Creamy Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Chowder

This vegan creamy cauliflower and sweet potato chowder is cozy and vibrant at the same time. It’s a naturally gluten-free and satiating stew that is flavoured with dried thyme, garlic, smoked paprika, grainy mustard, miso, and lemon. Roasting the cauliflower brings an extra dimension of deep flavour.

An overhead shot of a creamy orange vegetable stew in a white bowl with an antique spoon sticking out. The stew is a cauliflower and sweet potato chowder and is garnished with finely minced chives.
An overhead shot of a creamy orange stew with sweet potatoes and cauliflower in a white, Dutch oven-style pot. The stew is garnished with chopped chives.
A slight 3/4 angle image of ingredients used in a vegan cauliflower and sweet potato chowder.
An up close, overhead shot of some browned, roasted cauliflower.
A dark kitchen scene shows a countertop and a gas stove with a Dutch oven-style pot on top. Against the subway tile background, we see bottles of cooking oil, a pepper grinder, and a carafe of salt. There is also a vase with a variety of cooking utensils sticking out.

I might be taking some liberties calling this a chowder, but it is a thick and creamy soup with large chunks of veg. In our version here, sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower are the stars with a supporting cast of serious flavour

The soup itself is relatively simple to prepare, but we add the following to the base for that extra sparkle: dried thyme and tarragon, miso, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, grainy mustard, miso, and lemon. I can admit that this recipe looks like a ton of ingredients! But half of them are pantry items for me, and if you’ve cooked from this site before, I have a feeling you might have them on hand too. On top of all of that, I also take the extra step to pre-roast the cauliflower so that we get the crucial flavour bump of caramelization. All the extra steps are worth it :)

If you’ve made some of the vegan soup recipes on my site before, you know that puréing a portion of the finished soup for a creamy texture is one of my favourite party tricks! We utilize that technique here along with a boost of non-dairy creamer. The finishing texture is so lush, but still vibrant and 100% feel-good.

Some tips for making this Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Chowder:

  • If you’re looking to simplify your life, you can skip the roasting step with the cauliflower. Just add the florets in with the sweet potatoes. You won’t get that same depth of flavour, but it will still be tasty.
  • If you have liquid smoke on hand, adding a few drops at the end really enhances the smoky vibes! Not 100% necessary, but enjoyable if you love the smoke like me.
  • I used an unsweetened oat-based creamer as my “cream.” Any unsweetened and rich non-dairy milk is good here. If you like, you can make your own cashew-based cream by blending ⅓ cup soaked (for at least 2 hours) raw cashews and 1 cup of water until completely smooth.
  • For an extra protein and fiber boost, you could add up to 1 cup of cooked beans/legumes of your choice here after the pureeing step. It will make the soup even thicker, so a few extra splashes of vegetable stock may be called for if you do this.
  • Similar to the bean addition, you could add up to 2 cups of chopped kale or chard for a little greens boost. Just cook until wilted at the very end.

Fans of this cauliflower and sweet potato chowder might also love my Dreamy Winter Vegetable Chowder with Crispy Cabbage, this Creamy Vegan Mushroom Stew with Farro & Kale, and my Lemony Chickpea Soup with Spinach & Potatoes.

An up close shot of a non-dairy "cream" being poured into a pot with a soup-y sweet potato mixture inside.
An overhead image of a puréed portion of soup being poured back into a pot with whole components of the soup.
An up close, overhead shot of a creamy orange stew with sweet potatoes and cauliflower. The stew is garnished with chopped chives.
An overhead shot of a creamy orange vegetable stew in a white bowl with an antique spoon sticking out. The stew is a cauliflower and sweet potato chowder and is garnished with finely minced chives. A plate with toasted bread slices is seen nearby.
An overhead shot of a creamy orange vegetable stew in a white bowl with an antique spoon sticking out. The stew is a cauliflower and sweet potato chowder and is garnished with finely minced chives.
Print Recipe
5 from 28 votes

Creamy Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Chowder

This vegan creamy cauliflower and sweet potato chowder is cozy and vibrant at the same time. It's a naturally gluten-free and satiating stew that is flavoured with dried thyme, garlic, smoked paprika, grainy mustard, miso, and lemon. Roasting the cauliflower brings an extra dimension of deep flavour.
PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME1 hr 20 mins
TOTAL TIME1 hr 45 mins
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Laura Wright

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 cups small cauliflower florets (from ½ of a medium head of cauliflower)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, small dice (about ½ cup diced shallots)
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups chopped sweet potato)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy creamer (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon light miso
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • chopped chives, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place all of the cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic powder and ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika. Toss to coat and roast in the oven until golden brown on the edges and tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed, Dutch oven-style pot over medium heat. Pour in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl it around. Add the shallots to the pot and sauté until very soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To the pot, add the following: the remaining ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika, garlic, capers, dried thyme, tarragon, sweet paprika, ground cumin, cayenne, and nutritional yeast. Keep stirring and sautéing for another minute, or until the garlic is very fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and mustard to the pot and sauté for another minute or so, just to get the raw tin-like flavour out of the tomato paste.
  • Add the sweet potatoes to the pot and stir to coat. Season liberally with salt and pepper again.
  • Add the vegetable stock and non-dairy creamer to the pot and stir. Place a lid on top so that it's partially covering the pot. bring the chowder to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the pieces of sweet potato are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Check in on the pot here and there and stir up the chowder.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are tender, carefully ladle about 1/3 of the chowder into an upright blender. Add 1/3 of the roasted cauliflower to the blender as well. Blend this mixture until completely smooth and add it back into the pot. Add the remaining roasted cauliflower back into the pot as well. Stir it up!
  • Bring the finished chowder to a boil and stir in the miso, lemon juice, and liquid smoke (if using). Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Garnish the chowder with chopped chives and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you’re looking to simplify your life, you can skip the roasting step with the cauliflower. Just add the florets in with the sweet potatoes. You won’t get that same depth of flavour, but it will still be tasty.
  • If you have liquid smoke on hand, adding a few drops at the end really enhances the smoky vibes! Not 100% necessary, but enjoyable if you love the smoke like me.
  • I used an unsweetened oat-based creamer as my “cream.” Any unsweetened and rich non-dairy milk is good here. If you like, you can make your own cashew cream by blending ⅓ cup soaked (for at least 2 hours) raw cashews and 1 cup of water until completely smooth.
  • For an extra protein and fiber boost, you could add up to 1 cup of cooked beans/legumes of your choice here after the pureeing step. It will make the soup even thicker, so a few extra splashes of vegetable stock may be called for if you do this.
  • Similar to the bean addition, you could add up to 2 cups of chopped kale or chard for a little greens boost. Just cook until wilted at the very end.
  • You can make this soup on a meal prep day and keep it sealed in the fridge for up to 5 days. This soup is also freezer-friendly!
An 3/4 angle shot of a creamy orange vegetable stew in a white bowl with an antique spoon sticking out. The stew is a cauliflower and sweet potato chowder and is garnished with finely minced chives.
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