Check out this recipe for spicy cauliflower chipotle soup--it's vegan and can double as nacho cheese! #vegan, #soup, #vegetarian, #healthy, #quickmeal #worldvegetarianday #healthysoup #vegansoup #meatlessmonday

Vegetarians don’t just eat vegetables all the time! Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with this easy, tasty cauliflower chipotle soup!

Check out this recipe for spicy cauliflower chipotle soup--it's vegan and can double as nacho cheese! #vegan, #soup, #vegetarian, #healthy, #quickmeal #worldvegetarianday #healthysoup  #vegansoup #meatlessmonday

On World Vegetarian Day, Learn About Healthy Cooking From a Life-Long Vegetarian!

You might wonder what a life-long vegetarian would have to say about starting a vegetarian diet. After all, I didn’t give up meat or anything drastic like that. I’ve never craved a hamburger. The only meat that’s entered my system snuck in when Taco Bell didn’t get my order right. I don’t get the ‘it tastes like chicken’ jokes.

But, I can attest that not all vegetarians eat healthfully. At one point, my motto could have been: Vegetarianism—eat sweets, not meats. I’ve both gained and lost weight eating vegetarian. Over the years, I’ve learned how to cook a balanced diet that nourishes and gives me energy.

Living in my little vegetarian world, I never thought other people might be interested in vegetarianism. But with more and more vegetarian restaurants popping up and terrible tofu appearing on restaurant menus everywhere, maybe it’s time to share what I know.

At times, I’ve wanted to visit restaurant empire headquarters and let them know how to actually cook for vegetarians. No, a vegetarian dish isn’t just vegetables. If you put bacon in it, you can’t call it ‘vegetarian.’ Vegetarian doesn’t mean bland, tasteless, and gooey.

I don’t have a degree in dietetics (but my mom does; does that count?). Yes, I know how to cook—even meat (but I’ve never tasted the meat I prepared). Most importantly, I know that lasting changes don’t happen overnight. They take time. If you have a carnivorous family, you won’t want to spring the whole ‘We’re going vegetarian’ concept to them over the dinner table.

Instead, have discussions. Do research. Find the facts. You’ll find dozens of healthy, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes here.

Tools of the Trade

First of all, let me introduce you to my kitchen. I have a few essential appliances that make preparing healthy vegetarian meals much easier. You might already have some of them in your kitchen. I want to assure you that you don’t have to go out and buy any extra-special vegetarian cooking appliances.

Check out this recipe for spicy cauliflower chipotle soup--it's vegan and can double as nacho cheese! #vegan, #soup, #vegetarian, #healthy, #quickmeal #worldvegetarianday #healthysoup  #vegansoup #meatlessmonday

Sturdy mixer with a dough hook. I’ve had a Bosch mixer for 35 years (thanks, Auntie Joyce and Uncle Dean!). We make our own bread, which has proved invaluable over the years.

High-speed blender. I like the Vita-Mix and the Blendtec, and have owned both. Vita-Mix now has a low-profile blender that fits under counters. Pedro makes amazing all-natural peanut butter in Blendtec’s Twister jar.

Instant Pot. My Instant Pot has revolutionized my cooking. I used to use an old-fashioned pressure cooker and/or a Crock-Pot. The Instant Pot is worth the investment.

Crock-Pot. See above. It works, but save up some money for an Instant Pot.

George Foreman Grill. No joke. I use it to grill tofu and vegetables.

A good set of kitchen knives. Oddly enough, I used knives I bought at Grocery Outlet for years and never knew what I was missing. I found a beautiful set on Amazon that doesn’t include steak knives. Who needs those when you’re vegetarian? It makes cooking in bulk a whole lot easier.

Thinking about eating vegetarian? Check out this series for tips and hacks to start eating healthy vegetarian meals. #vegetarian #selfcare #worldvegetarianday #meatlessmonday Click To Tweet

A Vegetarian’s Trade Secrets

Before you attempt these recipes, you’ll want to check your cupboards for the following ingredients.

Brewer’s Yeast (Nutritional Yeast)—I add this to all kinds of things, from popcorn to soups to entrees. It adds a nice, rich flavor to savory dishes. Don’t judge, but my husband likes it on his ice cream.

Cashews—this tasty nut not only adds protein to your diet, it’s packed with vitamins and minerals. In addition, cashews have anti-oxidants and compounds that help your eye health. Cashews provide the creamy base in soups—making it easy to prepare quick vegan meals. My carnivore friends swear that my oat-nut patty casserole tastes like tuna casserole. I’m not sure if I like that comparison, but I’ll go with it because they loved it even though it was vegetarian!

Pecans—they’re not just for pies! Since I have a walnut allergy, I use pecans of cashews instead. You can check out the benefits of pecans (and other nuts) here.

Walnuts—if you don’t have an allergy to them, they provide a great source of protein, omega oils, and other good stuff. They are usually cheaper than pecans or cashews, so they make a great source of inexpensive protein.

TVP and Soy Curls—TVP stands for texturized vegetable protein—a fancy name for a dehydrated soy substance that looks like meat when its rehydrated. My carnivorous students can’t tell the difference between real taco meat and vegetarian taco meat. Soy curls, if prepared correctly, can also fool my students.

If you’d like an opportunity to win cash for trying vegetarianism, The World Vegetarian Day sponsors invite you to take the Veg Pledge.

Cauliflower Chipotle Soup Recipe

Here’s a recipe for cauliflower chipotle soup that you can whiz up in twenty minutes (especially if you have a high-speed mixer). Some of my carnivores eat it like nacho cheese sauce, and others eat it like soup. Whatever the case, it’s chock-full of good-for-you ingredients.

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Spicy Cauliflower Chipotle Soup

  • Author: Anita Ojeda
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


You can throw together this quick and easy-to-make spicy cauliflower chipotle soup in twenty minutes. We serve it over our favorite tortilla chips and add chunks of avocado on top. Add less water if you’d like a vegan alternative to nacho cheese sauce.



1 head of cauliflower, washed and cut into large chunks

1/4 onion, cut into large chunks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

1/2 zucchini, cut into large chunks

3 cloves garlic, cut into large chunks

2 tsps. olive oil

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1 dried chipotle pepper

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 large dried mild red pepper


In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium while you cut the veggies into large chunks.

Add the cauliflower, onion, and garlic to the frying pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.

Put the remainder of the ingredients into a high-speed blender. Add the sauteed vegetables and blend on ‘Soup’ (if you have a Blendtec) or high (for 5 minutes or so).

Return the soup to the saucepan and add another 1 1/2 cups of water. You can adjust the water for the desired creaminess. Add more salt if needed.


If you’d like it extra spicy, add a few jalapeños or hotter dried red chilies.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Blendtec
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • Serving Size: 12 oz

Keywords: Vegan, Caulifower, Chipotle,Vegetarian,Spicy,Tortilla Soup, Nacho Cheese,

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  1. Anita, while I am not a vegetarian, although I could be as I am not much of a meat eater :), this soup sounds wonderful and one I may truly try as soon as the weather gets a little cooler. Thank you for sharing all of this information!

  2. I might need to try this! As a farmers daughter, granddaughter and niece, I think I might be disowned if I decided to go vegetarian. But this sounds yummy. And a friend just had a Pampered Chef party and I ordered myself a new set of paring knives. I figure I will easily get my moneys worth fast.

  3. Anita, this is fantastic! The recipe looks yummy but the details about how you’ve outfitted your kitchen. Invaluable! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’m soooo excited for all these recipes! We’re making the potato soup this week :). That’s an older one from Blessed but Stressed and it’s delicious!

  5. I love soups Anita & have adapted all of my previously gluten recipes to gluten free & lactose free.
    I’m just wondering if the yeast in the recipe above is gluten free? As many yeasts are grown on wheat, rye or barley. If not what would you recommend as a subsitute?
    Blessings, Jennifer

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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