The BEST Cauliflower Soup Recipe with Red Lentils and Carrots is delicious and so satisfying. Partially blended for the perfect texture and a creamy vegan cauliflower soup. A one pot, simple and nourishing plant based meal that is perfect for warming you on a cold day.
This post has been updated from the original that was posted on September 20, 2016.
This is my favorite vegan cauliflower soup recipe. It’s easy and delicious, loaded with chunks of cauliflower and carrots and creamy red lentils. This soup is flavorful, nutritious, warm and comforting, exactly what you’re looking for!
This partially pureed lentil and cauliflower soup is all about well rounded nutrition that puts cravings on the back burner and lets your energy soar….but not at the sacrifice of great taste! This is Easy Cauliflower Soup is one that EVERYONE in my family adores…score a big one!!! All hands up for a one pot vegan meal that EVERYONE will eat!
I had an outdoor get together with friends and a fire pit….put a double batch of this in the crockpot, plugged in outside. And guess what? Nothing was left…that’s right. Even non-family calls this THE Best Cauliflower Soup Recipe….and you will too!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- CAULIFLOWER: Low in calories and carbs, and high in vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Use fresh or frozen florets to provide bulk. Vegan creamy cauliflower soup with no cream…just cauliflower that’s been partially pureed.
- RED LENTILS: Awesome plant based source of protein, that are also rich in fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and potassium. They’re awesome for this pureed lentil soup since they cook up more quickly than other types of lentils and fall apart easily providing texture and naturally thicken the soup.
- CARROTS: I used some orange and some purple…just to add color to this soup, but you can use whatever color carrots you have. Substitute parsnips if you don’t have any carrots.
- CELERY: Another nutrient dense ingredient…meaning it’s low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients. Celery also helps with constipation, fights inflammation and reduces stress hormones. If you need a substitution, use a small bulb of fennel.
- ONIONS: White, yellow or sweet vidalia onions will all work well. You could also use leeks, scallions or even shallots in a pinch.
- GARLIC: Garlic isn’t just a flavor builder, it also helps fight inflammation, build immunity and is loaded with antioxidants. Let it sit for 10 minutes after mincing to release the anti-bacterial components.
- SPICES: Cumin and coriander offer flavor, turmeric offers some additional anti-inflammatory benefits and salt and pepper are added for taste. Simple, yet effective.
- VEGGIE BROTH: Here’s my EASY recipe for Veggie Stock. It is worth making it yourself to avoid unnecessary sodium and inferior quality oils. I freeze mine in quart mason jars, or 1 cup cubes so I always have the amount I need at my fingertips. If you buy already made broth, be sure to read the ingredient label to know what you’re getting. Look for a brand with the least amount of sodium, processed oil and the most wholesome, real ingredients you can find. s
Why you will love this soup
- The flavor is fabulous, the texture is varied…it’s interesting in all the right ways.
- Easy to make with wholesome, nutritious ingredients.
- Plant based protein from the red lentils makes this a complete meal.
- Budget friendly!
- Creamy Vegan Soup….with no coconut, dairy or cashews.
- One-pot, easy clean up.
- Freezes beautifully and great for meal prep.
How to make Healthy Cauliflower Soup:
Get your ingredients ready before you begin. Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, mince the garlic. Rinse and drain the red lentils. Measure the spices. Cut cauliflower into florets.
Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Saute the diced onions in 1 Tablespoon veggie broth. If the pan becomes dry before the onions become soft and clear, add another Tablespoon broth, or 1 Tablespoon water. You can also saute in olive oil, if you prefer.
Next, add in the carrots, celery, cumin, coriander, turmeric salt and pepper. Stir while veggies soften and the spices begin to open up.
Stir in the rinsed lentils and garlic. Cook stirring as the garlic becomes aromatic and the lentils become coated with the spices. Then cover with veggie broth and bring to a boil.
Stir in the cauliflower florets. If you’re using frozen, you can stir in directly from freezer, no need to defrost. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered for 40 minutes. Sir occasionally to keep lentils from sticking to bottom.
Soup is done when all the veggies are tender. Use an immersion blender to puree some, to create a creamy cauliflower and red lentil soup base. Leave some of the cauliflower and carrots whole, if desired. If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree in batches using your blender or food processor.
Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle on additional salt and pepper as desired and garnish with some fresh parsley.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- A mix of creamy and chunky is my favorite way to enjoy this soup. I use my immersion blender to puree just some, until the base is thickened, but some pieces of veggies remain.
- Just 5 minutes of patience to slowly build flavor with the onions, chopped veggies, spices and garlic will be greatly rewarded in the finished product.
- Freeze in individual serving sizes…you’ll be so thankful to have an easy lunch when you need it.
- Speaking of lunch….put some in a thermos and take it to work or school.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- TO SERVE: Serve warm with crusty bread, or crackers. A simple green salad or arugula avocado salad will go well with this soup.
- TO PREP AHEAD: Chop onions, carrots, celery and cauliflower up to 2 days in advance. Store chopped veggies in storage containers in the fridge. Make soup when it’s convenient for you and reheat when ready to serve.
- TO STORE: Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for 3 months.
- TO FREEZE: Keep in mind, soup will expand when it freezes so leave a bit of space in your container. Use freezer safe zip top bags or wide mouth mason jars.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat gently over medium heat on the stovetop, until heated through.
More Healthy Cauliflower Recipes
Cauliflower Red Lentil Soup FAQs
Yes! Red lentils contain protein, fiber, vitamins and nutrients for a low cost of calories. When blended into soup, they provide bulk and creaminess too.
No. Red lentils should be rinsed, picked over and drained before adding to soup, but they do not need to be soaked.
Start your soup with plenty of aromatics (onions, garlic) and spices (cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, sea salt) to build flavor as they’re cooked. Also use a vegetable broth that is tasty! I prefer homemade vegetable broth that has flavor from vegetables rather than oils or sodium. If you’ve already made a cauliflower soup and it is bland, try adding some white pepper, garlic powder, or toasted cumin.
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Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Red Lentils
- 1 medium sized onion (approx 2 cups diced)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground corriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 large carrots approx. 2 cups sliced
- 3 celery stalks approx. 1 cup chopped
- 1 ¼ cups dried red lentils rinsed and drained
- 8 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 small head cauliflower*
- Prepare veggies: dice onion, mince garlic, slice carrots and celery and cut cauliflower into florets.
- Heat soup pot over medium heat. Swirl in 1 Tablespoon water or veggie broth and saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. If pan gets too dry, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time, as needed.
- Stir in spices, celery and carrots. Cook for another 4 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Stir in garlic and lentils and continue stirring for one minute, making sure garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add 8 cups of stock and bring to a low boil. Add cauliflower and then reduce to simmer and cook uncovered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. The lentils and cauliflower will soak up much of the liquid. Monitor to be sure all veggies are covered in stock, adding more as needed. (If liquid runs low and you don't have any more stock, add in water, as needed).
- Use an immersion blender to partially puree soup. Leave a few carrots and cauliflower florets in tact for added texture.
- Taste for seasoning, adding more S + P as needed. If you like a more spicy soup, ½ teaspoon white pepper is a good choice. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
- Soup will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for 3 months.