We think big batches of soup are always a good idea, especially when it’s a bowl of loaded cauliflower soup to warm the bones on a cold night. Whether you’re looking for a perfect winter dinner for the family or looking for creative low-carb recipes, this soup hits the spot.
Of all our cauliflower recipes, this is the best soup to combine the rich flavors of cauliflower, sharp cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon for a savory wholesome meal.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good potato soup. We also know that not everyone does, and we create new recipes to fit everyone’s tastes. So we created this cauliflower twist on our favorite Creamy Ham and Potato Soup that non-potato lovers and low carb eaters can enjoy.
Ingredients to Make Loaded Cauliflower Soup
- Cooking fat of choice — extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, butter or ghee
- Sweet onion — diced, small
- Garlic cloves — peeled and minced
- Cauliflower — broken into small florets
- Chicken broth — chicken stock, vegetable stock, or vegetable broth work
- Fresh or dried thyme
- Fresh or dried rosemary
- Whole milk — substitute with full-fat canned coconut milk and omit the cheese to make it dairy-free
- Sharp cheddar cheese — shredded; pepper jack can also be used if you want to add a bit of spice
- Kale — torn into small pieces
- Crisp cooked bacon — chopped
- Fresh or dried chives
- Fresh or dried parsley
- Salt and black pepper
Find the ingredient list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Let’s talk about cauliflower! Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse, offering a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin K, as well as folate and various antioxidants. It’s a nutritious veggie with many health benefits.
How well does cauliflower substitute for potatoes? Fresh cauliflower, when cooked to tender perfection, achieves a creamy consistency akin to potatoes. It imparts a lusciously smooth and velvety texture to the soup. We leave some of the soup unblended so that you get chunky bits of cauliflower in every bite.
Cauliflower’s subtle earthy notes complement the richness of the sharp cheddar cheese, creating a harmony that makes every spoonful a delicious experience.
How To Make Loaded Cauliflower Soup
- To make this loaded cauliflower soup, start by sautéing onions in cooking fat until softened, then add garlic.
- Introduce the cauliflower florets, broth, thyme, and rosemary, bringing the mixture to a low boil before simmering until the cauliflower is tender.
- Blend half of the cauliflower and broth until smooth, reintegrate it into the pot, and stir in milk, cheese, and kale.
- Heat until the kale wilts, then finish the soup by adding bacon, fresh chives, and parsley.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste before serving this delectable and nutritious dish.
For serving size and the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories (kcals), protein, carbohydrates/carb, fiber, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and more per serving.
Swap Cauliflower For Broccoli
Don’t have a head of cauliflower? Check your veggies for broccoli. The result is a yummy loaded cheddar broccoli soup with a similar prep time. Delish! If opting for broccoli, keep a closer eye as it cooks to make sure it doesn’t overcook and lose its vibrant color.
Frozen cauliflower can also be used in this recipe. You will need to reduce the cooking time slightly to avoid overcooking. We recommend checking the cauliflower at around 10 minutes and adding time as needed to reach a soft texture.
Make It Extra Creamy
Want to make an extra creamy soup? Substitute the whole milk for heavy cream. You can also blend more than half of the soup. Adding more puree to the soup will thicken the consistency, resulting in a super creamy cauliflower soup.
This recipe doesn’t test well as a vegan version (dairy-free cheese doesn’t keep that cheesy texture when melted in soup), but you can substitute the milk/heavy cream for full-fat coconut milk to lower the dairy amount.
How To Store
To store cauliflower soup in the fridge, allow it to cool for at least 30-45 minutes before transferring it to an airtight container. When you’re ready to heat a bowl the next day, stir the cold soup well and scoop out however much you want to reheat at the time.
Ensure the soup is refrigerated within two hours of cooking and consumed within 3-4 days for optimal freshness.
While cauliflower soup can be frozen, it’s advisable to do so before adding the milk, cheese, or kale. Upon reheating, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and gently warm it on the stove, stirring occasionally to maintain its original texture and flavor.
- 2 teaspoons cooking fat of choice (olive oil, avocado oil, butter or ghee)
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 very large head cauliflower (or 2 small-medium heads), broken into small florets (about 7 cups or 24 ounces)
- 3 cups chicken broth (or homemade bone broth)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, lightly crushed between your fingers)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups kale, torn into small pieces
- 3 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives (optional; may use 1 teaspoon dried chives and add with other dried herbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional; may use 1 teaspoon dried parsley and add with other dried herbs)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large pot with lid (a 5- or 6-quart Dutch oven works well) over medium-high heat.
- Add cooking fat of choice to the pot. When hot, add the onions.
- Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the onions soften.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, an additional 30-60 seconds on medium heat until garlic is fragrant.
- Add cauliflower florets, broth, thyme, and rosemary.
- Stir and increase heat slightly to bring the liquid to a low boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid.
- Allow the cauliflower to cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender (but not mushy).
- Remove lid from pot and reduce heat to low.
- Carefully remove ½ of the cauliflower and broth to a blender pitcher or food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender right in the pot and blend until some chunks remain.
- Transfer blended soup back to pot, stir in milk, cheese, and kale.
- Heat over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
- Remove soup from heat, stir in bacon, fresh chives, and parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed before serving.
- Garnish as you would a loaded potato with sour cream, bacon bits, chives, and shredded cheese. Caramelized yellow onion and croutons make a yummy garnish as well.
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- Serving Size: 1¼ cups
- Calories: 375
- Fat: 24 g
- (Sat Fat: 12 g)
- Sodium: 650 mg
- Carbohydrate: 17 g
- (Fiber: 5 g
- Sugar: 9 g)
- Protein: 21 g
- Cholesterol: 76 mg
Frequently Asked Questions
The French soup made from cauliflower is called “Potage Parmentier au Chou-Fleur” or simply “Cauliflower Soup.”
Cauliflower soup boasts many health benefits from the high fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants mostly found in cauliflower and kale. Substituting cauliflower for potatoes contributes to a lower-carb profile, making it a nutritious choice for those needing a reduced-carbohydrate diet.
The main differences between cauliflower and broccoli are visual and taste. Cauliflower has a compact white head with a mild, nutty flavor, while broccoli has green, tightly packed clusters with a more pronounced, slightly bitter taste. Both are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
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