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.