November 12, 2008

Purple cauliflower soup: fast, easy ... purple

Fall weather always makes me crave creamy soups. Maybe it's because they're so comforting and I need reassurance to face the long winter ahead. Whatever the reason, my youngest son and I decided to cook together, and the menu was to be soup and sweet potato fries. Because we are eating from our CSA box, and because our farmer loves to grow purple cauliflower, that's what I used for the soup. I was more than a little skeptical about what it would look like—I'm used to creamy white cauliflower soup—but game. I cooked it in my pressure cooker, and even though I knew I was cooking a purple cauliflower, when I opened the pot I was still surprised to see deep purple liquid and lavender cauliflower pieces. I went at it with the immersion blender, and it blended into a nice shade of purple.

The next surprise came when I added fresh squeezed lime juice (we have a lot of limes from our CSA fruit share) and as the juice hit the purple, it turned a bright magenta. This was getting interesting. I tasted and seasoned and wrote down approximately what I did. We ended up with a great tasting pot of weird looking soup.

Jordan made our usual oven sweet potato fries, with the addition of spicy chipotlé powder, and they were superb. In fact, we ate them before I remembered the camera!

Creamy cauliflower soup (in the pressure cooker)
  • large head of cauliflower (white or purple), separated into medium chunks
  • medium onion, sliced
  • one stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 to 3 small white potatoes, peeled and cut up (for body)
  • water
  • one clove garlic, minced fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of either truffle oil, olive oil, chili oil or no oil
  • one lime, juiced
  • sweet white miso, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • thinly sliced green onion, parsley or other green for garnish
  1. Sauté the onion and celery in a small amount of olive oil in the pressure cooker until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the cauliflower and potato and enough water to come about 3/4 up the cauliflower.
  3. Bring up to pressure, turn the heat down and cook at pressure for 4 minutes.
  4. Run cool water over the lid to bring the pressure down. Open the pot and add the miso, lime juice and oil. Blend in the pot with an immersion blender, or in batches in a conventional blender. Stir in the garlic. Adjust seasonings. Garnish. I used baby arugula because that's what I had on hand.


  1. Great way to prepare cauliflower. I've got one sitting in my fridge just waiting to be used. I think the miso would add just the right touch here!

  2. This is absolutely beautiful! And the color change with the lime juice reminds me of science experiments with acids and bases using red (purple) cabbage.

  3. So I should probably classify this as a science experiment rather than dinner. That works for me.

  4. Neat! I love the color of it. And--maybe it's because Hong Kong is finally getting cooler--I've been wanting to eat soups, too.
    I thought the squash soup you posted awhile back looked super tasty also.

  5. PURPLE, then magenta!

    Wow, a comment all the way from Hong Kong! Kailah, do you have purple cauliflower there?

  6. Have you ever made this without a pressure cooker? If so, how would you modify the recipe?

  7. Hi, where to buy purple cauliflower in HK? thanks! :)

  8. Oh this recipe is so amazing! Thank you for sharing this. I always follow your blog, and I feel so inspired every time that I can see vegan dishes or recipe, I also follow one website which talks about vegan food and fitness,


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