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This Instant Pot Cauliflower Leek Soup is smooth, creamy, and flavorful, and comes together in minutes with just a handful of ingredients.
The humble cauliflower is arguably the trendiest vegetable right now. It’s been made into pizza crust, gnocchi, pretzels, and regularly used as a substitute for rice and mashed potatoes. These days, cauliflower can be anything you want it to be! But for this recipe, we’re keeping it simple and going back to cauliflower’s roots.
Here, cauliflower’s mild flavor and creamy consistency really shine, especially when accompanied by the sweet, mellow onion flavor of the leeks. This soup also happens to be totally dairy-free. We opted for coconut milk to add just a bit of creaminess because the pureed cauliflower does most of the heavy lifting for you. A little bit of lemon juice and thyme at the end ties everything together. This soup is so satisfying, easy to make, and it cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot. This is one you’ll want to make again and again this winter!
What are leeks?
Leeks look a lot like large green onions and are in the same family. They have a mild onion flavor and are especially tasty in soups like this one. Typically, you only eat the white and light green parts of the leek, though the dark green parts are great to save for making stock.
How do you clean leeks?
One thing to know before using leeks is that they are notoriously dirty – dirt and sand hide in between the layers, so you want to make sure you really clean them well! First, you’ll remove the inedible dark green parts of the leek, then you’ll slice it in half, leaving the root intact. Then, either fill up your sink or a large bowl with water and place the leeks inside. Swirl them around until you see some of the dirt start to fall out, then remove from the bowl and run them under the faucet. After this, they’re ready to chop!
How to Make Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup
The process of making this cauliflower soup couldn’t be easier!
- Saute the leeks and garlic. First, you’ll get the soup started by sauteing the leeks using the ‘Saute’ function of your Instant Pot. Simply melt a little bit of butter, add the leeks, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the leeks are softened. Then, add 3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add the broth and cauliflower. Next, pour in 5 cups of broth, whisking to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, then add in the cauliflower florets, thyme, and salt.
- Cook for 5 minutes. Once your ingredients are in the pot, place the lid on top, seal the pot, and set it to cook for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, you can either wait for the pressure to release naturally, or you can do a quick release.
- Blend the soup. Next, you’ll blend the soup either by transferring to a high-powered blender (you’ll need to do this in 2 batches) or by using an immersion blender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. To finish off the soup, stir in coconut milk and lemon juice, then taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
This creamy cauliflower soup would be great served alongside a sandwich, grilled cheese, or a green salad, or you could even add shredded chicken or bacon to it to make it a more filling main dish. We hope you love this soup as much as we do!
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- 1 tablespoon butter or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks cleaned and roughly chopped, white and light green parts only
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium heads of cauliflower chopped into florets (or about 7 cups of florets)
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice about 1 lemon
- Set the Instant Pot to ‘saute’ mode and add the butter to the pot. Once melted, add the leeks to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft and wilted. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant, then turn off the pot.
- Add the chicken stock to the pot and scrape the browned bits off the bottom, then add the cauliflower, thyme, and salt. Seal the pot then hit the ‘manual’ button and set to cook for 5 minutes.
- After the timer goes off, release the pressure from the pot. Either use your immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot, or add it to a blender, working in batches if needed, and blend until smooth.
- Add the blended soup back to the pot and stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed, then serve.