Creamy Vegetarian Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup
Medically reviewed by
Updated on September 20, 2019
Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN
Servings: 18 (1/2 cup each)
Nutrition Highlights (per serving)
2 g fat
11 g carbs
3 g protein
It doesn't get any better than pumpkin soup—except if you add cauliflower. Both of these vegetables are jam-packed with phyto (plant) nutrients, which offer your brain and body anti-inflammatory protection against chronic diseases.
The nutrients benefit your entire body: vitamin A and C help fend off the common cold, and cauliflower's cruciferous confounds help your brain and enhance your memory. Plus, pumpkin's rich orange flesh offers tons of carotenoids, which are antioxidants that can protect your body and brain from the damage of everyday stress.
Smooth and creamy, this soup tastes like fall, with nutmeg and cloves infused into the mix. With potent aromas, these two spices offer the soup a plethora of flavors that linger on your taste buds and penetrate your senses for a sense of well-being that warms your mind and body on a cold day.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 28-ounce cans pumpkin puree
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 1/2 cups low-fat (2% fat) milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Place oil in a large stock pot on the stovetop over medium heat.
Add onions and allow to cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).
Add pumpkin and stir. Heat for 5 minutes.
Add cauliflower and broth; cover. Cook until the cauliflower begins to soften (about 15 minutes).
Stir in herbs and spices (salt through tarragon). Stir well and allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
Using an immersion (hand-held) blender, puree the mixture until smooth directly in the pot.
Once smooth, add milk and stir well. Add the lemon juice, give it a final stir, and serve hot.
Ingredient Variations and Substitutions
If you want the pumpkin flavor to stand out more, cut the cauliflower amount in half. By playing around with the ratio of pumpkin to cauliflower you can significantly change the flavor profile of this soup.
For a pretty accent, add a teaspoon of basil pesto to each bowl and give it a swirl. The healthy fats in the pesto come from olive oil and nuts and will intensify the flavors and make the carotenoids in the pumpkin more bioavailable (a.k.a. more easily absorbed in your body).
Cooking and Serving Tips
This soup is simple to make in a large batch. Refrigerate what you don't eat in an airtight container for up to three days or put in the freezer to keep for a few months.
To reheat from the refrigerator, just pour into a microwave-safe container and heat through for two to three minutes on HIGH or place into a pot on the stove over medium heat and bring to a slow simmer. Cover until heated through (about five minutes).
From the freezer, it's best to thaw the soup in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. If time is tight, place in the microwave for five minutes on HIGH, stir and then place in the microwave for another minute or until heated through.
If you don't have an immersion blender, simply pour the warm soup into a food processor in small batches and puree until smooth. Transfer it back to the stock pot and then add the milk and lemon juice.
This soup tastes best when served piping hot.
I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try.
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