A little over a month ago, I shared this recipe for creamy cauliflower wild rice soup. Within just a week or two, it climbed its way to the top as one of my most viewed recipes for 2018, and the kind comments and five-star reviews trickled in one after the other.
I had a hunch it would be a hit given how much love it received in our own home, but I've been overwhelmed by the positive response.
Given how much you've enjoyed that recipe, I figured I'd repurpose the base in a few other rich and creamy soups, the first being this vegan cream of celery soup...
Growing up, one of my favorite soups was Campbell's cream of celery. It ranked second behind cream of mushroom and frequented my winter meals.
But beyond the fact that the canned version is far from vegan, its jiggly, gelatinous consistency leaves quite a lot to be desired.
This vegan version is rich, buttery, and comforting, yet packed with nourishing ingredients. Really, truly, you'd never know it was "healthy" based on taste.
And yet it is.
It's packed with vitamin c, vitamin k, magnesium, selenium, and folate.
To make it, you'll bring a large pot of water to a boil and add four cups of fresh cauliflower florets (in a pinch, you can use 4 ½ cups of frozen florets), and boil until tender (about 10 minutes).
While the cauliflower boils, thinly slice several large stalks of celery and dice an onion. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large stockpot and add the celery and onions along with a bit of dried thyme and rosemary. Sauté the vegetables for about five minutes, or until they begin to soften.
Then, add three cloves minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute, or until the garlic softens.
Next, add three cups of low-sodium vegetable broth to the pot, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the reserved boiled cauliflower to a high-speed blender along with raw cashews, nutritional yeast, fresh lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high until super smooth and creamy.
Once the base of the soup has finished simmering, add the creamy cauliflower-cashew mixture to the pot.
Increase the heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes, or until it begins to slightly thicken and reduce.
Taste and generously season with more sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Once the soup is ready, ladle it into bowls and serve warm.
I like to top it with a handful of oyster crackers, but it's also delicious all on its own or served with warm multigrain baguette for sopping and dipping purposes.
Vegan Cream of Celery Soup
- 4 cups fresh cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 large celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary or more to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups filtered water
- ⅔ cup raw cashews, soaked for two hours (unless using a high-speed blender)*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 7 to 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.
- While the cauliflower boils, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the celery, onion, thyme, and rosemary. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute, or until it begins to soften.
- Stir in the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the boiled cauliflower to a high-speed blender along with the filtered water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high for two minutes, or until completely smooth and creamy.
- Add the cauliflower mixture to the pot of soup and stir to incorporate. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer for just 5 to 8 minutes, to slightly thicken** and reduce. Taste and generously season with more sea salt and black pepper to taste. (I usually add another ½ teaspoon of sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.)
- Serve warm.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
- If the soup is thicker than desired after refrigerating and reheating, simply whisk in a bit more vegetable broth or filtered water and adjust seasonings as needed.
Another knock out creamy soup. I loved the wild rice version, and this one didn't disappoint! I can't believe the creamy texture and flavor, hard not to eat the whole pot while tasting for seasoning. Added a few fresh celery leaves and celery salt for serving just to kick up the celery flavor. Mushroom next please! :)
Celeste Jackson says
This soup is so delicious! I was also a huge fan of the high sodium Campbell soup version but it's been years since I've had it. I think I finally woke up and looked at the label. This version is much more satisfying! I love the texture and the creaminess. In fact I'm heading to the kitchen now to have some for lunch. :) Thank you for your wonderful recipe!
This soup is amazing Ashley!! I made this with hemp seeds instead of cashews as my husband is allergic and it turned out great (added a 1/2 tsp garlic powder to the base to balance the earthy flavor of the hemp seeds). I love the texture that the celery and onion adds to the creamy base - such a great combination! Your blog has become such a staple - I love checking in each week to get inspired with new recipes!
So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Kate! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your feedback and adjustments. I'll make a note that hemp seeds work well as a nut-free substitute for the cashews. Thanks for letting me know!
Michelle H says
Holy moly! I made this soup this morning (with my 18mo sous chef who helped put the veggies into bowls and then placed things in the blender for me) and I cannot believe how decadent this soup without all the bad-for-you ingredients. I even cut the cashews down a smidge to 1/2 cup and I don't think any of the creaminess was lost. I love the slightly sauteed celery flavor with the herbs. Plan on serving it over some wild rice. This is my first recipe that I've tried from the blog and I'm in love!
Thrilled to hear you're enjoying the soup so much, Michelle! Thanks for taking time out of your weekend to come back and share your feedback and rating—means so much! Happy cooking to you!
I just made this soup and it was DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing :)
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Flora! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. Means so much!
Delicious and just what I was looking for! So many recipes don't use herbs in their cream of celery soup, but your combination of rosemary and thyme is very good. I made this soup this morning (for dinner tonight). I didn't use the cashews and olive oil but only because I am eating low fat. Thanks for the recipe!
So glad you're enjoying the recipe, Rita! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your rating and kind feedback—means so much.
Beth Sowell says
Totally LOVED it. I was out of nutritional yeast, and since I'm more vegetarian, I subbed with parmesan cheese. Great job and thanks so much for sharing.
Happy to hear you enjoyed it, Beth! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your thoughts and rating—means so much. :)
I don't have any raw cashews on hand and want to make this without going to the store. Has anyone had any experience using roasted cashews in this or a similar recipe. Thinking about perhaps boiling them a bit. Any thoughts?
Hi, Doris! Roasted cashews will get the trick done for sure. And yes, you can boil for 10 minutes to soften and rehydrate them a touch since they tend to be a bit drier than raw cashews. Happy cooking and enjoy! :)