Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

By Amanda Paa – Last updated: October 22, 2021
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Creamless Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

If you grew up in the Midwest, chances are you’ve had a bowl of Wisconsin beer cheese soup topped with popcorn.

I vividly remember my mom making it for dinner parties and people raving, the popcorn adding a gourmet touch. Fast forward twenty years and I was set to host a few girlfriends for an afternoon of catching up.

Playing off the beer cheese soup memories, I made this Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Popcorn – gluten free, vegan and the ultimate comfort food. The smooth, velvety texture of the soup is a dream!

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

Have you ever tried soaking nuts and blending them to replace heavy cream or cheese?

Not only does it increase their nutritional content, but they make a creamier soup than cream ever will, especially cashews.

The texture is silky, but not thin, giving it a wonderful mouthfeel.

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen a few pictures of me noshing on Quinn popcorn. It’s a snacking staple around here, especially when entertaining, and many times my single lady dinner paired with a glass of wine. Their Olive Oil and Herb flavor is one of my favorites and happened to go just perfectly with this soup. It’s light and bright, a great match for the puree of roasted cauliflower and garlic. I was fascinated with Quinn’s concept the first time I had a bag. They are so incredibly passionate and transparent about where their ingredients come from, with a simple mission to clean up a simple snack for people like you and me.

I had shied away from buying microwave popcorn after learning about the chemicals & toxic ingredients used in classic Orville Redenbacher or the like. But it’s back in my life thanks to Quinn. You won’t find anything scary in their products – from the Pure Pop Bag, (compostable and made from paper that’s pressed to make it grease proof) to their amazing flavors.

Non-GMO and organic corn, no preservatives or artificial ingredients. The cheeses are rBGH-free (they have a hickory smoked cheddar, as well as parmesan & rosemary flavors). Their butter is real. The maple in their kettle corn version comes from Vermont.

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

As cooler weather approaches and we retreat indoors to enjoy good food and each other’s company, this creamy cashew cauliflower soup is one that everyone can enjoy.

You can make it a day ahead of time, popping the corn a few minutes before guests arrive, filling the house with that classic, comforting smell.

More Roasted Cauliflower Recipes:

Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn (vegan)

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

Soaked cashews make this roasted cauliflower soup a creamy delight, without dairy! Garlic is roasted with the cauliflower, adding great flavor. Top with herbs and popcorn, and enjoy the contrasting textures!
No ratings yet
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 1 large head of cauliflower, about 2 1/2 pounds once cored
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & cut in half
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews + 1/4 teaspoon salt, soaked in 1/2 cups filtered water for 8 hours
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Quinn Popcorn for topping (you can find it at Target or Whole Foods)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Add cauliflower and garlic to a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir, then add salt and stir again to coat. Spread onto two large sheet pans and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and celery, cooking for 5 minutes until translucent.
  • Add cashews, including the water they have soaked in, and broth, then bring to a simmer. When cauliflower and garlic are finished cooking, add to stock pot.
  • Simmer for additional 5 minutes, then add to a blender in batches. Puree until smooth. Garnish with popcorn.

Did you make this?

tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

November 3, 2014


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi! Excited to try this but need to use plant based popcorn. Do you have suggestions for adapting plain popcorn to also have the herb flavor?

  2. This is so yummy and interesting Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn. I tried this kind of recipe before but this is unique. Instead of 4 tablespoons olive oil i took 2! Thx for sharing! I will try your variant, Amanda!

  3. Amanda, I found your post from Pinterest! Thx for sharing! Btw, I’m not a vegetarian but I love cashew. Cashew contains manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, and of thiamin, vitamin B6 and vitamin K ,Iron, potassium! Thanks a lot for this cashew cauliflower soup with herb popcorn recipe!

  4. Never do I comment to review a recipe after making, but seeing as though I’ve been eating this soup for four nights in a row, I thought it deserved a virtual standing applause.

    I added grilled chicken and it just added that “chunky” effect most soups are missing.

    This soup is FANTASTIC.

  5. I made this and it’s really good! Very creamy and comforting. I used 2 tbsp olive oil, chicken broth instead of vegetable broth (that’s what I had and I’m not veg), and didn’t have any popcorn, but yeah, I’m loving this soup.

    • Thank you so much for asking this question! I had missed it in the directions :) I’ve now added, but you will roast the garlic with the cauliflower, then add it to the broth. Hope you enjoy the soup!

  6. Popcorn on soup? I love this idea! I am from Illinois, so I’m not sure how I missed the memo on this – maybe it’s more of a Minnesota/Wisconsin thing? It sounds like a great way to add some texture to a creamy soup. And the soup looks divine, Amanda – I really love the idea of adding creaminess and thickness from cashews.

    p.s. I am a popcorn fiend and can’t wait to try out this brand! I’ll look for it the next time I’m at Whole Foods. Thanks for sharing!

    • jaime, i might be a little biased but i couldn’t get enough of this soup! even though i’m not vegan, it makes me want to stick to soaked cashews instead of cream. xo

  7. I have actually topped soup with popcorn before, though I am not from the Midwest. In my case, it was vegan pumpkin soup and I used some Thai chili popcorn from Canadian chain Kernels Popcorn as a topping. It was delicious, but it was mostly brought on by a desperate attempt to save the stale popcorn than a true desire to experiment. Oh well, necessity is the mother of invention!