Cream of Celery Soup

Plant-Based Cream of Celery Soup

Cream of Celery Soup

Craig Dugas
This is one of my favorite plant-based soups of ALL TIME. It's a bit of a plant-based showoff as it's decadent, indulgent, and nutritious. It's very nutritious! The original recipe (of which my adjustments are based) comes from Blissful Basil, but it looks like they're no longer adding recipes, which is a bummer!).
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, British, European, International
Servings 4


  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (about 400g or 1/2 large head, trimmed)
  • 8 large celery stalks medium-thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow or white onion or 1 ½ medium onion, diced (dicing them somewhat petite is my preference!)
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp vegan chicken bouillon
  • 4 ½ cups water divided into 3 cups and 1 ½ cups
  • cup raw cashews soaked
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half one 1 large lemon)
  • ½ tsp sea salt plus more to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 7 to 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.
  • While the cauliflower boils, heat a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the celery, onion, thyme, and rosemary. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about another minute or two.
  • Add vegan chicken-style bouillon powder and 3 cups of water, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the drained boiled cauliflower to a high-speed blender along with 1.5 cups water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until completely smooth and creamy. Don't finish salting here, wait until it's stirred into the overall soup.
  • Add the cauliflower mixture to the pot of soup and stir to incorporate. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer for just 5 to 8 minutes, to slightly thicken and reduce. Taste and season with black pepper (20+ cranks or a couple of generous pinches) and more sea salt if desired. If you have extra lemon juice, you can also add one more splash for vibrancy.
  • Serve warm.


Adjusted notes from the original recipe:

Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for longer.
If the soup is thicker than desired after refrigerating and reheating, simply whisk in a bit more water and adjust seasonings as needed.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Plant-Based Cream of Celery Soup
Plant-Based Cream of Celery Soup

Vegan Cream of Celery Soup

This is one of my favorite plant-based soups of ALL TIME. It’s a bit of a plant-based showoff as it’s decadent, indulgent, and nutritious. Actually, it’s very nutritious! It’s so veggie-riffic that it’s nearly a creamy stew!

The luscious factor comes from 2/3 cup cashews, but spread throughout the giant pot of soup it’s quite reasonable IMHO. If any hardcore McDougallers want to try cannellini beans and let me know how it is (or even 50/50 cashew/cannellini), that would be awesome 😊. It’s got over half a head of cauliflower in there, and a huge handful of celery ribs, and the usual suspects: onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme, etc.

The original recipe is from I want to thank the original recipe author, Ashley, and I decided to include as many details here as possible because it’s indicated on their homepage they plan to keep the recipes around for now but overall are shifting directions to another focus. So, if for no other reason than preservation, if you want to make the OG recipe, it uses 3 cups veggie broth instead of the “3 cups water + 1 tbsp vegan chicken-style bouillon” that I use, and the original starts at 3x the amount of salt.

My Preferences / Adjustments

Adjustment 1: Replace Vegetable Stock with Water + Vegan Chicken Bouillon

As I just mentioned, I typically sub vegetable broth with water plus the equivalent homemade vegan chicken-style bouillon. I’ve tried a zillion recipes, and the best by far is a vegan chicken bouillon powder recipe from Ve Eat Cook Bake.

Adjustment 2: Slash the Salt + An Extra Splash of Lemon Juice

Next, I’m much more flexible in my sodium intake these days, mostly thanks to a lot of fresh veggie consumption. My policy is to salt until I enjoy the dish, not just blindly salting to a recipe’s default amount. I absolutely no longer “salt at every stage of cooking” as used to be recommended by the “pros”. But, I always remember that using too little salt is a lost cause because I either won’t eat the leftovers or I will eat it and won’t be satisfied so I’ll just eat MORE of something else. It was a balancing act until I mostly got the hang of it!

That said, I don’t think there’s a whole heck of a lot of difference between saltiness coming from 3/4 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp (or more) of salt in a big batch of soup like this, so if you enjoy 1/2 tsp or 3/4 tsp in the batch, start there! If you’re just starting to reduce your salt, you might think I’m crazy, don’t rush it, but be consistent in your long-term goals to reduce a bit here & there and before you know it you’ll have a wider range of enjoyment as well.

Preference 1: Use Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower

I’ve made this with fresh cauliflower and I’ve made it with frozen cauliflower. There’s something special about using a relatively fresh head of cauliflower. Whether it’s texture or taste or a hint of flavor that’s lost in freezing, I don’t know, but they both work (I’ve tried!) and if given the choice I would pick fresh but would not hesitate to make again with frozen.

Preference 2: Medium-Thin Celery Slices

The original recipe calls for thinly sliced celery, and of course that’s open to interpretation, but when I hear thin, I go THIN. So, I would recommend not thick sliced, but more of a medium-thin. Slice to your preference, but I’m afraid that if you sliced too thinly you’d lose out on the tender-crisp goal.

Thickening The Soup & A Word of Caution

Thickening The Soup

The original recipe says you can thicken this soup even further by adding 1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder to the ingredients in the blender. I have no idea why you’d do that unless you want it SUPER thick. I find the original thickness quite enjoyable and perfectly thick. It thickens in the refrigerator even more, and if you add arrowroot to the original, it might be good same day but I would bet that you would absolutely have to add water when reheating.

A Word of Caution

When I first made this recipe years ago, I liked it so much, and I was in awe of how low the ‘calorie count’ already was, I kept tweaking and adjusting and remaking variations. They were good, but it’s already so optimized (in my opinion) that the diminished results of shaving off a few more cashews or adding some other thickener is just going to end up with you eating more of other foods. Again, that was my experience, and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make this or any other recipe your own way, but keep in mind that over-optimizing for nutrition sometimes pulls us just slightly too far from actually enjoying our foods.

End on a High Note!

But, let’s bring it back around. This is a fantastic creamy soup!

  • If you’re calorie-conscious: it’s like 870 calories for the entire batch of soup* (I’ll include back-of-the-napkin math on that below).
  • If you’re a tinkerer, it’s adaptable: you can add even more veg or sprinkle seasoning veggies on top.
  • It’s a haven for oyster crackers, but they’re not necessary at all.
  • If you’re cooking for individuals with mixed dietary preferences, it checks nearly every box (except for nut free).

*Back-of-the-Napkin Math

  1. 4 cups fresh cauliflower florets:
    • 1 cup of cauliflower has approximately 27 calories.
    • Total: 4 cups × 25 calories/cup = 108 calories
  2. 8 large celery stalks, thinly sliced:
    • 1 large stalk of celery has about 10 calories.
    • Total: 8 stalks × 10 calories/stalk = 80 calories
  3. 1 large yellow or white onion (or 1 ½ medium onions), diced:
    • 1 medium onion has about 44 calories.
    • Total: Let’s assume 1 ½ medium onions = 66 calories
  4. ½ tsp dried thyme:
    • Negligible calories, approximately 2 calories.
  5. ½ tsp dried rosemary:
    • Negligible calories, approximately 2 calories.
  6. 3 cloves of garlic, minced:
    • 1 clove of garlic has about 4 calories.
    • Total: 3 cloves × 4 calories/clove = 12 calories
  7. 1 tbsp vegan chicken bouillon:
    • Approximately 30 calories (this can vary based on the brand).
  8. 4 ½ cups water:
    • Water has no calories.
  9. ⅔ cup raw cashews, soaked:
    • 1 cup of raw cashews has about 719 calories.
    • Total: (⅔) × 719 calories = approximately 480 calories
  10. ¼ cup nutritional yeast:
    • Approximately 80 calories (this can vary based on the brand).
  11. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice:
    • About 8 calories.
  12. ½ tsp sea salt:
    • Salt has no calories.
  13. Ground black pepper to taste:
    • Negligible calories, approximately 2 calories.

Adding these up, the total estimated calorie count for the entire recipe is:

108 (cauliflower) + 80 (celery) + 66 (onion) + 2 (thyme) + 2 (rosemary) + 12 (garlic) + 30 (bouillon) + 480 (cashews) + 80 (nutritional yeast) + 8 (lemon juice) + 2 (black pepper) = 870 calories for the entire recipe.

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