Recipes » Cauliflower White Bean Soup with Carrot and Parsnip (Instant Pot)

Cauliflower White Bean Soup with Carrot and Parsnip (Instant Pot)

This vegan creamy cauliflower white bean soup is stuffed with cannellini beans and veggies. The Instant Pot makes it so simple to get this flavorful oil-free and cashew-free soup to the table on a busy night.

A blue bowl of Cauliflower White Bean Soup with Carrot and Parsnip sitting on a blue tablecloth.

Why I Developed This Recipe

Pureed soups hold so many exciting possibilities! I was looking for a cashew-free, dairy-free, and oil-free cauliflower soup that was creamy and flavorful. Packing it with beans and veggies and adding a basic spice blend makes this soup complex without being overpowering.

I knew I needed a white bean for this recipe, and since I wanted easy prep, canned was a must. Cannellini beans are easy to find canned and blended with the cauliflower, they help make this soup silky-smooth.

I chose to include the bean liquid in this recipe, as I feel it helps to replicate the mouthfeel of a meat-based broth. Liquid from cans of white beans and chickpeas is called aquafaba and is used in many ways by plant-based cooks. For more information, see this article by Real Simple – Everything you Need to Know About Cooking with Bean Liquid.

As I considered what other vegetables to add, carrots came to mind as they are a quintessential soup ingredient. Lately, I have been experimenting with adding vegetables to my dishes that I am less familiar with and I decided to see how the flavor and texture of parsnip could enhance this recipe. I love the result.

Now for the best part – I wanted a simple recipe. Although the total cooking time of this recipe appears long, it includes the time it takes the instant pot to come up and down from pressure. The *hands-on* time is quite short, truly a “set it and forget it” type of meal.

Soups are such good ways to pack healthy legumes and veggies into dinner. If you are looking for a lentil cauliflower soup to add to your rotation, try my Curried Lentil Cauliflower Soup.

Ingredients for Cauliflower White Bean Soup. Pictured are cauliflower, carrot, parsnip, spices, and white beans.

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower, Carrots, and Parsnip – The vegetables that form the backbone of this soup.
  • Cannellini beans – Use canned, not dry. Make sure to include the liquid from the can, see above. If you can find a low or no-salt variety, that would be best since in this recipe, you are not rinsing the beans.
  • Bay Leaf, Smoked Paprika, Turmeric, Black Pepper – Provide just the right level of seasoning for this soup.
  • Garlic Powder and Onion Powder – I prefer to use onion and garlic powders in the instant pot most of the time, as I find the fresh versions can sometimes develop an odd flavor.
  • Nutritional Yeast – I use a small amount to provide a savory-ness, but not enough to give a cheesy flavor.
  • Salt – I do add salt to my food however my recipes generally do not include a specific amount in the ingredient list. Differences in the type of salt you choose can significantly affect the taste of the final product. Please adjust salt to your taste and in accordance with your dietary needs. That said, if you do choose to use salt in this recipe, you will want to check the label for the canned beans – unless they are the low or no-sodium variety, they will provide plenty of salt to this recipe.
  • Water – I use water, not broth, in this recipe since the veggies, beans, and spices provide enough flavor. I tested this recipe with vegetable broth and it was too overpowering, therefore I now use water.
  • Garnishes – Parsley and croutons make nice garnishes for this soup.

Method

Cut the cauliflower into a few big chunks and halve the carrot and parsnip to make sure they fit in the pot. You don’t need to spend time chopping, as pressure cooking will soften the veggies enough to puree silky-smooth.

Combine the beans with their liquid, veggies, and spices in the Instant Pot insert with 3 cups of water. Stir.

Ensure the silicone ring is properly placed inside the lid. If your model has a venting knob, ensure it is placed on the lid correctly.

Place the lid on the pot and twist to lock. Set the steam release valve to “sealing.”

Press “manual” or “pressure cook” on your Instant Pot, depending on which model you have. Set the timer to 7 minutes.

The pot will begin heating, however, the timer will not start until the float valve rises, indicating that the proper pressure has been reached.

When the timer counts down to zero, a signal will sound. For this recipe, you will use a natural pressure release, which means you will leave the pot to cool down by itself. DO NOT attempt to open the pot until the float valve lowers into its initial position, indicating that it is safe to open.

Taste and add salt if desired. Remove bay leaf.

Puree, either using a regular or immersion blender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between types of white beans?

Yes. The three types of white beans I most commonly use in my kitchen are cannellini, great northern, and navy; they will all give different results in recipes. This page from The Bean Institute – What Type of Bean Should I Use? covers multiple kinds of beans, including white beans, and their best uses.

Can I use dried cannellini beans in this recipe?

I don’t have a strong preference between canned and dried beans in general, but rather I like to choose which to use based on the needs of the recipe. I choose canned here, both for speed and the creamy texture canned cannellini beans provide when pureed.

What can I do with parsnips?

Parsnips are great in soups, but they are also delicious when roasted with other root vegetables. I find them to be sweet and a bit herbaceous. I have also heard of mashing them and using them in place of mashed potatoes, but I have not tried that yet.

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Cauliflower White Bean Soup with Carrot and Parsnip (Instant Pot)

A blue bowl of Cauliflower White Bean Soup on a blue tablecloth.

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  • Author: Jennifer @ Always Add Alliums
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 7.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

1/2 large head Cauliflower, trimmed and cut into chunks

2 small Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 small Parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped

115.5 ounce can Cannellini Beans, with liquid

3 cups Water

1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1 Bay Leaf

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric

1/8 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in Instant Pot and stir well
  2. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes, using a natural pressure release. See the “method” section for detailed Instant Pot instructions.
  3. Open Pot, remove the bay leaf, and puree until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste and adjust salt.

Notes

See the “method” section in the post for more detailed instructions for the preparation of this recipe, including detailed Instant Pot directions.

Garnish with parsley or croutons.

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