You guys. You can make a creamy, non-dairy, vegan, whatever soup WITHOUT cream. Without parmesan. I know it sounds scary, but trust me. You won’t need (or miss) those flavors, as this soup is loaded with savory goodness that comes from within.
Leftover rice and vegetables? Chop some onions, celery, and carrots, soften those up in some olive oil, and throw it all together in a veggie broth for about 20 minutes. Bam. Vegetable rice soup.
Leftover quinoa? Same thing. Mirepoix it up, throw it in some broth, BAM. More soup. A bonus here is that leftover rice and quinoa and other such grains aren’t often as good the second day as they were the first. Soup fixes that.
Want to add a heartier texture to a broth-based soup? Roast a tomato or two with some garlic cloves, puree those up, and throw that in the soup. It’ll give a thin veggie broth added texture and flavor. Win, win.
Ok, let’s move on to what you came here for. Creamy, no-cream soups. I’ve experimented with cabbage and cauliflower, and ultimately I decided that a 50/50 mix of both was the best combination. Cauliflower has a light flavor that easily picks up on whatever else it’s cooked with. Roasted (green) cabbage takes on a really savory, buttery flavor that adds layers and layers of depth to this soup. The secret here is in a couple of easy details: roasted veggies and sautéed leeks.
- 1 leek, just the white and light green part, chopped
- 1 small cauliflower head
- 1 small head of green cabbage (look for something similar in size to the cauliflower; if that means half a large head of cabbage, so be it)
- vegetable broth (how much you use will depend on how thin you like your soups)
- 2 carrots, chopped into small pieces
- 4 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
- olive oil
- optional: non-dairy milk (I used a little homemade cashew milk in one iteration of this when I ran out of broth; it worked fine, but it’s not necessary)
Chop the cabbage and cauliflower into medium-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast on 400 degrees for about a half hour. You’ll know they’re good and ready when they’re starting to brown just a little, but I’d recommend swiping a couple of test bites, just to be sure.
While these are almost done or are cooling off, grab a soup or stock pot and saute carrots, celery, and leek in a little bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft.
Add about a cup of broth to your sautéed veggies on the stovetop and simmer on low while you move on to the next step.
Put cauliflower and cabbage in a blender (you may have to do this in batches; also an immersion blender would work as well), and cover with broth. Blend until smooth, adding more broth (or water) to thin as desired. Add puréed veggies to the broth with the carrots, celery, and leeks and simmer everything together an additional 10 minutes, or until hot.
Serve immediately. I’d recommend serving alongside a bunch of green veggies. I’m on a broccolini kick, so I opted for that. Leftover soup will keep in the fridge for a few days. I usually add a little bit of water and blend before reheating as it thickens up a bit in the fridge.
I’ve added puréed roasted cauliflower to other broth-based soups to give them more texture. It’s an awesome way to get a savory, creamy taste and texture without fussing over a roux and/or using cream.
I’ve tried this cauliflower-only, cabbage-only, and they’re both just as good. Other great options (try combinations and let me know your favorite!): parsnips, leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes, artichokes, sunchokes, and fennel.
I also save spinach and kale pulp from my morning juices and add about 1/8 cup or so of this to each serving of soup for added fiber. As the greens have already been juiced and are relatively dehydrated, they don’t change the flavor at all.