About the Recipe
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
I know “cauliflower soup” might not sound super appealing if you’ve never had it before. Trust me, it can be so delicious! Today, I’m sharing my favorite cauliflower soup recipe, and I can’t wait for you to make it at home.
Why You’ll Love This Cauliflower Soup
This soup calls for basic ingredients but yields amazing flavor. If you have a head of cauliflower in the fridge, you probably have everything else you’ll need.
This cauliflower soup is the perfect accompaniment to salads and sandwiches. This traditional cauliflower soup will go with just about any other fall or winter flavors, including butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and greens like arugula and kale. It’ll warm you up without weighing you down!
This soup freezes well for later. This recipe doesn’t yield a ton (about 4 medium bowls), but if you have extra, just freeze it!
This creamy soup is special diet-friendly. It’s gluten free as written. Check my recipe notes to learn how to make this soup vegan/dairy free by using cashews instead of butter.
How to Make the Best Cauliflower Soup
Roast Your Cauliflower
Behind that creamy beige exterior, you’ll find loads of irresistible roasted cauliflower flavor. Roasted cauliflower is key here—cauliflower develops caramelized notes with a greater depth of flavor as it roasts in the oven.
Once your roasted cauliflower is almost done, you’ll sauté onions in a soup pot until tender, then add garlic and vegetable broth. Then, add your roasted cauliflower and simmer the mixture on the stove for about 20 minutes to meld the flavors.
Add Butter for Creaminess
You’ll transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and add butter. Butter is an easy way to add mega creamy, luxurious flavor and texture without any cream. If you’re like me, you always have butter in the fridge, but rarely heavy cream!
Blend Until Completely Smooth
I recommend blending this soup in a stand blender, rather than an immersion blender, because stand blenders yield the creamiest results. Fortunately, the ingredients used here are fairly soft, so even an inexpensive stand blender should work well. The final texture, in my opinion, is absolutely worth dirtying the blender bowl for.
Season with Nutmeg and Lemon Juice
We’re using small, subtle amounts of nutmeg and lemon juice here. You probably won’t be able to pinpoint them while you’re sipping your soup, but they offer a certain je ne sais quoi factor. They take this soup from great to fantastic!
Sprinkle Something Fresh on Top
I tried garnishing my soup with fresh parsley, green onion and chives. I loved them all and couldn’t pick a favorite, so use whichever you have on hand!
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 add a little more lemon juice, if it needs more zing. Blend again.
The 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.