This simple cauliflower soup is made with just five ingredients, including salt! It's a quick and easy weeknight meal that's easy to dress up or down. Dinner is served!
Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
Making soup doesn’t have to be difficult, and if you are working with fresh, high quality vegetables, you don’t even have to add stock.
This cauliflower soup couldn’t be easier! Just chop up a head of cauliflower (see how here), blanch the florets for a few minutes, and then purée them with some of the blanching liquid, salt, and butter. Serve with olive oil and chopped chives.
Of course when you are working with so few ingredients, you have to make sure that each ingredient is as good as it can be. There’s no place to hide if something is off.
What I love about this soup is that the cauliflower really shines through, and it’s also pretty light, so it works well as a starter for other courses.
Ways to Adapt This Recipe
As is, this soup is simplicity at its best. But if you’re in the mood for something a little more, try one of these ideas:
- Cream of Cauliflower Soup: After blending, add cream, half-and-half, or whole milk to the soup to make it rich and extra-creamy.
- Truffled Cauliflower Soup: To take this soup from simple to sublime, add a dash or two of truffle salt or truffle oil to the soup when serving.
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup: Instead of blanching the cauliflower, toss the florets with olive oil and salt and roast in a 400°F oven until tender and charred in spots. Blend with vegetable broth or chicken broth.
- Cheesy Cauliflower Soup: Add a handful or two of your favorite shredded cheese after blending. (Or try this version.)
- Vegan Cauliflower Soup: Instead of butter, use good-quality extra virgin olive oil.
How Long will This Soup Keep in the Fridge?
If you have leftovers, let the soup cool completely and then store in a covered container in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat gently on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave.
How to Freeze this Soup
This soup freezes very well and it’s so nice to have some stocked in the freezer for dinner emergencies.
To freeze, let the soup cool completely and then transfer to freezer containers or zip-top bags (which you can freeze flat). Freeze for up to three months.
To reheat, warm the thawed or frozen soup gently over low heat on the stove, or warm in one minute increments in the microwave, stirring between each increment.
What to Serve with Cauliflower Soup
If you’re serving this soup as the main course for a light meal, think about making some simple garlic bread or assembling a leafy green salad to serve along side.
This soup is also an easy side dish or first course to serve with a larger meal, like roast beef or roast chicken.
Love Cauliflower? Try These Recipes
- Cauliflower Pasta Bake
- Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
- Cauliflower Gratin
- Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with Ranch Sauce
- Sheet Pan Pizza with Roasted Cauliflower and Greens
Simple Cauliflower Soup Recipe
- Florets from one head of cauliflower (See How to Cut and Core Cauliflower)
- 1 quart of water
- Unsalted butter
- Extra virgin olive oil
1 Cook cauliflower florets in salted water: Bring 1 quart of water to a rolling boil in a medium-sized pot. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water.
Add the cauliflower florets, and cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove florets to a bowl. Reserve cooking water.
2 Purée cooked cauliflower: Working in batches, fill a blender half-way with cooked cauliflower, add enough cooking water to the blender bowl so that it comes up a quarter of the way. Purée until smooth. You want the consistency to be that of soup, so if you need to add more water, do so.
3 Add salt and butter: or each blender batch, add salt and butter to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and about a tablespoon or more of butter for each blender batch). Since you are using only lightly salted cooking water for a base, not stock, you will need to salt this more than you would otherwise.
4 Serve: Serve immediately into bowls. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with chopped chives.
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No One Believes My Creamy Cauliflower Soup Is Dairy-Free&ndashHere&rsquos How I Make It
A rich, creamy, comforting cauliflower soup without the guilt.
Is it just me or is cauliflower like the Beyoncé of vegetables right now? All of our favorite comfort foods have reinvented themselves with the main ingredient being cauliflower. From rice, to pizza crust, and even mashed potatoes, this healthy veggie is making its way to dinner tables way more often than ever before.
About a year ago, I went to my local farmer’s market and saw the most beautiful head of cauliflower. Seriously, I wanted to display it in my home—that’s how gorgeous it was. Admittedly, I wasn’t intending on buying cauliflower that day. It wasn’t on my grocery list but, as I mentioned before, it was too beautiful not to buy. When I got home, I decided I was going to make a creamy cauliflower soup𠅊nd since I wanted to make a healthy meal, I knew I had to omit the dairy. A creamy soup without butter or milk?! Trust me, you won’t even know they’re gone.
My impromptu cauliflower soup ended up being so silky and satisfying that it has become my go-to cold weather recipe. Not only is this soup healthy, but it only takes an hour to make and requires just a few ingredients. As an added yum factor, I top my soup with some crispy prosciutto and scallions. If you’re a vegetarian like my husband, roasted Brussels sprouts are a great alternative, too.
Simple Cauliflower Recipes: Main Dishes
- 1 head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
- 2 large red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 5 baby carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes, or to taste
- water, or as needed
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
- ½ cup milk
- ½ (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon bacon bits, or more to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, or more to taste
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Stir cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and onion flakes together in a pot add enough water to cover and stir in chicken bouillon cube. Bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
Transfer vegetable mixture and about 1 cup cooking liquid to a slow cooker. Stir cream of chicken soup, milk, cream cheese, and bacon bits into vegetable mixture.
Cook on Low, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 hours.
Stir parsley into soup and continue cooking until vegetable are tender and flavors blend, 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours. Top with shredded Cheddar cheese.
I get a little crazy with soup toppings, but you don't have to. This one is good simple and straight too. Here cauliflower soup is topped with toasted pine nuts, fried shallots, and hemp seeds, and more of the yellow curry paste whisked with a bit of shallot oil. You could also season this with a favorite Indian spice blend, for another take. Or a simple showering of fresh herbs. Play around!
A number of you have left comments with tweaks you've made to the recipe, and I love this! For example, Anna said, "I had a head of cauliflower to use. I didn’t have white or yellow potatoes so I used a sweet potato and left the skins on. Used a couple tablespoons of spicy Vindaloo curry powder. The soup turned out SO GOOD! And it’s a beautiful color from the sweet potato." Nisa noted, "To make it a little heartier, we added moong dal (hulled yellow mung beans)."
In a pot, start by sautéing the onion and garlic slowly in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until golden. Remove mixture from pot and set aside.
In the same pot add the remaining olive oil and vegan butter, heat oil over medium heat and add the cauliflower, season lightly with salt and caramelize until you get a beautiful golden-brown color. Reserve 4 of your nicest pieces for later.
Add onion mixture to cauliflower with the thyme, pinch of salt and pepper, and broth.
Bring the chunky soup to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork tender.
Once soup is done, stir in the coconut milk and remove from heat.
Let rest for 10 minutes to cool. Add butter, using a blender or Vitamix, puree the soup until desired consistency. Season with more salt and pepper as needed. Heat over low until warmed through as needed. This soup tastes great once it's properly seasoned!
Serve with reserved charred cauliflower pieces, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, scallions and chives. For a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Combine the cauliflower and chicken stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the cauliflower is tender. Let cool (do not drain).
Add the cauliflower and stock to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft but not browned. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Stir until the flour is blended in.
Add the milk slowly while stirring. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until the sauce thickens.
Add the cauliflower puree and cheese. Stir to combine. Let cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted.
Serve hot with buttered bread crumbs or croutons and garnish with parsley.
Benefits of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is one of several cruciferous vegetables companions to those who wish to lose weight. Eating cauliflower is not only limited to salads and light cauliflower soup, but you can also add it to snacks, so chewing will give you a feeling of satiety.
It is fat-free, rich in vitamin C, and is a perfect choice for a low-carb meal.
Behind citrus fruits, cauliflower may be recognized as the next best source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can improve cell health while fighting cancer and infections. By inserting light cauliflower soup recipes into your eating plan, you'll still recognize it as a remarkable source of fiber, folic acid and potassium. Cauliflower can also benefit your heart health and strengthen your immune system, important benefits for those on a slimming diet.
I topped my bowls with roasted chickpeas, chopped fresh thyme and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish it off. Roasted chickpeas add texture and crunch.
Toasted nuts/seeds, croutons, chives, parsley, truffle oil,&hellip.are also great additions. If you want to treat yourself, stir in a dollop of cream or Greek yogurt.
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Author: Cookie and Kate
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 bowls 1 x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Roasted and blended
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
This cauliflower soup recipe is the best! Roasted cauliflower makes it taste amazing, and a little butter (instead of cream) makes it luxuriously creamy. Recipe yields 4 bowls of soup.
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Fine sea salt
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 4 cups ( 32 ounces ) vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more if needed
- Scant ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- For garnish: 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, chives and/or green onions
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If desired, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- On the baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly and evenly coated in oil. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until the cauliflower is tender and caramelized on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway.
- Once the cauliflower is almost done, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth.
- Reserve 4 of the prettiest roasted cauliflower florets for garnish. Then transfer the remaining cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
- Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender, working in batches if necessary. (Do not fill past the maximum fill line or the soup could overflow!)
- Add the butter and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and nutmeg and blend again. Add additional salt, to taste (I usually add another ¼ to ¾ teaspoon, depending on the broth). This soup tastes amazing once it’s properly salted! You can also a little more lemon juice, if it needs more zing. Blend again.
- Top individual bowls of soup with 1 roasted cauliflower floret and a sprinkle of chopped parsley, green onion and/or chives. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about four days, or for several months in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from my cookbook, Love Real Food.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Use cashews instead of butter. Soak ¼ cup cashews for 4 hours, then drain and rinse them (if you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you can skip this). Add the cashews when you would add the butter.
▸ Nutrition Information
By Kathryne Taylor
Vegetable enthusiast. Dog lover. I'm probably making a big mess in my Kansas City kitchen right now.
More about Cookie and Kate »
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Ingredients US Metric
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 oz)
- 1/2 yellow onion (4 oz), sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small head cauliflower (1 lb), green stalks and outer leaves trimmed, florets coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces Parmesan, grated (optional)
Place the butter in a 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and, when the butter has melted, toss in the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent and begins to smell sweet, 6 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the cumin and cook, still stirring, for a minute or so. Toss in the cauliflower and a big pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 2 cups stock, crank up the heat, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer, uncovered, until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your chopped cauliflower. Add the cream and gently simmer until warmed through, about 3 minutes more.
Use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot until it’s smooth and creamy or let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes and then purée it in a food processor or blender. If necessary, add more stock to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Rewarm the soup over low heat, if necessary. Ladle it into bowls and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan, if desired.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is a wonderful cauliflower soup recipe to add to your repertoire. All the ingredients harmoniously come together, making this soup oh so delicious and comforting. Cumin’s slight smokiness and the soup's incredibly creamy texture set this apart from other cauliflower soups I’ve tasted. (Have faith and keep puréeing, and it WILL become very very smooth). Parmesan cheese is a great addition, but if you don’t have any on hand, believe me, the soup is so good it wouldn’t suffer without it! My cauliflower weighed 1 1/2 pounds after the ribs and leaves were removed, and I ended up with just enough soup for 4 people. When you see a giant head of cauliflower, as we often do when it’s in season, this soup will be the first thing that comes to mind. Just double the recipe, and everyone can have seconds. The soup itself is so good, and although it doesn’t hurt one bit, I don’t feel cheese is absolutely necessary. I would avoid strongly flavored or very salty cheese, like blue cheeses or pecorino Romano. Parmesan was an excellent choice (compared to pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano is pretty mild—it’s more nutty than salty, I think). Gruyère might be good as well.
Silken smooth cauliflower soup with some lovely richness from butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. What's not to love? This came together very quickly and had fantastic flavor. I used the Vitamix to blend it into a very silken smooth soup. I think the Parmesan worked perfectly here, though I think it could stand up to a stronger grated cheese, perhaps Gruyère? I also think it might be really nice with a drizzle of pesto.
I found this to be a rich and delicious soup. I usually try to go light with my cauliflower preparations, but sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind. This recipe is good to have on hand for a splurge. This made 3 servings, no more. I used chicken stock didn't use the full 3 ounces of cheese. When I looked at the amount grated, it seemed excessive for the amount of soup and like it could potentially overwhelm the cauliflower. Gorgonzola dolce would be nice with this but would make the soup even richer. I think a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg might work well with the cream in this.
This is a wonderful, flavorful cauliflower soup that's perfect for a cold winter day. Total prep time was minimal. Just a few minutes to cut the onion, cauliflower, and garlic. I simmered the cauliflower and onions about 20 minutes on medium heat. The addition of the cumin added a warm fragrance to the kitchen. I used my immersion blender to blend until everything was smooth, which only took a minute or two. A sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and another generous pinch of salt was a great finishing touch. The Parmesan cheese was the icing on the cake!
Well then. Who would have imagined that a simple cauliflower soup would nearly steal the show from another recent favorite, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic? Not me, that's for sure. I took advantage of cauliflower being on sale (not $9 a pound as it has been recently!) and imagined this would be a nice way to start a dinner party. I planned to serve this soup in tea cups for something a little different, kind of like a soup shot. This was creamy and silky smooth and just the right balance of salty from the cheese with a little sweet from the cauliflower. Rave reviews from our guests! A repeat in our house for sure. This made approximately 6 cups of soup which would serve 4 as a starter. My cauliflower weighed 1 pound (450 grams). I followed this recipe to a T in terms of the timing on each of the steps (rare!), and they were all spot-on. I don't think I would be tempted to use a cheese other than Parmesan—I liked that it kind of blended into the soup without being stringy.
Despite the drama of cauliflower-gate several weeks back when prices started to skyrocket, I was still excited to try this recipe. I have a very hard time finding a quick and easy soup recipe that I can enjoy on a regular basis that tastes restaurant-worthy and doesn't require unbridled skills in the kitchen. So during my first look at this recipe, I thought, wow, this is right up my alley. Luckily prices of cauliflower normalized, and I've since made this soup twice and shared several bowls with friends, who will also be recreating it at home. The second time I made it, instead of sprinkling the Parmesan on top, I stirred the entire amount into the soup, which took it to a whole new level of greatness. I'm going to try Gruyère next. I used Campbell's no-salt-added chicken stock, which also added a level of convenience.
We really enjoyed this easy soup. While this was very tasty and I will definately make it again, you couldn't taste the cumin in the final product. Next time I will add more because I think it will add depth of flavor. 2 cups broth wasn't enough liquid for the soup, so I'd add 2 more cups next time. The cauliflower taste was subtle. The Parmesan on top was tasty but didn't provide any color. Maybe I'll add some caramelized onions or chopped scallions for some color next time.
MMMMM mmmm good! This very easy, straightforward soup recipe was DELICIOUS! My main draw in testing this recipe was to see how quickly I could get it on the table. Rich and creamy and oh so velvety smooth—a wonderful appetizer soup or main meal. We had the soup as a light dinner with toast wedges, so the yield in this case was more like 3 servings, but it would serve 4 with smaller servings. I wish I'd made a double batch! Overall, the recipe timing was accurate. I cooked the onions and garlic a bit longer—closer to 10 minutes. I ended up using a whole onion, as mine was quite small and I felt that 1/2 wasn't enough. I thought 1/4 teaspoon cumin wouldn't be enough, but I'm glad I stopped myself from adding more. The end result was just right. At the market, the price of cauliflower was the same for all head sizes, so I bought a really big one and cut it in half to get a small head of just over 1 pound. I forgot to defrost my homemade stock, so I used my favorite boxed organic, low-sodium chicken stock. I did use the Parmesan, but I thought many other cheeses would also go well with the cauliflower soup, including a sharp Cheddar or Gruyère, and if I was to add either of those, I might also add a pinch of nutmeg. Hmmm, now I'm also thinking of different toppings that might work with this soup, such as a drizzle of spicy chile pepper oil or a garnish of fresh chives.
This is a decadent cauliflower soup that comes together very quickly. From start to finish, it took about 35 minutes. The texture is very much like heavy cream and even my friend who doesn't like cauliflower thought the soup was good—perhaps because with that amount of butter, it had to be tasty. I used pecorino cheese, as that's what I had on hand. I think the soup doesn't really need cheese. I couldn't taste the cumin.
Very easy and quick soup. Loved the addition of cumin, which made this soup a bit more special. I made this soup for a church supper, and everybody really liked it. I used homemade roast chicken stock. All the timings were accurate. I got 6 servings out of the soup, but I added 3/4 cup stock because the soup was a little thick for my taste. Parmesan worked very well, though I might try blue cheese the next time.
This soup is flavorful, silken, and filling. I love that the hands-on time was about 15 minutes. The times were spot-on, and the scent while cooking was wonderful. Regardless of what kind of day I've had, the aroma alone would lift my mood. My cauliflower head weighed 2 1/2 pounds, and because it was on the bigger side, I had to add 2 more cups broth to get a consistency that looked like soup and not mashed potatoes. I used an immersion blender to purée the soup. It was fantastic! I would like to try it with an extra sharp Cheddar instead of the Parmesan.
The weight of my cauliflower was 22 ounces. I did use chicken stock but I also made a batch of this cauliflower soup using vegetable stock made with the stem and outer leaves of the cauliflower along with garlic and a mirepoix which I brought to a boil and simmered for 45 minutes to extract the flavors. I used the Parmesan cheese because I think it adds a wonderful flavor to the cauliflower, cream, and stock. I also make a cauliflower soup similar to this adding apple and smoked gouda, depending on the entrée that I am serving.
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