What do you get when you combine Meatless Monday with Monday Night Football? Deliciousness, that’s what! The makers of Silk challenged me to “sideline meat” and create a vegetarian, football-night-friendly food that uses one of their milk products. It’s called the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge, and you know I was up for it!
After a little brainstorming and a lot of taste-testing (it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it), Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder was born.
Without dairy, it can be tough to replicate that creamy, dreamy element that chowders and creamy soups sport. But with this chowder, I’ve found the one-two play of blitzed cauliflower along with creamy almond milk gets us to the goal line. (Catch the football references?! Can’t help myself.)
Cauliflower, when cooked and pureed, becomes remarkably smooth and luxurious – perfect for that decadent, thick chowder consistency. Almond milk adds to that creaminess for a bowl of comforting goodness that they’ll never know is dairy-free.
For this spicy, bold bowl of Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder, I took a cue from something nearly every coffee table offers up on game day: buffalo wings. If “buffalo” doesn’t scream football food, I don’t know what does! And this chowder definitely sports the heat-building vibe everyone knows and loves, but the delivery is meatless and served up in a bowl. Lighter AND far less napkins used. Touchdown! (Okay, I’ll stop now.)
This chowder’s best with crispy, herb-coated crostini, dipped generously into that creamy soupy goodness and gnawed with gusto. This is football food, after all! I love how the parsley and dill add a bit of a cooling feel to the whole shebang. Plus: crispy golden bread. Done and done.
Both the soup and crostini can be made ahead of time too. Just whip up the soup up to a two days before hand and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan over low heat over the stove, and you’re good to go. The toasted crostini freeze gloriously – just pull them out about an hour before mealtime to thaw.
Then just kick back and enjoy the game – the meatless, dairy-free, and totally delicious way!
Tackle the Meatless Monday Night challenge
Visit silk.com/sidelinemeat for more #MeatlessMondayNight recipes – and to enter Silk’s giveaway!
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder with Herbed Crostini
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Chowder:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced (about 2 cups))
- 2 medium carrots (diced)
- 2 medium stalks celery (diced)
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups cauliflower florets (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 3 tablespoons red hot sauce (more or less, to taste)
- 1 cup Silk unsweetened almondmilk
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Optional toppings such as sliced scallions (roasted cauliflower, chives, blue cheese (if not vegan), or a few extra drops of red hot sauce)
- 1/2 baguette (sliced thin (about 1/4-inch))
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Set a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the vegetable broth, cauliflower, and potatoes. Increase heat to medium high to bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender, 15-20 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, make the crostini. Set the slices of baguette on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, herbs, and salt. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the tops of each slice of bread with the olive oil herb mixture. Broil on high until toasted and golden brown, 2-5 minutes (the time really depends on your broiler. Watch carefully - they can burn fast!)
- Back to the soup! Remove the soup from the heat and let cool just until safe to handle. Transfer 1/2 of the soup, about 4 cups, to a bowl and, using an immersion blender, puree the remaining soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree 1/2 of the soup in a blender or food processor. Return all of the soup to the pot, mixing the pureed soup and the chunky soup back together.
- Place the soup back on the burner (medium-low heat). Stir in the red hot sauce and the almond milk. If you're sensitive to heat/spiciness, you may want to start with 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce, then add more to taste. Return to a simmer and stir in the parsley. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Ladle into bowls, serve with assorted toppings, and float a crostini on top of each bowl (or serve alongside).
Gluten-Free Option:The soup itself is gluten-free; just omit the crostini or make with a gluten-free bread.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.
This looks so tasty – we don’t really have the whole ‘buffalo’ thing in the UK, but recipes like this always convince me that I’d love it!
Oh this sounds so delicious! I use almond milk too when I’m making creamy soups.
I’m so ready for fall soups (and some good football action)! Love how hearty it looks!
I am a soup person, through and through. It can be 100 degrees in the summer and I still want soup for dinner. I love all kinds of soup, but the creamy ones are at the top of my list. I’ve had success with plant milks, blended cauliflower and potatoes, and cashew cream. Coconut milk especially makes vegan soup creamy.
Your recipe looks simply divine. I’m having a football party in a few weeks and I’ll have to put this on my menu! Thank you for sharing.
I never have used Almond Milk in a soup before! Cool idea and considering that I always have the stuff on hand I have to try this. Definitely a hearty and delicious recipe.
You had me at buffalo. I LOVE anything spicy so this soup looks perfect. And the herbed crostini look AMAZING
Thank you so much, Sarah! 😀
this looks absolutely scrumptious!!! yum
This looks delicious and the weather will start cooling down here soon so I cannot wait to try it. Thank you so much for this recipe.
I made this today and it is just wonderful! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe.
What kind of hot sauce did you use? This recipe looks absolutely divine and I’d love to make it soon! Thank you!
Hi Wendy, I used Franks Red Hot. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Hi. I made this tonight for dinner. We all liked it this hearty soup. I used 3 tablespoons of hot sauce. I thought it was a little hot, my son thought it was just right, and my husband added a little more. I will definitely make it again. Thanks so much!
This soup looks really wonderful. We can’t use almond mild due to nut allergies here, is there an alternative nondairy milk that you think might work well? Soy better than rice for example?
Hi Lauren, I think soy would work great. 🙂
My partner and I loved this soup so much the first night I made it that a second batch was made again the next day! It can be tricky to find meals that satisfy both a vegetarian (me) and carnivore (him) but this one felt indulgent while still being packed with veggies! I love that it didn’t use a meat alternative either. Thanks so much!
Made this tonight! Delicious soup- not a drop left! My husband is vegan and I don’t eat meat (our kids do tho) so its tough sometimes cooking for everyone.. I’ve been looking for new soups to make, we wore out our faves last year. This one is def. a keeper, and we will make again!
I’ve made this soup multiple times now, and I’m always so pleased with the result. I love having the leftovers in my fridge and being able to eat something this indulgent whenever and not feel too guilty. One of my favorite vegan soup recipes. Amazing.
I have made this soup twice already and we love it! Since I am Gluten-Free and Vegan, we don’t get to make the crostinis (they look delicious BTW), but instead I soak extra-firm tofu in a lemon/oil marinade and pan-fry them to perfection! They are then placed on top to resemble a “seafood” chowder! I actually introduced tofu to a friend this way and they thought the whole thing was delicious! Thank you!
Thanks so much for your comment! Tofu like that sounds AMAZING and I need to try it immediately. 🙂
I loved this recipe! My boyfriend and I made it together last night (he is both a meat and dairy lover, and I am trying to cut them both out of my diet) and he could not get enough of it! It was so creamy – you would have no idea there wasn’t dairy in it. And for meat eaters, it would be so easy to add in chicken to make it a buffalo chicken chowder. Will definitely be making this again! 5 stars 🙂
This tasted absolutely amazing!!! I have to stop myself from having second street and thirds or I won’t have any for lunch or leftovers. This recipe will be a staple in my home for the cold months. Thank you fi this recipe
Could I make this in a slow cooker? If so, how would I go about doing so? It looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!
This recipe is exactly what I was looking for, and it was outstanding!!! So good that we are making it again this weekend (Friday AND Sunday). I didn’t have celery so I left it out, also substituted aroy-d whole coconut milk (1/2 cup) instead of the almond milk. Didn’t make the croutons either, because calories:(, but will have some bread with it tonight. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!
Looks like you posted this recipe a little while go Kare, but I can say it ages well 🙂 I made this soup for the first time today and it’s absolutely delicious. Very straightforward to make and very tasty. I’ve never made a vegan chowder but this captures the spirit, look and consistency perfectly. Lovely.
Thank you for this! I absolutely love this recipe and have been cooking it every fall and winter for the past couple of years. It’s a favorite not only of mine but of my family and my friends.
Hi Kare. This recipe looks absolutely yummy. Any time I can cook with cauliflower is a fun time, haha! I’m going to make this for an upcoming casual recital for my music students and their families. They all come to my house for lessons and tell me how delicious my cooking smells, especially my soups, so I can hardly wait to serve this treat!
P.S. I learned from a California chef that a “chowder” differs from a “soup” in one way: Chowders include a corn or flour grist. But maybe the potatoes in your recipe serve in the same way. I will let you know if I decide to try it another time using the grist!
Hi Sharine, you sound like a wonderful music teacher! Interesting tidbit re: chowder vs. soup – thank you for sharing! There is always so much to learn. 🙂
Hi, Kare! The chowder and crostini and they were a hit! My friend who is a major foodie L-O-V-E-D it!
I left out the salt altogether for both the chowder and the crostini. For the crostini, I used a blend of olive oil and vegan butter. For the chowder, I used 6 tablespoons of organic cornmeal and 1/2 cup water in place of the potatoes, and added 1/3 cup of vegan sour cream. I doubled the recipe, so we have leftovers, yum!
Just finished making this. Very good! I had everything on hand which is rather surprising, but also made it easy to choose to make this soup. I actually used a bag of frozen rice cauliflower which I had on hand and it did make it super easy to just open up the bag and ‘dump’. While ‘riced’, it was just fine and actually I liked the end result texture of the soup. I had unsweetened macadamia milk on hand, but have learned that as long as the non-dairy milk is unsweetened that it all works out fine regardless. The potatoes act as the thickener which is what I use in a lot of my soups/chowders which I learned many years back when giving up dairy, etc…. I actually put some fried garlic garlic I had made for pasta on top to add an extra crunch. I like that person’s suggestion of fried tofu. Overall, I will make this again. Easy….good….plenty of leftovers. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing! Love your ideas and I’m so glad this one was a winner for you!
I have made this soup many times with and without the crostini! It’s my go-to soup whenever I have cauliflower. I leave off the hot sauce for the kids and just drizzle some on for the adults. It’s hearty and satisfying while also being vegan and healthy. It’s a definite winner!
Hi Hillary, I’m so glad this one is a hit for you and your family! Thank you so much for leaving a review. 🙂
Super simple easy recipe, thanks for the inspiration! I’ll add a tin of cannellini beans to the purée mix next time to bump up the protein and creaminess of the soup but otherwise a wonderfully easy and delicious soup.
I’m so glad this one is a winner for you! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review. Love the idea of adding the cannellinis!
Hey there! I’d love to do this in a crock-pot. Any suggestions for time differences/heat settings for that?
Hi Elise, I haven’t tried this one in the Crock Pot yet so I can’t provide specific instructions. I’d start with half the veggie broth because slow cookers don’t need as much liquid and watch it to see if it needs more. If I make it in the Crock Pot, I’ll come back and update the post! And if you tried it, please report back! 🙂
Truly appreciate the way you made this wonderful soup. Adding almond milk to this made super rich. And I am excited to have this with my whole family. Thanks for the lovely recipe.
I just finished my first bowl! It’s very good. My only question is– do we really need the smoked paprika?
I have a tiny aftertaste that I am not fond of — I think it’s the paprika. (I like it in other recipes). Next time I will leave it out — and yes there WILL be a next time.