vegan turmeric cauliflower soup


It’s still the first month of the New Year, so I would assume that, like me, you are watching what you eat. Last month was filled with carbo-loading, creamy dairy products (think egg nog), sugar-laden sweets and gluttonous overeating. If you are anything like me, your body needs a break. It needs a cure.

I’ve been doing some reading about how food is often the best medicine. Certain spices like turmeric and cumin actually have health benefits that accompany their taste. Studies have shown that turmeric has specific properties that could battle inflammation and even cancer. Cumin on the other hand improves digestion and is rich in iron. Other studies reveal that a plant-based diet can help decrease weight gain, which we all need after the holidays.

This soup packs a punch when it comes to health benefits and flavor. Cauliflower is simmered in a shallow bath of broth and then pureed, lending a creamy texture. Turmeric stains the broth, creating a sunny hue that brightens up any winter meal. The crunch and heat of toasted pistachios tossed in cumin along with the swirl of coconut milk and shower of oniony chives sets this recipe apart from the heavy bisques you ate over the holiday.

The best part? It comes together in just about 20 minutes, so it’s a great weeknight meal!


  • 1/4 cup hulled pistachios, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock (use chicken broth to make it non-vegan)
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (sour cream to make it non-vegan)
  • chopped fresh chives, garnish


  1. Combine pistachios, cumin, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a bowl; toss to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add pistachio mixture to skillet, and toast, stirring often, until lightly browned. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onions, thyme, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add turmeric, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  3. Add flour to pot, mix until well blended.
  4. Slowly stir in stock, stirring constantly. Add cauliflower florets to pot. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Take pot off of heat. Use an immersion blender to process the mixture until smooth. Return to medium heat. Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper (to taste).
  6. Ladle into bowls. Top with a swirl of coconut milk, pinch of pistachios and sprinkle of chives.