August 11


Monika’s Molecular Meals: Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup (Inspired By Spanish Ajo Blanco)

August 11, 2021

This Easy Vegan Cauliflower Soup Is Full Of Delicious Flavor

Monika's Molecular Meals: Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup (Inspired By Spanish Ajo Blanco)

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Ive eaten many cauliflower soups, and this vegan cauliflower soup is by far my favorite.

Not because I came up with the recipe but because its inspired by a soup thats so delicious, yet doesnt get nearly enough recognition in my opinion:

Ajo blanco.

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it. It isn’t super popular in the US…

But if youve ever had gazpacho, then youre likely familiar with the concept of a chilled soup.

Ajo blanco is like gazpacho in that its chilled, and it contains bread, garlic, and olive oil though there are a few key differences.


No tomatoes!

That’s part of why cauliflower works so well in this soup recipe. It really gets its moment to shine!

Its also amped up with almonds traditionally, and served with grapes.

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Now, Im not vegan, but I do bake a lot of bread at homewhich means any time I come across an opportunity to use leftover bread instead of throwing it out, Im going to take it.

(Especially if the opportunity is this delicious!)

And Im also completely uninspired by the hundreds of boring vegan cauliflower soups that all contain the same 5 ingredients.

Because let’s be honest… cauliflower on its own doesn’t add a ton of flavor. It’s up to the other ingredients to add to the flavor and bring out cauliflower’s good points.

Unfortunately, most vegan cauliflower soups simply don’t do that. To put it frankly… they’re boring.

This chilled cauliflower soup is different.

Its bursting with flavor from garlic, hazelnuts, and herbaceous olive oil

Because its chilled, its a nice foil to heavier meats and butter-laden sides

And did I mention theres absolutely no actual cooking involved?

Even if you dont consider yourself a good cook, Im positive you can pull this recipe off. 🙂

(Plus, everyone is going to be SUPER impressedwith this recipe… and evenmore so if you mention thatit’s inspired by a Spanish dish! 😉 )

Heres how its done:

Monika's Molecular Meals: Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup (Inspired By Spanish Ajo Blanco)

FTHs Ajo Blanco-Inspired Vegan Cauliflower Soup

Equipment Needed: Large nonreactive bowl; blender; fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth (optional) 

Recipe Time: 20 minutes, plus 5 hours minimum soaking time

Serves: 4-6


  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and chopped into florets
  • 4 cups of day-old vegan bread, preferably sourdough, crusts removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably infused with garlic & herbs (see Recipe Notes)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2-3 cups of cold water
  • Dill, extra-virgin olive oil, and sea salt for garnishing
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1) Make the soaking liquid for the bread.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and a couple large pinches of salt. 

Add the bread cubes, toss to combine (make sure each cube is fully coated). 

Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap (see Recipe Notes) and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, and up to 24.

2) Blanch the cauliflower & hazelnuts.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and dump in the cauliflower florets, along with the hazelnuts.

Boil until you can easily pierce the florets with a knife and the hazelnuts are considerably softerabout 5-7 minutes. 

Then drain, and immediately place the florets and hazelnuts in a bowl of ice water. (This is to stop the florets from cooking any further.)

3) Blend & serve!

When the bread has soaked for a sufficient amount of time, add the cubes along with the liquid to a blender.

Add the florets, hazelnuts, another large pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup of cold water, then pulse until well-combined.

Continue adding water in half-cup increments until its the consistency and flavor you wantadjust with salt as needed.

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At this point, if you want a velvety smooth soup, strain the mixture through a tamis, fine mesh sieve, or cheesecloth. If youre fine with a more rustic and hearty texture, serve as-is.

Serve at room temperature or chilled, and garnish with fresh dill or fennel, extra-virgin olive oil, and more salt.

Recipe Notes

  • Anytime I cook with extra-virgin olive oil, I like to infuse it with garlic and herbs. If you want to make it in bulk, peel and smash an entire head of garlic, then place in an oven-safe dish and cover generously with the oil. Heat at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for about half an hour, or until you see little bubbles emerging from the garlic cloves. Remove from the oven and add in your favorite herbs and spices, such as oregano, fennel, rosemary, sage, lemon zest, or red pepper flakes. Let sit for 15 minutes and strain.
  • Plastic wrap kind of annoys me, because it seems like anytime I have to use a little, Im left with so much extra to toss out. (Plus, it doesnt always adhere to the surface youre sticking it to. It seems to stick to itself best!) Instead, try buying shower caps in bulk on Amazon and use those to cover your food! I use it when I make bread, and its saved me so much time and energy.
Monika's Molecular Meals: Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup (Inspired By Spanish Ajo Blanco)

3 Easy Recipes To Make The Most Out Of Your Leftovers (And Minimize Waste)…

The one hangup about chilled soup is that you may not want to eat it for dinner every single night of the week.

I mean, YES, this soup is super delicious. But even a super delicious dish can get a bit monotonous if you try eating it 5 days in a row.

Fortunately, there are so many things you can do with the leftovers!

If you strain the solids before serving, use them to bake bread or to thicken other soups, stews, and sauces.

I used them to bake a loaf of sourdough in place of roasted potatoes last week, and the flavor was phenomenal.

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(This works especially well if youre making something creamy or cheesy like mac and cheese, or a potato and leek soup.)

The soup itself can also be used as a delicious spread on bread especially if you made the bread with the strained solids.

Finally, you can also blend the soup with cannellini or other white beans to make a delicious dip for crackers, crostini, or other vegetables.

Its a delicious way to get the most out of your efforts in the kitchen AND minimize waste!

Need More Ideas For Amazing & Healthy Vegan Recipes?

Now, dont get me wrong, Im totally on-board with going vegan and in fact, I was a vegan myself for a while in college

But you know what REALLY pisses me off about eating plant-based?

The cost of groceries.

If youre anything like me, youd think eating more plants and less animals should be cheaper

though thanks to things like expensive produce and plant-based substitutes like Earth Balance and Beyond Meat… one trip to the grocery store can REALLY add up!

This is especially true when it comes to dessert.

(Ill never forget the time I picked up a pint of this fancy vegan ice cream in Brooklyn and didnt realize until I was getting rung up that it cost NINE freaking dollars.

I almost put it back but my ice cream craving got the best of me!)

Dessert or rent? Is life even worth living without snacks??

Now theres a better way.

So instead of shelling out $$$ on premade store-bought desserts

Why not try making one of these 7 guilt-free, healthy, and most importantlyVEGAN-FRIENDLY!dessert recipes?

We organized them to fit every budget and adapt to *almost* every diet

So if youve got any gluten allergies in your family, weve got you covered! Same goes for dairy-free options and much more!)…

Plus, they’re made up of “normal” ingredients… not those special ones you have to spend an arm & a leg on at a specialty health food store.

And I can personally vouch that every single one of them is delicious and tastes as good as the “real” thing possibly better, in my opinion. 🙂

Click here to see all 7 of these guilt-free, healthy, and delicious dessert recipes!

[Note: This post was updated by Fit Trim Happy on April 26, 2020.]

Monika Knapp

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