A little dab of peanut butter gives this vegan soup a rich flavor. Pressure cooking instructions are included so you can make it in an Instant Pot if you like.
When daytime temperatures dip into the 40’s, I want soup. Every day. For every meal. Suddenly, eating a lunchtime salad has all the appeal of chewing ice, so at the beginning of each week, I make a big pot of vegetable-filled soup and portion it out into glass containers to be reheated for lunches throughout the week. At night, I tend to favor soups that “get it all in”–veggies, starch, and beans–because when I’m in hibernation mode, I don’t want to worry about main dishes and side dishes and all that nonsense. I want my whole meal in a nice, steaming bowl of soup.
Of course, I still make sure my family eats their fresh, leafy greens. Somehow, a salad’s more palatable when it’s on a plate next to a bowl of soup and we can alternate bites of homegrown spinach and oak-leaf lettuce salad with spoonfuls of hot soup. I’d guess about 75% of the dinners I serve my family in the colder months consist of soup, salad, and often some kind of bread. The kind of soup depends on what vegetables we have in the refrigerator and what flavors we’re craving.
For reasons I’m not entirely sure of, cauliflower reminds me of curry, so when my husband came home from the grocery store with a huge head of cauliflower, I immediately envisioned it dyed bright yellow by turmeric and fragrant with cardamom and cumin. I’m comfortable with creating my own spice blends, but for time’s sake I decided to use a family-favorite short cut: Maharajah blend curry powder. I’ve been using this style of curry powder for years, and I truly believe I could use it to season an old shoe (non-leather, of course) and my family would devour it.
I won’t be performing that experiment just yet (shoes are expensive), but I have tried it on vegetables my daughter usually dislikes, such as eggplant, and had her coming back for seconds. This fragrant soup was no exception. Though she doesn’t usually like sweet potatoes in savory dishes, E pronounced this soup a winner. I made it on the mild side, but you can make it as spicy as you like by using hotter peppers or more ground red pepper.
Curried Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste or minced ginger root
- 1 small chile pepper such as jalapeño or serrano, seeded and minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water plus bouillon cubes
- 1 pound sweet potatoes about 1 large, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon mild curry powder divided
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 large head cauliflower separated into bite-sized flowerets
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2-4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- Heat a large non-stick pot (4 quarts or larger). Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, chile pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in the broth, sweet potatoes, 1 teaspoon of the curry powder, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat until sweet potato softens, about 20 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, chickpeas, and tomatoes to the pot. Add just enough water to almost cover the cauliflower, probably about 3 cups. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of curry powder, and add salt and cayenne pepper (more if you like things hot, less or none at all if you prefer it not spicy). Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter and serve hot.
Follow the instructions in Step 1 using the Saute or Brown setting on your electric pressure cooker. In Step 2, instead of bringing to a boil, close the lid, lock it and make sure the release valve is set to pressure. Use the manual or high pressure setting and set the time for 4 minutes. After the time is up, turn the cooker off and carefully turn the release valve to quick release the pressure. Follow Step 3 using the saute setting on low or medium heat. (You may also try returning the cooker to high pressure for 1 minute and then turning it off and letting the pressure come down naturally.) Stir in peanut butter just before serving. Nutrition Note: The peanut butter adds a gram of fat per serving but gives the soup a richness you won’t want to miss. If necessary, you can leave it out or substitute with cashew butter or another nut butter. One serving of this soup counts as zero Weight Watchers Freestyle points. Additional servings may contain points.
Nutritional info is approximate.
Cauliflower Loves Curry in These Recipes, Too:
- Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran on this blog
- Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Green Beans in Cauliflower Sauce on this blog
- Curried Split Pea Soup with Cauliflower on this blog
- Vegan Mulligatawny Detox Soup by Karina at Gluten-Free Goddess
- Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Lemon and Cumin by Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower by Cathy at What Would Cathy Eat
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Sam (the Quantum Vegan)October 1, 2015 at 9:26 am
Just got a head of cauliflower from my parents’ garden — guess what’s for dinner tonight! ^_^
AngieOctober 15, 2015 at 11:25 am
I can’t even remember how many times I’ve made this recipe – and every time it’s a little different, and always tastes great! The spices remain the same, as does the cauliflower and chickpeas (two of my favorite foods), but sometimes the cauliflower I get is a bit too small, or I just can’t find the right type of sweet potato, so I’ve subbed all kinds of veges in – and it *always* turns out perfect. This has to be one of the best recipes ever!
MaureenOctober 31, 2015 at 3:21 pm
Thanks for yet another amazing soup for me to work into my rotation of your soup recipes. I couldn’t wait for lunch today tondevour another bowl. I took your recommendation and added the peanut butter. Yummmmm!
ChrisDecember 2, 2015 at 8:40 am
oh Boy! can’t wait to try this! love your recipes –
thank you so much…
PascaleMay 18, 2016 at 11:18 pm
Made this tonight. So yummy. Added can coconut milk and one can water. Also added broccoli that I didn’t want going bad.
DianneNovember 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm
This soup is delicious! I made it almost as written, using the Instant Pot method. I did not include the pepper and it was wonderfully seasoned for us. The other changes: since I only had half of a head of cauliflower, I added about 1.5 cups of fresh green beans at the same time. I then reset the IP on Manual for 0 minutes, 5 minutes NPR, then stirred in 2 cups of fresh spinach just before ladeling this colorful, wonderfully aromatic soup into bowls. I’m not embarrassed to admit that my hubby and I finished all of it for dinner (saving just enough for him to take for lunch tomorrow)! Thanks for a great recipe!
AshleyDecember 3, 2016 at 9:57 am
Can this be made in a pot that is not non-stick? My only large pots are stainless steel. I realize you typically use no oil, but I’m OK with a bit of olive or coconut oil if you think that could coat the pot.
Susan VoisinDecember 3, 2016 at 11:40 am
You can use any pot, as long as its big enough. Some people even manage to cook without oil in stainless pans.
Vickie WinbergDecember 4, 2016 at 12:17 pm
Trying this soup now. Sounds yum! A bit concerned about sodium….
DavolApril 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm
Wow, this is delicious! Light and bursting with fresh flavors. The curried broth alone could be used in so many different ways, depending on what veggies you have in your fridge. Thanks Susan for another real winner! 👍
janetApril 26, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Hi! I love this recipe. How do I create an account and log in so that I can have a recipe box? Thank you.
Susan VoisinApril 26, 2019 at 6:11 pm
Hi Janet, you don’t need to log in to have a recipe box. Just use the button in each recipe to add it to your collection, and your recipes will be there as long as you use the same device each time (for example, if you are using your phone to add them, you need your phone to retrieve them.)
Tod NormanOctober 12, 2019 at 2:21 pm
I had to go to work but I wanted to try this out so I threw it all in the crockpot and left in on low all day. I also put some of it in the blender to thicken it a bit. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!! Thanks!
SandySeptember 22, 2021 at 10:38 am
MMmmmmm EXCELLENT soup! I followed the recipe pretty closely with just a few changes. I added a diced sweet red pepper to the onion, garlic etc…. I didn’t have cumin seed so I used 1/4 tsp ground cumin, instead of the cayenne pepper I added Chipotle smoked red jalapeno powder and I substituted 1 – 15oz can of coconut milk instead of the additional water at the end. So easy & absolutely delicious! I served it with homemade Naan bread. I bet it’s delicious exactly as written too! Will add this to my favorite recipe file! THANKS!