Plant-based Leek & Cauliflower soup with Broccoli Pesto (vegan + grain, gluten & sugar-free) – so nourishing & tasty

Good afternoon,

I love a smooth creamy soup. I also love green vegetables. However, being in the dead of Winter, I am sick of creamy soups, I’ve been having them every day for lunch ! I am also trying to teach my little toddler about vegetables, so having a soup where you can see them all is very convenient. Welcome Plant-based Leek & Cauliflower soup !

So here is my take on the traditional (& creamy) leek and cauliflower soup. I use broccoli in the pesto. Before you screw your nose up, with all the basil you cannot taste it. It gives a great bitey taste to it and along with the peanut oil, a good taste substitute for Parmesan cheese & pine nuts.

A very quick and easy soup. Awesome for freezing. Looks a bit “green” but it is totally delish. Hope you enjoy it too.

Joni x 

2 cauli leek soup

5 cauli leek soup 

6 cauli leek soup


image  You will note with the pesto that it does look “oily”, this happens as it sits. You can add a little more before serving if you like too. 

7 cauli leek soup 

4 cauli leek soup 

1 cauli leek soup

Leek & cauliflower soup with broccoli pesto (vegan + grain, gluten & sugar-free)
Yields 15
Delish and simple green soup with a tasty pesto "boom" in each bowl. Fabulous for a cold Winters night.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 1 tbs olive oil
  2. 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white parts only)
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 tsp dried thyme
  5. 1 medium thick broccoli stalks, florets removed (for the pesto), reserving the thick stems
  6. 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I use Massel vegan chicken stock)
  7. 2 cups cauliflower florets removed, reserving the thick stems
  8. 1 cup of baby green beans, trimmed & cut into 2cm lengths
  9. 1 medium zucchini, trimmed
  10. 1 cup snow peas, trimmed & sliced
  11. 1 cup baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved (or regular ones quartered)
  12. Lemon juice, to serve
  13. Crack black pepper, to serve
  1. 2 garlic cloves
  2. 1 cup basil leaves
  3. 1 cup broccoli florets (as reserved above from the soup)
  4. 2 tbs lemon juice
  5. 3 tbs peanut oil (or olive oil)
For the soup
  1. Trim and peel the broccoli stem, cauliflower stem and zucchini and then cut into 1 cm cubes See pic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced leek & garlic, cook for 5 mins or until softened.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets & cauliflower cubes, zucchini, Brussels sprouts and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins. Add the remaining ingredients, then season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in half of the pesto, then serve in bowls with the remaining pesto on the side along with lemon juice and black pepper to add as you please.
For the broccoli pesto
  1. Place the broccoli florets in the microwave for 2 1/2 mins (you can also steam on stove top). Drain immediately under cold water to retain the green colour.
  2. Place the garlic, basil leaves, cooled broccoli florets & lemon juice in a food processor and blitz to make a chunky paste.
  3. Add the olive oil, blitz again until creamy and then season with cracked black pepper.
  4. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week, it will lose some of the green colour but taste the same.
  1. If you don't like any of the vegetables in the soup you can substitute with others. Freezes very well for a quick mid week meal including the pesto. Pesto can be used on other things too, roasted vegetables, other soups, stir fry or zucchini noodles
  2. This makes 15 cups of soup.
  3. To "blitz" I use a Braun stick blender using the mini 4 cup blender attachment. You could also use a large food processor or a stick blender in a tall narrow container. A blender would liquidise it too much.
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  1. Ashley Madden
    June 16, 2016

    This looks so tasty……love the pics/instructions!

    • Joni Condos
      June 16, 2016

      Thanks Ashley ! I’ve had many requests for visual instructions so gave it a go, it’s a bit amateur but does the job ! Cheers Joni

  2. Luisa
    July 24, 2016

    Joni, This soup was so tasty and delicious. Was going to freeze some, but I’m afraid, I will eat it for next few days. yummm.
    Taking some to my Mum’s tomorrow as she will love it too..I have added some shredded chicken to hers.
    Thanks heaps
    Luisa šŸ™‚