Creamy Cauliflower and Veggie Chowder

Hardy. Creamy. Savory and DELICIOUS. Dairy and gluten free? Full of veggies? Even better. Did I say CREAMY? Its pretty darn creamy.

This soup is a new family favorite in our house. It is simple to make, full of vegetables and hits that warm savory spot.

The first time I made it I used less vegetables, and thought it could use some mushrooms to sort of give it that “clam chowder” flavor. I decided to add some diced potatoes which totally transformed it. The more veggies the better with this one!

Nutritional Yeast has come to the rescue quite a bit, since being dairy free. It has the ability to give recipes a nice “cheesy” flavor. It is NOT cheese, nothing can replace that. But with the *right* recipes, it can help dishes taste pretty darn close. This one included.

But not all nutritional yeast is made equal, so be careful. Most of the store bought brands (even that good ol’ Braggs) are fortified and contain folic acid, which are synthetic vitamins. Our bodies aren’t in to anything synthetic. Seems like common sense almost? Why would I want to be anything fake inside of my body? I imagine it would make it pretty angry. Not to mention a good deal of the population cannot process folic acid very well.

So when searching for a good Nutritional Yeast, make sure it is non-fortified. This one tastes pretty good and is what I used for this recipe.

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Creamy Cauliflower and Veggie Chowder
(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

INGREDIENTS
1 SMALL YELLOW ONION
4 CLOVES OF GARLIC
2 CUPS OF MUSHROOMS
1 CUBED RUSSET POTATO
1/2 CUP OF SHREDDED CARROT
1 CUP OF BROCCOLI (FRESH OR FROZEN)
1 PACKAGE OF FROZEN CAULIFLOWER  (16 OZ)
4 CUPS OF WATER
1 CUP OF VEGETABLE BROTH
1 CUP ALMOND MILK
1 CUP SOAKED CASHEWS
1/2 CUP OF NUTRITIONAL YEAST
1 TBSP ARROWROOT POWDER
1/2 TSP CHILI POWDER
1/2 TSP ONION POWDER
1/2 TSP SALT
OPTIONAL: TOP WITH RED PEPPER FLAKES, PEPPER AND/OR SOME NUTRITIONAL YEAST
(ORGANIC INGREDIENTS ARE ALWAYS BEST, REMEMBER, READ HERE TO SEE WHY)
DIRECTIONS:
Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a large pot with some oil of your choice (I used about 2 tsp of grapeseed), over medium heat. While those are sautéing, add the cauliflower and water to your high powered blender (hello, Vitamix) and blend on high until smooth. Once the cauliflower mixture is smooth, pour into the pot. Next you will add the cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast in the Vitamix, blend on high until smooth. Then add the cashew mix into the pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, broth and seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, letting it cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Make sure to stir often. Serve and enjoy! There may not be any left over!

Broccoli: Broccoli is known for being healthy, right? But HOW healthy? It’s a pretty darn impressive cruciferous vegetable and should be eaten regularly. It has different factors that are anti-inflammatory as well as known to reduce oxidative stress from cancer and systemic stress. It has a healthy dose of omega-3 which is vital to keep inflammation in check. It also has antioxidant benefits, can improve detoxification, provide cardiovascular support, and even digestive support.