I used dry chives. ↑
This looks fantastic. Thanks for the steaming guide. That’s very informative. It certainly looks delicious and easy enough! 🙂
Yup, this one is about as easy as a cooked soup can be. Glad you liked my steaming guide!
It’s not just easy; it’s delicious!
Ours turned out to be large servings for four, but that makes sense now when I look back at the cauliflower in the photo above. (I had to blend half, return it to the pot, and then blend the second half.) But, of course, the proportions aren’t super critical. I’m sure it’s great whatever sizes one uses.
Adam, I have not yet made this soup but I made a Sweet Potato Curry soup today, and it was successful. I steamed 1 onion and 1 clove of garlic for 5 min, then added 2 sweet potatoes and 1 Ts olive oil and steamed an additional 7 min. Then add all in the steamer (including the liquid) to Vitamix, plus 1C chicken broth, 1C skim milk, ~1/2C water, 1 carrot, 1/2 apple, some coconut flakes (unsweetened), cumin, and black pepper. This recipe is inspired by the Thai style curry coconut milk dishes but hopefully less calories. If you have time to play with this recipe, I’d be curious to try your (improved) version too.
One of the key reasons I really enjoy reading your site and benefit greatly from it is that you take the time to explain the why and how, not just the what. As a novice, learning these things gives me the knowledge and confidence to create new ones. For example, all other recipes call for stir fry the onion and garlic on stove top first. Since you’ve already done the taste test on stove top vs steamer, for my sweet potato soup, I used your steaming technique (plus the time saving preparation sequence). Your technique is easier and it tastes just as delicious! Sorry for the long post but thank you for all the technical background information you posted along with the recipes. CH
Great to hear that you’re using my easy steaming method and that it is working well! Also great to hear that you’re coming up with your own combinations. What you described reminds me of a roasted butternut squash soup that I posted about a while back.
Wow, I didn’t notice that recipe until now. Will be sure to give it a try. Thanks.
This is delicious! This recipe makes a lot, I didn’t measure the pepper corns so it’s a bit intense, I learned my lesson next time count them out. I don’t have a large, fancy steamer so it took me a bit longer to cook. Would love to know the nutritional facts to add to My Fitness Pal. Thanks for a great recipe.
Really enjoyed this soup, thanks. It made a lot and nice & thick. Flavorful, satisfy, and warm. I used shallot and roasted garlic, because that is what I had on hand. Also used brown mushroom and added about 10 shitake, which changed the flavor a bit, but still nice. The next day I tried and mixed 1/4 cup of the soup with 1/4 cup of egg white, wondering if I could get mushroom flavored scrambled eggs, on the healthier side. Cooked in a sauté pan. It took a bit for the water to cook off, with turning it about in the pan, but then cooked into a moist soft crumbled consistency that looked quite like browned ground beef or ground turkey, but soft like scrambled egg. The taste was good, but you’d have to get beyond the grayish brown coloring.
Made this last night and it was delicious! Look forward to using your other recipes.
Look forward to trying this!
Delicious and easy; I made it this morning before heading to work. It was shared with a couple of colleagues who also enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you very much. Until I try your asparagus soup, this is now my favorite Vitamix recipe.
I followed the recipe exactly except for not knowing how large a cauliflower and onion you used. I used 1lb of cauliflower and 5 oz of onion and only had white mushrooms which aren’t as flavourful. I had to doctor up this batch but would like to try your exact recipe again if you could suggest approximate weights for the veggies. Thanks so much.
I haven’t measured weights because I’ve made it a bunch of different times with varying amounts, and I don’t think exact amounts are critical. If I had to guess, I’d say 1.3 lb cauliflower and 9 oz onion.
Thanks. I will try again with more flavourful mushrooms and a little more onion. Mine needed some boullion as it tasted watery.
Yeah, you should tweak it to suite your taste! I go back on forth on boullion. Sometimes I like it for its deep/rich background flavor. But then other times I prefer to skip boullion to let the simpler flavors of whatever vegetables I’m using shine through.
I added a baked sweet potato ,and baked the cauliflower sprinkled with nutmeg. Vg
Ive just bought my Vitamix so thought I could use raw ingredients. I used the same ingredients that I do when I cook on the stove like yours it was a totally disaster. I wondered why until I read your post regarding the raw onion and cauliflower..i will cook it before I transfer to my Vitamix. (Ive thrown that batch away. what a waste of good food !!!)
Yeah, some ingredients you can blend raw, but others definitely have to be cooked first! Have you seen my no-cook hot Vitamix soups?
Thai Ginger Soup
Cream of Celery Soup
Southwest Chunky Soup (aka Tortilla Soup)
no but in will defenatly try them. thank you