Total time: 35 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes
I’m always going on and on about vegan creaminess, so here I go again. Usually creamy texture is brought to us in the form of delicious fatty vehicles like cashews, tahini and avocado. Instead, here is an almost fat-free method that might not pack the decadent punch of a cashew based cream but gets you there all the same.
Cauliflower is pureed with a few other veggies and lots of basil until silky smooth. It’s actually a wonderful soup on its own, but bulked up with a pillowy gnocchi, white beans and wilted greens it becomes a meal unto itself.
I used Rising Moon Gnocchi (it’s not on their site for some reason) but there are lots of vegan gnocchis out there and if you’ve got Vegan With A Vengeance you can even make your own. I mean, you can use whatever cookbook you’d like to make your own, I’m just saying.
And keep this a secret, but the soup base on its own makes a great pasta sauce the next day, even without the basil. So if you don’t have all of these ingredients on hand right this second, definitely keep the cauliflower base in the back of your mind for the next time you’ve got a few florets impatiently starting back at you.
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cauliflower (about a pound), leaves removed, cut into florettes
4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
Big pinch dried thyme
Lots of fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, plus a little extra for garnish
8 oz frozen gnocchi, partially thawed (leave on the counter for 30 minutes or so)
1 15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 small bunch swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
Optional: I didn’t add them here, but toasted pine nuts would make a great garnish.
Preheat a 4 quart stock pot over medium heat. Saute garlic in olive oil for about a minute, being careful not to let it burn. Add cauliflower, 3 cups of broth (alert! only 3 of the cups! you’ll be adding the last cup in a bit), salt, thyme and several dashes fresh black pepper. Cover pot and bring to a boil, stirring every now and again for about 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
Vigorously mix together the final cup of broth and the arrowroot until dissolved. Lower heat a bit so that the soup is at a slow boil. Mix in the broth/arrowroot and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes until slightly thickened. stirring often. Add the basil leaves, and remove from heat. Use a submersion blender to puree until smooth*. Taste for salt and seasoning.
Return to the stove over medium heat and add the gnocchi, cover and let cook for 3 minutes or so. Add the greens and beans and cook until greens are completely wilted and beans are heated through, about 5 more minutes. Be careful as you stir not to crush the gnocchi or beans. Serve garnished with extra basil and pine nuts, if you like.
*If you don’t have a submersion blender (GET ONE!) then use a blender or food processor to puree in batches, being careful to lift the lid once in awhile so that the steam doesn’t build up and explode.
I just made this soup for the first time today it turned out so well! I love love love love it!
this looks like dinner tonight mmmm
Thanks for sharing – I posted it to my FB page as well. Feel free to check it out.
Does this make enough for dinner for two?
Made this for lunch for my omni grandmother and vegan roommate. We all loved it and I will definitely be making this one again!
I added a parsnip for blending instead of arrowroot and used whole grain twisty pasta instead of gnocchi….so good iys almost gone!
What is the texture on this supposed to be like? It seemed really thick!
It should be a thick soup, but definitely not thick like a pure puree.
This was amazing. My husband devoured it (3 helpings!). Thanks so much.
Holy crap! This was so dang good!
Made this for an extended family formal dinner, and WOW. This soup is SUPERB! C’est magnifique! We made the recipe exactly, but doubled it, and it turned out to be so delicious, we happily had it for lunch the next day. Served it with your olive oil bread baked with rosemary. Nothing like crusty rosemary olive oil bread to dip in this soup. This is the soup for dipping of all soups for dipping! And we made the gnocchi homemade from Vegan with a Vengeance! Thanks for making it possible to try my hand at so many new culinary experiences! I’m excited to cook up the rest of the gnocchi, which are now floured and in the freezer at your recommendation. Thank you again Isa, for another wonderful dinner chez nous!
Isa you say in the description
‘Cauliflower is pureed with a few other veggies and lots of basil until silky smooth.’
But I dont see any other veggies in the base?
You’re right! Did I mean that garlic was a veggie? Did I just say the wrong thing? Did I just mean “ingredients?” We will never know.
My roommate and I just made this and it is AMAZING! We used the cauliflower and collard greens (instead of chard) from our CSA, and used homemade butternut squash gnocchi. It is 10:15 at night, and it took me all day to make (making the gnocchi took a while), but we both want to just sit here and eat and eat and eat the whole pot of soup.
Also, Isa, my roommate and I have taken to calling you “The Magic Cookbook Lady,” because every single recipe of yours that we have made is perfect – no matter how much we change it or screw it up. This recipe cements that magic status. So, so, wonderful.
Thanks, I’ll take that title!
Hey Magic Cookbook Lady,
This soup rocks. It was dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing this, you rock ISA!!!
This soup is so delicious and easy to make! I have to say my submersion blender was the best $30 I’ve spent. It saves so much time and mess!
Wow, this is so easy to make, uses one pot, and is superduperdelicious! used vegan pesto that has been in the freezer since last summer and its the perfect springtime meal! i’m not telling my husband there is cauliflower! i actually used that light green one that looks like fractals. thank you!
This is awesome! Any chance you’ve got the nutritional info handy, or a guide to what I can add to my “food tracker”? I love that this info is available in all the AFR recipes since I’ve been living off that book for over a year now and never felt better. Keep up the good work!
A follow-up comment for anyone else tracking their food – I used SparkPeople.com to work out the nutritional info based on the ingredients I used, and it works out to approx. 260 cal, 3.5 g fat, 47 carbs, 10 g fibre and 13 g protein per serving.
I just made this and It was awesome! i think i will blend the swiss chard in next time and maybe throw a bunch in to give texture. HOWEVER, i made the mistake of putting too much liquid in the food processor…. explosion in my kitchen. but no worries, soup was salvaged.
Almonds on top would be ever better then pine nuts.
I just made this and it is DELICIOUS!!!! So creamy and easy to make. I used a pretty large bunch of swiss chard which turned out great. I think one could use a whole 16 oz. package of gnocchi.
i added nooch, subbed arrowroot with tapioca flour (like your baking books say) swiss chard with kale and navy beans with chickpeas.
it was really perfect for a rainy irish day like today. thank you.
I made this for my omni beau this past weekend; I had one bowl, and he ate literally the rest of the pot. I’m so glad I bought enough to make two batches! Also since he had a bike tour I bought (I know, I know, not as good as homemade but) tofurkey italian sausages to mix in his bowl. IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
Thanks Isa you’re the best!
I just made this and it was amazing! I’d been eyeing up the recipe for a while but couldn’t get my hands on any glutenfree gnocchi. Today I just made some myself, and it was super easy! Just stuck a couple of big baking potatoes in the oven for an hour and a half, and once cooled I put them through a potato ricer until I had 250 g worth of mash. I turned the mash out onto the work surface, added 60 g of gf flour mix, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and just started kneading. And it actually came together! I split the dough into four balls and rolled each into a sausage, cut off gnocchi size pieces and boiled them in salted water for about 3 minutes. Ta-da! Bring on more gnocchi recipes! 🙂
I have it finishing up on the stove right now! Instead of arrowroot I added an avocado for creaminess before blending the cauliflower, and used kale instead of swiss chard. So far, its amazing!! Can’t wait to have a big bowl-full! Thanks!
I made this for lunch this week. It was quick and easy to make. It was so cool how creamy it turned out. I used the cornstarch option. It was what I had in my pantry. Thank you for sharing all of these amazing recipes!
I didnt have Swiss chard so I used Napa cabbage, no navy beans eith so limas had to do. Still a super easy and yummy recipe, this ones a keeper. Thanks for your great recipes!
This was really delicious! Instead of adding the thickener, I added about 1/3-1/2 cup red lentils when it was cooking and then blended them up with it. Had to add an additional 1/2-1 cup broth. Yum! Love all your soups 🙂
Ouahh!! I think this is the best soup I ever made. Thank you so much!!!
Yeah, you need more than 4 cups of broth – anyone else find that?
It is a wonderful delight when delicious flavor comes together with Healthy Eating!
This soup is All that . Thank you
I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian(i’m a deserter). This soup was awesome. I’m making it for everyone asap.
I didn’t know my recipes worked on non-vegans! (just kidding)
This looks amazing! Is there a submersion blender that you would recommend?
I’ve cooked a great many internet recipes, and I gotta say, this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.
Recently became pescatarian, and after trying this, I know I’m going to be just fine. :]
Delicious! We have three vegans, one vegetarian, one mostly veg, and one carnivore in our house. Everyone just loved this soup! Thanks so much for posting.
ok but doesn’t gnocchi contain egg normally?
nevermind i need to read more thoroughly. ;D
This was AMAZING! I am all about basil in the summer (and generally cooking in season) and this was a perfect meal with some good wine. I am all about using simple ingredients (because I am a broke student) and am able to make gourmet meals thanks to this website!
Hi! I made this last night for dinner and my other half and I LOVED IT. Mine didn’t look vibrant green like yours though and was pretty thick. Any ideas what I may have done incorrectly? I tried to follow the recipe exactly! Thank you for sharing!
I’m not sure! In any case though, you can easily thin your broth out with a little veg broth or water.
This soup is delicious!! I made it for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. Admittedly, I licked the bowl clean with my finger.
Late in the game, but jesus christ, this is probably one of the best soups I have ever had.
Just cooked and ate this recipe with my son. We toasted some pine nuts for the topping and I used a purple cauliflower so the dish turned out lilac! yummee!
Ooh, lilac soup sounds fun!