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Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup

Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Oct 16, 2017

This simple vegan soup gets its sweet, nutty flavor from a full head of oven-roasted garlic, and its creaminiess from cashews.

To read the accompanying story, see: Why you should roast a head of garlic virtually every time you turn on the oven.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 5 cups

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups Scrappy Vegetable Broth (see related recipe) or store-bought, no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets (8 cups)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup Blanched Basil Oil, for garnish (see related recipe; optional)
  • Fresh pea shoots, for garnish (optional)

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Discard the loose outer layers of papery peel from the head of garlic, then cut it in half horizontally and drizzle each half with the oil. Wrap each half in a small piece of aluminum foil, place on a small baking sheet and roast (middle rack) until the cloves are very tender and caramel-colored, 40 to 50 minutes. Unwrap and let cool, then pick or squeeze out each roasted clove and discard the skins.

Combine the broth and the cauliflower in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, so it's barely bubbling. Cook until you can easily mash the cauliflower against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, then add the roasted garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of the cashews. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup of cashews and reserve for the garnish.

Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the soup until smooth. It will be fairly thick. (Alternatively, you can puree the soup in batches in a blender, being careful to not fill it more than halfway to avoid splatters.)

Wipe out the saucepan, and return the pureed soup to it, over medium-low heat. Stir in the salt and pepper; cook until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, as needed.

To serve, divide the soup among individual bowls. Top each portion with the chopped cashews, a drizzle of the basil oil and pea shoots, if using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Little Bird Goodness," by Megan May (Penguin, 2017).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 240

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 14g 22%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 370mg 15%

Total Carbohydrates: 26g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 10g

Protein: 9g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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