Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup

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This Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup is thickened naturally with white beans and cashews, so it's luscious and creamy but dairy-free. It's a quick and easy dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that's made with just 10ish ingredients, so it's perfect for busy weeknight dinners. Stovetop instructions also included.
Prep Time: 8 mins
Cook Time: 17 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
5 from 75 votes

This creamy vegan Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup is one of the few recipes I actually make on a regular basis. I say actually because even though I have some favorite recipes, I don’t cook the same recipes that often. That’s because I’m constantly testing out new recipes for my blog, Youtube channel, and currently, my second cookbook.

But we make an exception for this creamy cauliflower soup for a few reasons. One, it’s so easy that it requires zero thought and about 5 minutes of prep, thanks to the Instant Pot (this is the model I recommend for beginners).

This means it’s easy enough for Max to make on his own (no supervision from me!). Two, it’s very healthy, so it’s a nice recipe to have to throw in between our weekly pizza and weekly pasta nights. Three, it’s so satisfying and tasty!

3 bowls of creamy cauliflower white bean soup garnished with olive oil and lemon

Why you’ll like this Vegan Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup

Creamy and dreamy. This soup is crazy creamy. I’m talking almost-as-creamy-as-hummus creamy.

Satiating / a complete meal. While “cauliflower soup” might not sound like a complete meal, this is not your ordinary cauliflower soup. We’ve got a good deal of protein, thanks to two cans of cannellini beans. And a good deal of healthy, satiating fats (and a decent amount of protein) from the cashews.

Quick. From start to finish, this cauliflower soup takes 25 to 30 minutes.

Almost too easy. This is a dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe, so there is zero hands-on cooking. All you need to do (literally) is cut the cauliflower into large florets and roughly chop the garlic. And then use an immersion blender at the end. Even the most novice cooks can rock this soup!

Flavorful. Most dump-and-go Instant Pot recipes are rather bland because there’s no opportunity to build up layers of flavor. Not so with this cauliflower white bean soup!

It has woodsy notes from the fresh thyme and rosemary and savory richness from the nutritional yeast. And it gets taken over the top with three finishing ingredients: lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, and extra virgin olive oil.

How do you make cauliflower soup creamy?

When you cook (steam/boil/roast) cauliflower and blend it up, it turns quite creamy. It’s often used as a base for healthy dairy-free sauces, like Alfredo. But, this soup takes the creaminess factor even further by adding (1) raw cashews and (2) cannellini beans.

If you’re familiar with vegan cooking, you know that soaked raw cashews have the potential to make extremely creamy sauces, soups, and desserts. But, thanks to the high pressure of the Instant Pot, we don’t even need to soak the cashews.

Adding cannellini beans, the king of creamy beans, makes this soup even creamier.

Finally, when you blend everything together, the texture of the cauliflower soup becomes luscious and unbelievably creamy. If you want a silky smooth texture, transfer the soup to a stand blender. If you don’t mind a slightly more rustic version, an immersion blender works great (and means fewer dishes to wash).

bowls of creamy vegan instant pot cauliflower soup with bread

How to make cauliflower soup in the Instant Pot 

This is going to be short, so here we go!

Gather your ingredients.

cauliflower soup ingredients on cutting board with text

Roughly chop the garlic and cut the cauliflower into large florets.

cauliflower florets and chopped garlic on cutting board

Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and pressure cook at high for 7 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release.

cooked cauliflower soup in instant pot

Blend the soup using an immersion blender until thick, creamy, and smooth.

blended cauliflower soup in Instant Pot

Finish the soup with lemon zest, red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.

hands about to pick up a spoon of creamy soup

Tips for making this recipe

The serving size says 4, but if you serve this soup with bread or a salad, it’s closer to 6 servings. (I haven’t figured out how to allow the recipe card to include ranges for servings and cook times #foodbloggerproblems).

Don’t skip the nutritional yeast. That’s where a lot of savory depth of flavor comes from!

Similarly, don’t skip the finishing touches (lemon zest, red pepper flakes, good-quality extra virgin olive oil). The soup is quite good without them, but these three finishing ingredients really take the soup to another level. The lemon zest brings a bright citrus zing, the red pepper flakes bring a subtle heat, and the extra virgin olive oil brings a rich body and mouthfeel.

bowl of creamy cauliflower white bean soup with spoon and piece of bread

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I substitute the cashews? 

I haven’t tried it in this particular recipe, but I’ve made similar recipes using Russet potatoes instead of cashews with fairly good results. Of course, the soup won’t be as satiating because potatoes are almost entirely starch. In contrast, cashews are packed with healthy fats and protein.

Can I substitute different herbs and spices in this soup?

I use thyme and rosemary in this soup because I love how they pair with cauliflower, but you can also substitute with fresh sage or oregano. If you’re not a fan of rosemary, just use a little extra thyme.

One of the finishing elements is crushed red pepper flakes, which add a subtle spicy kick. If you don’t want a spicy kick, I love using Aleppo pepper. It’s a beautiful coarsely ground red pepper that’s commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine as a condiment and originally hails from Aleppo, Syria. It’s very mild in spice and has a subtle fruity yet earthy tang.

What can I use if I don’t have cannellini beans? 

Butter beans would work beautifully here!

Can I freeze cauliflower soup? 

Yes! This soup freezes quite well. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.

What can I serve with cauliflower soup? 

Our favorite way to eat this soup is with a hunk of good bread, like a sesame loaf or sourdough. A leafy green salad with a citrus vinaigrette or a tahini-based vinaigrette would also be nice. You can also try serving steamed/roasted broccoli or asparagus on the side.

Once, when I didn’t have that much soup left, I added some spice-roasted chickpeas to the soup for extra calories, and it was quite delightful.

Also, if you have vegan pesto on hand, a spoon stirred into this soup would be delightful. Or, if you’re more of a traditional soup person, load up on the croutons!

dipping bread into creamy soup

More creamy vegan soup recipes to try!  

Can’t get enough of creamy soups?

I hope you give this easy and delicious Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup recipe a try! If you do, please leave a rating and review below with your feedback and tag me on Instagram with your remakes :)

three bowls of creamy cauliflower soup with bread

Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup

5 from 75 votes
This Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup is thickened naturally with white beans and cashews, so it's luscious and creamy but dairy-free. It's a quick and easy dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that's made with just 10ish ingredients, so it's perfect for busy weeknight dinners. Stovetop instructions also included.
Prep Time: 8 mins
Cook Time: 17 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, soy-free, vegan
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower (24-28 ounces, or ~750g), cut into large florets
  • 1 cup (140g) raw cashews
  • 2 (15-ounce/425g) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups (960 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For Finishing

  • Lemon zest
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (or Aleppo pepper)
  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Bread for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • To the Instant Pot inner pot, add the garlic, cauliflower florets, cashews, cannellini beans, vegetable broth, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, nutritional yeast, 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  • Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting and set to high pressure for 7 minutes.
  • Once the 7-minute timer has completed and beeps, perform a Quick Pressure Release by switching the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting.
  • Open the pot and remove any whole herb sprigs. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until thick and creamy, taking care to blend all the cashews.
    Alternatively, if you want a super silky texture, transfer the soup to a stand blender and blend until creamy and smooth (replace the center cap from the blender lid and cover with a dish towel to allow steam to escape).
  • Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly (I usually add a bit more salt at this stage).
  • Transfer the soup to bowls, and before serving, zest some lemon on top, add a scattering of red pepper flakes, and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with bread, if desired.

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup (Stovetop)

5 from 65 votes
This Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup is thickened naturally with white beans and cashews, so it's luscious and creamy but dairy-free.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, soy-free, vegan
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower (24-28 ounces, or ~750g), cut into large florets
  • 1 cup (140g) raw cashews
  • 2 (15-ounce/425g) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups (960 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more as needed (or water)
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For Finishing

  • Lemon zest
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (or Aleppo pepper)
  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Bread for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Pour boiling water over the cashews to cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse before using. Meanwhile, prep all the other ingredients (cut cauliflower, herbs, garlic).
  • Strip the thyme leaves and rosemary leaves from the stems and roughly chop them up.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth and deglaze the pot, stirring up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Then add the soaked and drained cashews, cauliflower florets, cannellini beans, bay leaf, nutritional yeast, 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  • Add enough water (or more vegetable broth) to cover the cauliflower and beans.
  • Bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and soft.
  • Once the soup is done cooking, blend it up until thick, creamy, and smooth. You can transfer it to a stand blender (in two batches), or use an immersion blender. If you use a stand blender, remove the center cap of the blender and cover it with a dish towel to allow the steam to escape.
  • Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly (I usually add a bit more salt at this stage).
  • Transfer the soup to bowls, and before serving, zest some lemon on top, add a scattering of red pepper flakes, and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with bread, if desired.

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66 comments on Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup

  1. Lori Finnila

    5 stars
    What can I use instead of cashews? I don’t like them. Love your recipes.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Lori! We haven’t tried it in this particular recipe, but we’ve made similar recipes using Russet potatoes instead of cashews with fairly good results. Of course, the soup won’t be as satiating because potatoes are almost entirely starch. Hope this helped!

  2. Valerie Russell

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I just realized that I forgot the toppings, but I will use them on the leftovers tonight.

  3. Archana Shah

    Hello,
    Can you make this in a pressure cooker?
    Thanks

  4. Teisha

    5 stars
    Love this recipe so much! Have had it multiple times and it is so quick and easy to make!

  5. Valerie

    5 stars
    This has become one of my favorite soup. Delicious! Thank you Nisha!

  6. Janine

    5 stars
    Just read the FAQ’s and I see you can.

  7. Janine

    5 stars
    Hi,

    Second time making this and I absolutely love it! It’s incredible! Thank you for sharing. Can you freeze this? I probably will eat it all before it needs to be frozen, but was just wondering. Thank you.

  8. Courtney

    5 stars
    Absolutely lovely! I’ve made this twice now and I have a few notes I’d like to share :)
    -Made this the first time with fresh cauliflower. 2nd time used frozen. Truthfully, I didn’t notice a difference, so if your cauli is expensive or looks a bit ‘meh’, frozen is fine in my opinion.
    -I have unfortunately only used dried thyme and Rosemary. The fresh kind at the grocery store is $5/per spice and I can’t justify it (I do plan on growing my own this summer and will report back!) It definitely isn’t as good as fresh, but still does the job. This dish is delicious and I highly recommend it, even if you need to modify it like I did!

  9. Noor

    I just made this soup and it is divine!!! Thank you!!

  10. tania

    I made this last night and I can’t wait to have the leftovers tonight
    so creamy!!!

  11. Flávia

    5 stars
    Very yummy soup! And there is no much work to do! I used my stand mixer for full creaminess!

  12. Ruth

    5 stars
    This was great! You’re right, the flavor to effort ratio is crazy! Everyone loved it including my 9 month old and picky 3 year old! I followed the recipe exactly, except I reduced the nutritional yeast to 3 tablespoons (my daughter is not crazy about the taste) and used dried herbs since I didn’t have fresh. So delicious!

  13. Rani

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I didn’t have fresh herbs, so I used dried and it was still really good. I used a regular blender, and I really enjoyed the smooth texture.

  14. Caitlin

    Hi! Could you instant pot recipes also be used when I would use a slow cooker? Ofcourse it would take longer but the recipe looks delicious.

  15. Melanie

    5 stars
    I can’t believe how easy and good this soup was. The flavor garnishes at the end really did bring the soup a new dimension like you said. It will be a go-to weeknight soup from now on.

  16. Jackalyn

    5 stars
    I happened to have all the ingredients to try this recipe over the weekend, and it was so good! I’m admittedly not a big soup fan, but felt optimistic because I’ve really enjoyed Nisha’s other recipes. This was comforting, satisfying, and paired wonderfully with a hearty slice of toasted bread.

  17. Mia

    Nisha, you’ve done it again! Thank you for providing us with another easy and quick recipe. I added a little bit of corn and white pepper at the end and it was delicious!

  18. Sara

    5 stars
    I really like this recipe because it’s so easy, nutritionally well rounded, and also adaptable. I didn’t have any of the herbs on hand nor lemon zest for the finishing touches, so instead I sprinkled smoked paprika on top, which was quite lovely. I think it’d also be good with some crispy chickpeas on top. As someone with a chronic illness, this is great for low energy days and is more accessible to those of us who may have trouble chopping a lot. I will definitely make again!

  19. Sophie

    5 stars
    I completely messed up the order because I don’t have an instant pot and didn’t realize until I had finished that you had included a stovetop recipe, but it was delicious anyway. I served it with a drizzle of olive oil, some roasted pumpkin seeds, and a dash of smoked paprika, and everyone loved it. This was the third time I made one of your recipes, and we’re not even vegan!

  20. Spring Haughton

    I want to make this but with dried beans. do i just need to adjust the amount and increase the time?

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