This Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup is rich, creamy, and packs layers of deep flavor! It's comforting, and filling, and is naturally vegan and gluten-free!
if you love potato leek soup, then this version featuring cauliflower is for you!
It's wholesome, made with simple ingredients, and has a luscious and smooth texture. You'll never guess it's made without heavy cream!
I love this soup because it feels like a hug in a bowl, and is perfect for the cold winter days when you need something warm and cozy! It also freezes well and is great for meal prep.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Leeks: Pick ones that are firm and have dark green leaves and a large white top. They're the star of the show and bring so much flavor to the soup. And yes, you can substitute them with yellow onion, but I highly recommend you use leeks to get the best flavor.
- Cauliflower: One medium head of cauliflower is enough for this soup. You can use frozen cauliflower in a pinch.
- Garlic: You'll need a whole head of garlic for this soup. It may sound like a lot, but when you're roasting garlic, the flavor mellows out and it becomes sweeter and less pungent.
- Vegetable broth. We use homemade vegetable broth, but store-bought will work as well. Vegetable stock cubes can also work, but you'll need to dilute them in water.
- Yukon gold potatoes. Make sure to use Yukon Gold, I've found that starchier ones like russet potatoes can make the soup gummy. If you don't want to use potatoes, you can replace them with more cauliflower.
- Olive oil. You can use any oil of your choice.
- Fresh thyme and bay leaves: Add depth of flavor to the soup. You can use dried thyme instead, but you'll need to cut the amount in half.
- Coconut milk: Full-fat milk from a can is best, it gives the soup that creamy texture without the need for cream.
- Salt and black pepper: This is the only seasoning you need to make this cauliflower potato leek soup. The fresh thyme and the roasting of the cauliflower do all the heavy lifting here, so there's no need for more spices.
See the recipe card below for exact measurements.
How to Make Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup
Step 1: Roast cauliflower
Chop cauliflower into florets and add to a baking sheet or dish.
Toss with salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Add a garlic head in the middle of the pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
Step 2: Make soup
Heat olive oil in a large pot like a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the leeks and saute for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant.
Next, add potatoes, vegetable broth, thyme, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are soft.
When the cauliflower florets are golden brown, take them out of the oven and let them cool to handle.
Peel the roasted garlic, and add it to the pot, alongside the cauliflower. Simmer for 10 more minutes, until everything is fork-tender.
Step 3: Blend until smooth
Remove the thyme springs and bay leaves and blend the soup using an immersion blender or a regular blender.
Add more coconut milk if you need to thin it out, and more salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve with any of your favorite toppings like cheddar cheese, green onions, and fried chickpeas for crunch!
I love to serve this cauliflower potato leek soup with a side of crusty bread.
👩🏼🍳 Petra's Tips
- Use coconut milk from a can, not a carton. Using full-fat coconut milk will make the soup extra creamy and rich.
- Saute leeks until they're golden brown. This builds up a layer of flavor, so don't skip it!
- Don't separate the garlic cloves before roasting. You want to roast the whole head so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Use low-sodium vegetable broth. This way you can control the amount of salt you put in your soup and you are less likely to oversalt it.
- Wash the leeks well. Leeks are known for being notoriously dirty. Make sure to soak them in water, then wash them very well so you don't add dirt and debris to the soup.
If your soup lacks flavor, first try adding more salt and black pepper. If you want some heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
For even more flavor, try toasting some curry powder in olive oil for 1 minute, then add it to the pot and mix.
You can thicken it by using cornstarch or flour slurry. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour with 4 tablespoons of cold water. Add to the pot and mix well.
Make sure that the potatoes are cut into 1-inch pieces. Smaller than that, and they will release too much starch into the soup, making it gummy.
Also, don't over-blend the soup. Blend it just until there are no big chunks visible, and thin it out with vegetable broth if needed
This recipe freezes perfectly! Once it's cooled down, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months (and sometimes longer).
- Dutch oven: You'll need a heavy-bottom soup pot to make this recipe. Dutch ovens allow for better browning of the aromatics, and they also distribute and retain the heat well. You can even put them in the oven, which makes them handy when making something like a pot pie or a braised stew.
- Immersion blender OR high-speed blender: Both of those can work for blending the soup. If using a high-speed blender, make sure to leave the hole in the lid open so steam can escape. Trapped steam is dangerous and your blender can explode if the hole is closed.
If you don't have either of those for blending, you can mash the soup using a potato masher. This will leave you with some texture, which will change the end result, so keep that in mind.
- Without roasting the cauliflower: If you can't be bothered to roast the cauliflower and the garlic, you can still make this soup! Add the garlic in the last minute of sauteeing the leeks, and boil the cauliflower with the potatoes.
- Chunky: Not into creamy soups? You can leave it chunky by not blending it, or blend only half of the soup.
- No coconut milk: If you don't want to use coconut milk, leave it out or replace it with cashew cream.
- More fresh herbs: Chives, parsley, or dill will be delicious here.
- Without potatoes: Either replace them with more cauliflower or substitute them for sweet potatoes, parsnips, or another vegetable. You can also substitute them with a can or two of beans, I learned this trick while making my dairy-free potato leek soup.
Let cauliflower potato leek soup cool to room temperature first. Then, transfer to an airtight container and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, pour soup into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat, until warmed through. Add a splash of vegetable broth if you need to thin it out.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
Creamy Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup Recipe
- 1 medium cauliflower head (chopped into florets, about 5 cups)
- 1 whole head of garlic (with the bottom cut off)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 medium leeks, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 3 springs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk canned, (or more if desired)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or more if needed)
Roast the cauliflower and garlic
- Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Add cauliflower florets to a baking dish. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Add the garlic head in the middle of the tray, with the cut side up.1 medium cauliflower head, 1 whole head of garlic, 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided, 1 teaspoon salt, divided, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden and the garlic cloves are soft.
Make the soup
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven. Add leeks and season with a generous pinch of teaspoon salt, and sauté for 5-6 minutes.2 medium leeks, sliced, 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Next, add potatoes, vegetable broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.2 large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, 3 springs fresh thyme, 4 cups vegetable broth, 2 bay leaves
- Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the pot, alongside the roasted cauliflower. Continue simmering for 10 more minutes to ensure that all of the veggies are cooked through.
- Remove the thyme. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy and smooth. (If are using a standard blender it's important to let the soup cool a bit before transferring it. Don't fill the jar more than halfway and make sure that you leave the hole in the lid open so that heat can escape).
- Add coconut milk, and any additional water or vegetable broth to the soup if you need to thin it out. Taste and adjust the flavor if needed, adding more salt for saltiness, black pepper to taste, or more coconut milk if you like it creamier. Serve!1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- Fridge: Let soup cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container with a lid. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Let soup cool to room temperature. Transfer to a freezer-safe container with a lid. Freeze for up to 6 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- Stovetop: Add soup to a pot and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until warm. Add a splash of water if it's too thick.
- Microwave: Transfer soup to a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with third-party calculations without including the optional ingredients.