Spicy Cauliflower Soup ♥ Recipe

Spicy Cauliflower Soup, not pretty but another healthy flavor-packed soup ♥ AVeggieVenture.com
A quick 'n' easy cauliflower soup, spicy with spices, not spicy with heat. Very Weight Watchers Friendly: Zero Freestyle points! Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

Can't say I know, exactly, what gruel is, but I suspect it might look a lot like a pot of Spicy Cauliflower Soup, smudgy and watery, muddy-yellow and dirty-brown.

But please don't judge this soup by its appearance. What it lacks in aesthetics, it compensates in flavor. The spices are "Indian-style" – coriander, cumin and turmeric, plus a little chili powder for a small measure of heat. That's right, this soup is spicy – but not spicy-hot, just spicy. I found it a spare and satisfying antidote to a weekend of too-rich food and too-little exercise.

My soup bowl remained monastic and rustic, just the soup itself and a gorgeous loaf of rye bread from St. Louis' bakery The Daily Bread. But the inspiring recipe called for topping the soup with yogurt, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Go ahead, live it up.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 75 minutes but improves after resting a few hours
Makes 7 cups

6 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock (I use two tablespoons of Homemade Vegetable Bouillon plus 6 cups water)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed (see TIPS)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Few sprinkles of cayenne or red pepper flakes
Kosher salt to taste

1 large head fresh cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

In the microwave, bring all or part of the stock to a boil. (This is a time-saving step that can be skipped is time is no issue.)

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM HIGH until shimmery. Add the onion and carrot as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. When the onion is soft and just beginning to turn golden, stir in the spices and let cook for a minute. Add the stock (just a splash at first, it will sizzle), then the cauliflower. Bring to a boil, cover and adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer. Let cook until the cauliflower is very soft, about 30 minutes. (If you're inclined, now's the time to remove a few pieces of cauliflower to garnish the soup bowls.) With a potato masher, or an immersion blender, even the back of a serving fork, say, smash the cauliflower.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. If there's time, let the soup cool and refrigerate for several hours, even for a day. Then reheat and enjoy!

I crushed the coriander and cumin seeds in a small mortar and pestle, something I lived happily without for many years but do find myself using again and again. It doesn't take up much space, it washes easily in the dishwasher. So I'm keeping it! But if you don't have one, ground coriander and cumin would work, so would running the spices through a small spice blender. If you have the whole spices and don't want to grind them, I'd recommend tempering the spices in the oil to soften, right before adding the onion.

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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010, 2018 (repub) & 2019
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. That sounds delicious, I'm gonna have to give that a go.

  2. I'm glad you tried and liked the soup (looks hearty and tasty)- actually it is one of only two recipes I tried from that book (the other was the chocolate cake).

    I was nodding my head at your review of the book, good to flip through, lots of solid tips but not tantalizing recipe-wise.

  3. That sounds yummy! I use a similar mix of spices when I saute cauli in butter (until caramelized).

    To improve the look, you could puree the soup, maybe with some strained yogurt for a non-vegan version.

  4. Can you use frozen cauli?

  5. Ironjack ~ Yes, do!

    Nupur ~ In a whole cookbook, we picked the same recipe? That is too funny. (Note to self: check out the chocolate cake.)

    Nadira ~ Great idea on puréeing the soup, thanks.

    Caitlin ~ Sure. You CAN. I'm just remembering a lesson from the first two or three months of A Veggie Venture, when I tasted a lot of so-so vegetables. Only later did I put 2+2 together and realized that during that period, I was using mostly frozen vegetables. But sure, you CAN.

  6. I love Indian spices and cauliflower and can't wait to try this yummy sounding soup. Like you I would top the soup with a little cilantro and yogurt. Adding the rye bread would definitely be a plus. I can't wait to make your Homemade Vegetable Bouillon. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow that sounds really great. I am going to make a bunch in a stock pot of some sort and freeze it, so I can get some extra veggies at lunch everyday.

  8. Yum, Alanna! You've certainly given me several veggie recipes using those spices (the carrot dish with cumin and coriander seeds is still a fortnightly visitor on our table!)

  9. Have made something similar to this, but with more carrots, and using cinnamon, garam masala and curry powder instead of the spices you list. Used a stick blender at the end and topped with plain yogurt. Have also made it with less cauliflower, due to not having a whole head, and carrots again, and think I preferred the carrot heavy version more.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna