Cauliflower Soup

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This hearty, vegetable-loaded Cauliflower Soup is rich, thick, and creamy! With tender bites of cauliflower and a luxioursly flavorful soup base, even your kids will be hooked on veggies!

Pair this heartwarming soup with a light and crunchy side salad like Panzanella salad or Olive Garden Salad.

Overhead image of Cauliflower Soup in a bowl

Cauliflower Soup

We love a good creamy vegetable soup, but this soup is an ode to cauliflower — one of the most versatile and beloved veggies around!

While there is still a good amount of other veggies in this soup, cauliflower is the star here and a low-carb replacement superhero. Instead of relying mainly on potatoes to bulk up this soup (we only use 1 cup in this recipe), we’re using an entire head of cauliflower instead!

And the tender bites of cauliflower are so good in this soup, you won’t even be missing those extra carbs!

Process shots-- images of the vegetables being sauteed and the garlic and seasonings being added and sautéed

SHORTCUTS

Cauliflower Soup Shortcuts

This soup recipe requires a bit of chopping, but below I’ve got a few shortcut ideas to help save some time in the kitchen.

  • Pick up mirepoix (also sometimes called soup starter). Most stores sell pre-chopped mirepoix (a French phrase for diced onion, carrot, and celery) in the produce section. If you’re in a hurry, grab that fresh-chopped mirepoix or you can even use frozen mirepoix–found near other frozen veggies in the store.
  • Use jarred garlic or a garlic press. Instead of mincing your own garlic, you can use jarred to save time. Alternatively, a garlic press gives you fresh-minced garlic in a fraction of the time that hand mincing requires.
  • Cheese: If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, you can have freshly grated cheese in a flash!
  • Prep ahead of time. Not a shortcut per se, but I’ll often use a less-busy day to chop up a bunch of veggies ahead of time for the week. Store the onion, celery, and carrot in a container separate from the cauliflower and enjoy how simple cauliflower soup can be to make with the heavy prep work out of the way! (I don’t recommend chopping the potatoes ahead of time since they have a tendency to brown and change texture.)

Process shots of Cauliflower Soup-- images of the cauliflower being chopped up and added to the pot and the veggie stock being added

Cauliflower Soup Tips

  • Make sure to dice the potatoes and cauliflower into small pieces (1/2-inch dice for potatoes, bite-sized pieces for cauliflower) so they can cook through in the indicated time listed in the recipe. Larger chunks of either veggie will need to simmer a lot longer and will further reduce the broth. The soup is also less pleasant to eat with overly large chunks of veggies!
  • Cut veggies generally the same size for even cooking; if some pieces are a lot larger than others you’ll have some mushy and some crisp veggies in this soup.
  • For the ultimate thick, creamy, and best cauliflower soup, make sure to use whole milk, not a milk substitute or lower-fat milk. 

Process shots-- images of the cream part of the soup being made

Cauliflower Soup Tips, Continued

  • I recommend freshly grated cheese; pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating that results in a greasier/clumpier soup that can turn grainy. You’ll also want to make sure to use a sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese–this makes a big difference to the overall flavor. Plain Cheddar will leave this cauliflower soup tasting flat.
  • Seasoning as you cook. Seasoning with salt and pepper as you cook helps the flavors permeate the soup. If the soup tastes flat, it may just need a pinch more of salt and/or pepper. See “quick tip” below.
  • The better the stock used, the better this soup will taste. Bonus points for homemade stock, but a good store-bought stock will also reward you with a deeply flavorful soup. We love Swanson® chicken stock best! (Not sponsored)

QUICK TIP

Not all salts will season the same (you’ll need more or less depending on the salt used). I use fine sea salt in this recipe.

Process shots-- images of the cream mixture being added to the soup and everything being mixed together and served

Cauliflower Soup FAQs

1How do you fix bland Cauliflower Soup?

The fix may be as simple as adding a touch more salt and/or pepper — it’s amazing how these seasonings can bring flavors to life!

You can also add a pinch more thyme and oregano.

If you’re still after more flavor, try topping the soup bowl with extra cheese and some fresh herbs like thyme or chives. Top this cauliflower soup with bacon for another great flavor add.

To avoid bland Cauliflower Soup in the first place, be sure to use a good quality chicken stock, sharp or extra sharp (not mild) Cheddar, and generously season as you cook!

2How long does Cauliflower Soup last in the fridge?

Stored properly (in an airtight container) this soup will stay good for 3-4 days in the fridge.

I don’t recommend freezing it, because of the milk and cheese in it. The milk solids will separate as the soup thaws, resulting in a grainy texture that often separates.

3What can you do with cauliflower leaves?

If you want to get as much use as possible from your cauliflowers, use the leaves as a side dish! Replace spinach, kale, or chard with cauliflower greens in a stir-fry-type dish (like this Chicken Stir Fry).

Here are some other ideas for using the greens.

4How do you thicken Cauliflower Soup?

We create a roux (butter and flour) to thicken this soup nicely. We add whole milk to the roux and finish it off with some Cheddar cheese. Once we’ve got this mixture finished, we pour it into the simmered veggies and it thickens everything really nicely.

This cauliflower soup has no cream but does contain milk. If sensitive to lactose, try using Lactaid’s whole milk which will work perfectly in this recipe!

5How do you make a Healthy Cauliflower soup?

For a lower calorie Cauliflower Soup, you can replace the whole milk with 1% milk. Note that the result won’t be near as rich and creamy, but you’ll be saving some calories and fat.

Overhead image of a bowl of Cauliflower Soup in a bowl with bread being dipped in

Reheating Leftovers

Reheating a creamy soup made can be tricky; we want to avoid separation and a grainy texture. To reheat, add the leftover Cauliflower Soup to a pot and slowly increase the heat while stirring frequently. Don’t boil the soup or reheat it at a high temperature; this can cause the ingredients to separate. 

If the soup has thickened too much for your liking, add a splash more of chicken stock to thin it out as it warms through again.

QUICK TIP

Looking for a vegetarian cauliflower soup? This recipe can easily be made vegetarian — simply swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock!

More vegetable-packed soup recipes

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Cauliflower Soup

5 from 1 vote
This hearty, vegetable-loaded Cauliflower Soup is rich, thick, and creamy! With tender bites of cauliflower and a luxuriously flavorful soup base, even your kids will be hooked on cauliflower!
Print Recipe

Cauliflower Soup

5 from 1 vote
This hearty, vegetable-loaded Cauliflower Soup is rich, thick, and creamy! With tender bites of cauliflower and a luxuriously flavorful soup base, even your kids will be hooked on cauliflower!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword Cauliflower Soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 538kcal
Cost $9.48

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
  • 1 cup (135g) diced yellow onion about 1 onion
  • 1 cup (135g) diced carrots about 3 carrots
  • 3/4 cup (100g) diced celery (3 stalks)
  • 1 cup (150g) diced gold potatoes (~2 potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (~4 cloves)
  • 3/4 teaspoon each: dried thyme, dried oregano
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 4-5 cups (368g) cauliflower (~1 medium head), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cups (680g) chicken stock Note 1
  • 1/4 cup white, all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (465g) whole milk Note 2
  • 1 cup (113g) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (plus more for serving) Note 3
  • Optional: fresh thyme for topping and crusty artisan bread for dipping! (or even bread bowls -- yum!)

Instructions

  • SAUTE VEGGIES: See Note 4. Combine 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add in the onion, carrots, celery, potatoes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion is golden. Add in the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Add seasonings: dried thyme, dried oregano, and salt & pepper to taste (I add 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Mix through.
  • CAULIFLOWER: Add in the cauliflower and chicken broth. Mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low or to a gentle simmer (barely bubbling at edges). Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are tender (a fork can pierce cauliflower and potatoes easily).
  • THICKENER: Meanwhile, in another small pot, add remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Melt. Once melted, add in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add in the milk. Once all the milk is in, cook, still over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5-6 minutes. (We want to keep the heat right under a boil -- don't boil this mixture!) Once thickened, remove from heat and add in the cheese. Stir through to melt.
  • FINISH SOUP: Reduce soup pot heat to low. Pour the milk and cheese mixture into the pot once the veggies are tender. Stir through. Taste and season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed, I typically add another 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and pepper here. If you'd like the soup to be less chunky and a bit creamier, you can add 1 to 2 cups to a blender, blend and return it to the soup.
  • SERVE: Serve soup, topping bowls with additional cheese if desired and fresh thyme if using. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Stock: The better the quality stock used, the better this soup will taste. We love Swanson's chicken stock best! (Not sponsored).
Note 2: Milk: For the ultimate thick, creamy, and best cauliflower soup, make sure to use whole milk, not a milk substitute or lower-fat milk. If you're set on lower-calorie milk, I recommend 2% or 1%, but note the soup will be less thick. I don't recommend plant-based alternatives here.
Note 3: Cheese: I recommend freshly grated cheese; pre-grated cheese has a cellulose coating that results in a greasier/clumpier soup that can turn grainy. You'll also want to make sure to use a sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese--this makes a big difference to the overall flavor. Plain Cheddar cheese will leave this cauliflower soup tasting flat.
Note 4: Veggies: Make sure to dice the potatoes and cauliflower into small pieces (1/2-inch dice for potatoes, bite-sized pieces for cauliflower) so they can cook through in the indicated time listed in the recipe. Larger chunks of either veggie will need to simmer a lot longer and will further reduce the broth. The soup is also less pleasant to eat with overly large chunks of veggies!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 1128mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 6356IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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