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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JulieJanuary 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm
Made this for some guests and everyone loved it!! We ate it for days (over white rice) and were disappointed when it was gone!
Love your stuff. Thanks for making improving my cooking 🙂
RoisinJanuary 18, 2011 at 4:20 am
Wow! I made this last night and it is fab! I’m looking forward to getting home this evening for more!!
Grandpa RonJanuary 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm
Made the Curried Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup. AMAZING! WONDERFUL! Want more adjectives? Make the soup. Glad I have enough for left overs.
Sue, I love you! Thanks!
HugoFebruary 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm
One of my favorites! I liked this so much, I made it two weeks in a row to bring for lunch at work. I’m craving it again, but will force myself to make something else this week.
A few tweaks on my part:
-Didn’t add the peanut butter to the soup, but added to my bowl at each serving. (the peanut butter is essential!)
-Added a diced red bell pepper, two sliced zucchini and about 1/3 cup raisins–all to good effect. The raisins give a nice, subtle sweetness to balance the spice.
-I found that cooking the sweet potato for a shorter time kept the cubes more intact.
Thanks for the great recipe!
charlieFebruary 16, 2011 at 5:58 am
absolutely delicious =)
MoonwatcherFebruary 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm
I started out intent on making this soup, but I ended up using the recipe as a template and turning it into more of a stew. I was in the mood for red lentils, so I used those instead of the chickpeas. I decided to roast the cauliflower and sweet potato, and I had a half of a green pepper, so I roasted that too. I tossed them all with garam masala before roasting them, then added them to the pot, along with the sauted onion, lentils and broth. For tomatoes, I reconstituted some dried ones I had, and used the water as part of the broth. The result is quite delicious. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Susan, even if I didn’t make it as is!
EricaMarch 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm
Best soup in the entire universe!
SophieMarch 27, 2011 at 11:41 am
I adore your blog and have made many of your recipes! Thinking of making this tonight and was wondering…does it go well with bread? And if so…what kind do you suggest? Peasant? Pita?
SusanVMarch 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm
I think it will go well with any kind of bread. A flatbread like naan or pita would probably be most appropriate, but I can see serving it with heartier breads, too.
JennyApril 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm
Another delicious success! I agree that the flavours develop as you let it sit, making it even better if you reheat it and eat it the next day… and I also definitely agree that the peanut butter adds great depth and a lovely richness to the soup. I have to say, though, that I was a little sad that my sweet potato chunks were falling apart when cooked for the time listed in the recipe… I would have to agree with Hugo on that point — cooking the sweet potato cubes for less time would leave them more intact [and probably more flavourful that way too].
In any case… it was still delicious! Thanks for another great recipe! 🙂
Julie & MartyJuly 10, 2011 at 9:26 am
This was ok the first day, but by the 3rd day, it was really delicious!
A.L.WolfeDecember 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm
Oh yes! Winter = soup! This sounds very soothing. Tonight I made a pot of lentil gumbo and tossed in the used green tea leaves from my afternoon pot of tea, just because. Did not even alter the taste and I got more anti-oxidents. Love your site with such amazing recipes and photos!
Janers5December 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm
I have made this soup twice now and I simply adore it! I used sunflower butter instead of peanut butter as Im allergic to peanuts. So good, especially on a cold day! Thanks so much Susan!
GoliDecember 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm
I made this soup last night and it was really delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Also added a teaspoon of peanut butter to my bowl after I warmed it up today for lunch and yummmyyyyyyyy! It was lovely!
surrealcherealJanuary 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm
I’ve just made this soup and it’s wonderful! I love it.
BethybooFebruary 1, 2012 at 5:20 am
I’ve had a huge bag of frozen cauliflower in the freezer for months now, I love cauliflower and for some reason I’ve never gotten round to using it up. I also had 2 small sweet potatoes and a butternut squash sitting in the larder for a week or so with no inspiration to cook them with. So, I made this delightful soup! I didn’t have any saffron (outside of my means as a poor student) but it’s still beautifully fragrant, though I nixed the peanut butter and added a little bit of coconut cream instead. I replaced the chickpeas with white beans, a dash of lime juice and added a garnish of fresh coriander + lime zest. Really yummy and easy, the squash was lovely in this soup and I can’t wait for leftovers.
MarianneFebruary 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Well this was another wonderful recipe from your site. I added brown basmati to it as well and probably doubled the spices yummie.
annrAugust 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm
I really liked this recipe. I’m not crazy about cooked cauliflower, but love curry so I gave it a try. I made one mistake – I substituted a jalapeno pepper for the chili pepper and still added the cayenne. It was a tad hot! I learned not to stand over the pot while sauteeing jalapeno – homemade pepper spray! In spite of my mistakes, it was delicious, with the spicy and sweet notes blending together even better on the second day. Another keeper!
KarenOctober 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm
Lovely and flavorful! Can’t wait to taste it tomorrow!
Substituted coconut creme in place of peanut butter and it gave an it an exotic eastern taste.
CarolNovember 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm
I have made the Curry Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup 2 times in the past month. The first time I used a can of organic Garbanzo beans from Trader Joe’s, the second time I used Garbanzo beans that I cooked myself and I much prefer cooking beans rather than using the canned beans. This will be a regular for me, I love it. Thanks so much for sharing!!!
Caity @ Moi Contre La VieDecember 5, 2012 at 9:38 am
Yum! I’m on a total cauliflower kick, can’t wait to try this!
ArleenDecember 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm
I made this today and it was delicious. I did use frozen cauliflower because I had to have it now and that was all I had. I was not raised eating Indian spices and I loved this.
RandiJanuary 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm
This was fantastic! Basically followed it all exact but used ground ginger and ground cumin. Came out delish. I topped it over some quinoa for a very filling, delicious meal. Another keeper, thank you : )
Patrick FlynnJanuary 18, 2013 at 11:06 am
Looks like a winner love curry and soup! I am going to try a new trick that I got from a recipe on a diff site (post punk kitchen). Saute the cauliflower before doing anything else to get a little char on the edges, looks good visually, and tastes great. May have to use a smidge of cooking spray to keep it from sticking, 5 mins, flip (once or twice) then 5 more mins. Then set it aside for when the recipe calls for it to be added. I will report back how it goes, also going to use Japanese (Oriental/Murasaki) sweet potatoes, more of a nutty flavor to them, and they are whiter/yellowish.
MarshaJanuary 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm
I adore soups and that’s what I ‘live’ on. Will be making this today. Thanks for the recipe.
KarpaniJanuary 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm
I just made this soup and it is the BOMB!! It is soooooo good! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe!
I overnight soaked and cooked the garbanzos which came out wonderfully creamy.
While I’ve been making my own curry blend for years, sans cardamom, I wanted to try your Maharajah curry blend, but couldn’t find it at my health food/coop store. So I checked their organic blend which does include cardamom and saffron and found it to be excellent! The bright yellow color of the soup is wonderful and what a delightful addition at the end adding the peanut butter. Recipe winner, indeed! I’ll be making it again and it is great to add to my faves! In gratefulness . . .
Esther JFebruary 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm
Delicious, Susan (as per usual)!
Had a packet of cut cauliflower to use up and all the other ingredients, so I went for it. Love the peanut butter. Topped it with cilantro.
Thank you so very much, Susan. As I’ve said before, my transition to a vegan/plant-based/nutritarian diet would never have been as delightful (or delectable) without your generosity. You are a tremendous blessing to me.
Thank you, again. 🙂
Esther JFebruary 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm
I must add that I had leftovers of this today for lunch, and it is truly better the second day.
I had some leftover rice in the fridge and added it, along with some shaved cabbage, to my bowl today.
(btw, I licked my bowl clean. :P)
CherylDecember 2, 2013 at 10:57 am
I’ve made this recipe and it’s one of my favorites!
Mike SalkowskiDecember 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm
Made this today and tossed in a diced bunch of kale a few minutes after the cauliflower. I am absolutely floored by how good and nutritious this is, and I really appreciate your blog and recipes.
SherisseJanuary 6, 2014 at 11:17 am
I have made this soup so many times now, it’s my husbands favorite!! Thank you Susan! 🙂
andiJanuary 12, 2014 at 9:39 am
Susan, I just made this soup this morning and it is fantastic! I don’t know how you come up with spice combinations in all your recipes that work so well. I do agree with a couple of previous posters, however, that shorter cooking time for the sweet potatoes works better. Can’t wait til lunch time when I can have the soup and I’ll be eating it all week since I live alone, so plenty of time to see how the flavors develop after the first day. Thanks so much for all of your recipes and the time you spend keeping us in good food. And I’m not even a vegan, just have vegan leanings…
andiJanuary 16, 2014 at 7:07 pm
I just have to add that this is the very best soup I’ve had in my life! I’ve eaten for lunch every day this week and it gets better and better. The only thing is that it appears that the chick peas sank to the bottom of the pot so my last two servings had a LOT of chick peas. Must remember to serve from the bottom next time. I also subbed a canned chipotle for the chile pepper. I love chipotles… Thanks again Susan. You are amazing.
Marian GleasonApril 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm
Yesterday Bill asked me if we had any soup on hand. I had to say no. And I thought of how simple it would be to make this recipe & just have it on hand for whenever the mood struck for the taste of SOUP!! This recipe makes a lot so I will put in 2-cup portions & freeze them for whenever… THANK YOU, Susan! Keep being creative. Glad you’re feeling better now.
MaggieSeptember 6, 2014 at 11:57 am
Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try it! May I ask what kind of bouillon cubes you use? I usually make homemade veg broth, but sometimes I am lazy or don’t have any on hand. The veg bouillon cubes I bought last had 15 calories/10 from fat, and lots of sodium (even though it was the low sodium version). Was hoping to find another brand that might be better.
Leila ShafiqDecember 3, 2014 at 9:59 am
Susan. This is my all time, hands down, favorite recipe! Though, truth be told, mine doesn’t look like yours… I have made some “old lady in the kitchen” modifications. I boil the sweet potatoes, usually 4 small to medium. when they are cooked I pop them out of their skins (this means I don’t actually have to peel the sweet potatoes). Then I drop them in the vita mix and add water and spices. I use onion powder instead of the onion, Chipotle chili powder instead of the pepper, ground cumin instead of the seeds. So as you can see, I seem to be unwilling to make hardly any effort in the kitchen.. I dump this blend in the pot and add more water to the vita mix so that I get every bit of yummy out of it. Dump in the canned diced tomatoes and chickpeas and boullion cubes and peanut butter. Then comes the only cut. I actually do cut up the cauliflower. This cooks up until the cauliflower is cooked through (I don’t chew like when I was young so the vita mix is a real blessing). This produces the most delightful, creamy soup. It’s a real meal in a bowl. In spite of all of the ways I have altered this to make it fit my “activity level”, I still consider this Your Recipe. I would never have come up with this combination of flavors. and I really do eat this almost every week. Susan, you have really had a big impact on my life and the way I eat. You are my “go to person” when I get ready to enter the kitchen. Thank you for all of the time you spend creating and sharing. Leila
Rebecca FinchApril 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm
Made this today mostly using your recipe, except that I added one cup quinoa to thicken up the broth a little bit and used a blend of butternut squash and sweet potato. This is probably the sixth or seventh time I have made this dish and it seems to taste better every time. Thanks so much for all you do to bring good nutrition and delicious flavors to all of us.