Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cauliflower and Mushroom Pressure Cooker Soup with Parmesan

Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup with Parmesan
This Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup with Parmesan was made in my new electric pressure cooker!

A few years ago I bought a Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker, and shared a few Pressure Cooker Recipes on the blog.  So when my sister Pam got a new Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker, and my friend Barbara started a blog about using the electric pressure cooker, I really didn't think I needed another pressure cooker.  Then I got a couple of Amazon gift cards, and the next thing you know, a new electric pressure cooker arrived at my house!  So far I've only used it to make chicken stock, and then this amazing soup, but I'm already pretty infatuated with the new electric pressure cooker.  If I had to pick one feature, it would be the way you can set the time and walk away, knowing the pressure cooker will stop cooking and release the pressure, even if you forget about it.   

Since there's no flour, butter, milk, or cream, this delicious Pressure Cooker Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup with Parmesan is perfect for our month of Daily Phase One Recipes, and it's also my Meatless Monday recipe for the week.  (You can see all the Phase One Recipes from the month by clicking Daily Phase One Recipes.  Check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

This soup was partly inspired by Cafe Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup, a rich and creamy and decidedly not diet-friendly soup I tasted a few months ago, but I have to be honest and say it was also inspired by a desire to use some slightly-past-its-prime cauliflower I had in the fridge.  Mushrooms were the perfect umami-adding ingredient to bump up the flavor, and I loved how the soup turned out.  Of course you can make the soup in a regular stove-top pressure cooker (or even in a pan on top of the stove, adding more liquid, and simmering until the vegetables are tender.)

You can saute the onions, garlic, and thyme in the pressure cooker, but I used a pan so it was easier to get a photo!

I also sauteed the brown Crimini mushrooms before I put them into the pressure cooker.  (You can use regular white mushrooms, but these brown ones, also called Baby Bellas, have more flavor.)

Cut up about 4 cups of small cauliflower pieces, and if you look closely you can tell that mine had a few brown edges cut off!

Put the onions, cauliflower, mushrooms, and stock into the pressure cooker.  Set the pressure cooker for 5 minutes at high pressure (or bring stove-top pressure cooker to high pressure and cook 5 minutes.)  I wasn't in a hurry, so I let the pressure release naturally, but you could also use the quick-release.

Here's how the soup looked after it had cooked.

Then use an Immersion Blenderto puree the soup, leaving it a little chunky if you prefer.  Barbara says be careful, because some immersion blenders can scratch the pressure cooker, but mine was okay.  (You can also puree in a food processor or blender, but the immersion blender is much easier.) 

Add the 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and simmer 5-10 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted into the soup.  Serve hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese or sour cream to add at the table.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Pressure Cooker Soup with Parmesan
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she had a new Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker to experiment with.)

1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 T crushed or minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 lb. Crimini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, washed and chopped
4 cups chopped cauliflower (1 large head)
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
(additional grated Parmesan or light sour cream for adding at the table - optional)

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker (or in a non-stick frying pan).  Add the onions and saute until they're starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes.  (Use the saute setting on the electric pressure cooker or medium-high heat on the stove.)  Add the minced garlic and thyme and cook 1-2 minutes more. 

Put onions in a bowl (or add them to the pressure cooker if you used a pan to saute the onions.)  Heat the other teaspoon of olive oil and saute the mushrooms until they're lightly browned and all the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Put the onion mixture, mushrooms, cauliflower, and stock into the pressure cooker and set to cook for 5 minutes time at high pressure.  (For stovetop pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and cook 5 minutes.)  I let the pressure release naturally because I wasn't in a hurry, but you can also use the quick release method.  Use an Immersion Blender to puree the soup, leaving it a little chunky if you prefer.  (You can also puree in a food processor or blender, but be careful with the hot liquid if you use one of those.)  

Add the 3/4 cup Parmesan and simmer 5-10 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted into the soup.  Serve hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese or sour cream to add at the table.  

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South Beach Suggestions:
This delicious low-glycemic soup would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet.
Phase One Flashbacks:
January 20, 2012:  Quick Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps
January 20, 2013:  Spicy Cilantro-Peanut Slaw

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Pressure Cooker Soups:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pressure Cooker Minestrone Soup with Basil Pesto ~ Pressure Cooking Today
Pressure Cooker Vegetable Soup with Giant White Beans, Ham, and Bay leaves ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Bean Soup ~ Jeanette's Healthy Living
Spicy Pinto Bean Pressure Cooker Soup with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Seven Pressure Cooker Soups ~ Soup Chick  
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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  1. That's exactly why I love the electric pressure cooker too. So glad you're having fun with it. Thanks for the link love.

  2. Also - be careful when using an immersion blender in the non-stick pressure cooking pot. I scratch mine up badly when I got a new immersion blender that had ridges on the bottom.

  3. A pressure cooker is one kitchen appliance I still don't have! This soup looks like a great reason for me to get one!

  4. Barbara, I can tell I will be using my new pressure cooker often! Thanks for the warning about the immersion blender. Mine seemed to be okay, but I will edit and mention it in the post.

    Joanne, I am loving it!

    Thanks Hari, it was so delicious.

  5. For those of us that do not have a pressure cooker, is there an alternate way to cook this?

  6. This looks great, but I don't have a pressure cooker - how long would you recommend I cook this on the stove? Thanks in advance - I love your recipes!

  7. GiGi and Godzilaw, I said in the post that you can cook it on top of the stove, using a little more liquid and simmering until the vegetables are done. I haven't ever made it that way, so I can't give specific information about adapting the recipe, but I'd guess about 1 cup more stock and simmer about 45 minutes. But that is only a guess; if either of you try it I would love to hear what worked.

  8. I'm posting part of this comment from Ed McGee, but I can't post the original comment which links to a site to buy pressure cookers, even if the commenter isn't affiliated with the site. Sorry Ed.

    "I have a stove-top pressure cooker that I love and use all the time. As far as I'm concerned it's the ONLY way to make corned beef!"

  9. I just got a pressure cooker a few months ago and I can't believe I waited to long - it has made my life so much easier! Love using cauliflower in creamless creamy soups - this sounds perfect for today's wintery day.

  10. Jeanette, isn't the pressure cooker great; I am loving this one!

  11. I made this tonight on the stove top with just the 6 cups of liquid called for in the pressure cooker recipe. After sauteing the onions and mushrooms, I added the cauliflower and broth and boiled it only about 20 minutes because I was in a hurry to get dinner on the table. The cauliflower was still a little firm, which probably gave the soup some additional texture after I used my immersion blender on it. I like a little texture in my pureed soups, so that worked for me. I also added about 2 teaspoons of salt and rather than serving it with sour cream, mixed about a cup of light sour cream into the pot just before serving. It was delicious and got rave reviews even from the mushroom haters in my family!

  12. So glad you liked it, and thanks for sharing how it worked to cook this on the stove. And I love that the mushroom haters liked it!


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