Cauliflower and Vegan Cheddar Cheese Soup
For anyone coming in from the cold, this is a soothing treat. Cauliflower and potatoes are enveloped in a (vegan) cheesy base—making this an ultimate comfort soup! Photos by Evan Atlas.
Serves: 8 to 10
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium head cauliflower, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
- 1 teaspoon good-quality curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups unsweetened rice milk, or other nondairy milk, or as needed
- 1 cup grated cheddar-style nondairy cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, or more, to taste, optional
- 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen green peas
- 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and celery and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
Add the potatoes, cauliflower, and enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Stir in the seasoning blend, curry, and cumin. Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.
With a slotted spoon, transfer half of the solid ingredients to the container of a food processor. Process until smoothly pureed. Stir back into the soup pot with the remaining soup. Or, simply insert an immersion blender and process until half of the ingredients are pureed.
Add just enough rice milk to arrive at a slightly thick consistency. Return to low heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
Sprinkle the cheese in a bit at a time, stirring in each batch until melted. Stir in the peas and dill; season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently.
If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for several hours to develop flavor, then heat through before serving. Adjust the consistency with more rice milk if necessary; adjust the seasonings as well. Top each serving with a sprinkling of additional vegan cheddar, if desired.