April 26, 2008

Creamy cauliflower-carrot soup

It's been a rough week for various reasons I won't go into, and I've been eating weird combinations of leftovers instead of cooking. Finally, on Friday night, I needed to cook something. I'm the only one in the house right now (counting humans) as my husband is lecturing and attending a conference in Brazil, so cooking a lot of food was not really reasonable. After such a long and tiring week, I also needed something easy to prepare — and easy to clean up. I decided to make a creamy cauliflower and carrot soup in the pressure cooker. I used to make a similar soup for the kids when I was too tired or short on time to prepare a larger meal. I could give them a nourishing vegetable soup and maybe peanut butter or hummus sandwiches and they would be perfectly happy. In fact, on many occasions when I was searching for something to make for dinner, one of the kids would ask for this soup! It was a family favorite. (When I made it for the kids, I didn't load in the pepper.) I also use this method for similar soups such as broccoli, winter squash or carrot, and sometimes I add celeriac or parsnips to one of the vegetables to add depth to the flavor. Carrot and celeriac is a really good combination, and adding grated fresh ginger after the soup is blended makes it special.

This soup, though simple to make, has a lush and velvety texture that belies its humble beginnings. And the color, a gorgeous shade of pale orange, is comfort for the eyes. You can intensify the flavor with grated fresh ginger, or other herbs and spices of your choice, but the plain version, with fresh dill, was just what I was looking for. I accompanied the soup with avocado spread on crackers.

Creamy cauliflower and carrot soup
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into large pieces
  • 2 very large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 quart water (or enough to come just to the top of the vegetables)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Sucanot or sweetener of your choice
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh dill, parsley or cilantro
  1. Place veggies and water in cooker and bring to pressure.
  2. Turn heat down a little and cook five minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and wait for pressure to come down.
  4. With an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot. If you don't have an immersion blender, blend the soup in two batches in a regular blender. Blend until completely smooth and velvety. If too thick, thin with low-sodium vegetable stock.
  5. Add lemon, sweetener, salt and pepper. Check seasonings. Garnish generously with dill and serve.
note: Substitute low-sodium vegetable broth for some or all of the water, for extra flavor.


  1. This sounds like a perfect comfort soup. . . sorry to hear you've being having a rough time!

  2. "Creamy" and "comfort" do seem to be words that go well together.

  3. I thought I would use this with carrots from the garden, and some leftover cauliflower, but it came out rather bland -- not enough carrot flavor. I'm pretty sure it's because I had too much cauliflower. Next time you make this soup, can you please weigh the cauliflower and the carrots and add the weights to the recipe? I'd like to try this again. When I was blending the mixture, it was really delicious until I added the second batch of blended liquid, which had alot more cauliflower than the first batch.

  4. jarsofwater,
    Sorry your soup turned out bland, and I appreciate your wanting to have ingredients as weights. When I made this soup, the carrots I used were very large and sweet so their flavor was intense. Also, I used a pressure cooker which intensifies flavors. It's possible that you may prefer more seasonings than I do, and need to add more salt, or perhaps the vegetable quantity was less and you needed less water. I'm going to revise the recipe a little to include more adjustments to the ingredients.

  5. Love this soup idea, Andrea! Cauliflower is one of my favorites, and this looks like a great way to enjoy it!

    1. I haven't made this in a long time — thanks for the reminder!


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