Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup is SO creamy, healthy, easy to make and bursting with flavor!

This Creamy Cauliflower Soup is SO lusciously rich, thick and velvety, you won’t believe it’s low fat and low carb without any cheese or cream!  Most importantly, you won’t believe how delicious this healthy Cauliflower Soup is.  It’s loaded with nutty caramelized flavors from curry roasted cauliflower, onions, garlic and my secret ingredient – fennel!  It’s guaranteed to satisfy your warm creamy soup cravings – without ANY guilt!  This creamy Cauliflower Soup is also freezer friendly and reheats beautifully for stress free dinners or lunches throughout the week.

top view of easy cauliflower soup in a white soup pot with a ladle.

How do you make the best cauliflower soup?

If you haven’t jumped on the Cauliflower Soup bandwagon yet, I don’t blame you.  I tried making various website Cauliflower recipes and I tried adding my own spin to make them more flavorful – and still I was left with lackluster Cauliflower Soup – soup I didn’t crave and soup I definitely wouldn’t be proud to share – until today.

THIS Cauliflower Soup, my friends, is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  It is downright obsessive worthy and the Best Cauliflower Soup recipe in my opinion.  I am giddy to share it with you and I can’t wait to hear what you think!  Here’s how we create the best healthy Cauliflower Soup recipe:

up close of a bowl of easy cauliflower soup garnished with pepitas

1.  Create complex flavors with basic ingredients

This Cauliflower Soup was inspired by a birthday lunch date with my sister. As we both slurped our warm, fragrant, creamy Cauliflower Soup, we were in awe at the savory, subtle, layers of multi-dimensional flavors.

I asked if the chef would share his recipe and I learned the secret to his vibrant Cauliflower Soup (dramatic pause) – fennel!  Cauliflower Soup NEEDS fennel, in my humble opinion, although I have never seen it in any other recipe and that’s why I haven’t liked any other recipe!

As the fennel sweats with onions and celery, it becomes sweet and juicy, smooth and creamy and imparts a subtle sweet, bright, herby, slightly tangy flavor.  The fennel combined with the aromatic onions, and garlic = heaven!

showing how to make cauliflower soup by chopping onions, celery and fennel

2.  Roast and spike the cauliflower with curry

I have an entire post dedicated to Curry Roasted Cauliflower because it is my FAVORITE way eat cauliflower and, in turn, makes this my favorite Cauliflower Soup!

Roasting the cauliflower transforms the plain, rather bland vegetable into a nutty, buttery flavored delight with caramelized edges.  The curry infuses it with complex flavors with just the right amount of needed spunk which in turn makes our Cauliflower Soup a nutty, fragrant delight.

a spoonful of Parmesan roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet

3.  Make it healthy AND creamy 

It is practically impossible to find a soup that is creamy and healthy.  I have “lightened up versions” of Potato Soup, Broccoli Soup and Tomato Soup but they still have cheese and/or half and half.

This easy Cauliflower Soup, on the other hand, tastes deceptively decadent, but doesn’t have any cream or cream cheese – and it doesn’t need it!  Instead, the Cauliflower Soup uses the trick of blending the vegetables until smooth to create its own thickness.

In fact, the soup is actually so thick and creamy you will probably have to thin it out with some milk or broth once it’s done.  YAY for guilt free comfort food that will fill you up without weighing you down!

up close of a ladle full of creamy Cauliflower Soup in the pot

 

4.  Omit cheese and dairy so it reheats and freezes beautifully

Some soups with pasta and rice don’t save as well as the pasta/grains soak up the liquid in the soup but this Cauliflower Soup tastes even better the next day!  It also freezes great because it doesn’t contain any cheese or heavy cream.  This means you can make this Cauliflower Soup in bulk or in advance and have dinner at a reheats notice.

5.  BONUS

This easy Cauliflower Soup also is fabulous because its a flavorful meal on-its-own or pairs beautifully with practically everything.  Although it includes curry roasted cauliflower, its flavor profile isn’t Asian, it is just flavorful.  This allows the soup to compliment any type of cuisine from soups and sandwiches to tacos and pasta!

What Ingredients Do you Need for CAULIFLOWER SOUP?

To make this easy Cauliflower Soup Recipe, you will need:

  • Cauliflower: choose a large cauliflower that is free from browning, wet spots or “sun burned spots.”  The cauliflower should be firm, heavy for its size with densely packed florets.
  • Fennel: If you aren’t familiar with cooking fennel, most grocery stores carry it or specialty produce stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. definitely do.  Look for plump, round fennel bulbs as opposed to flat elongated ones because those won’t be as sweet. We want just the bulb for our Cauliflower Soup recipe, so chop off the fennel stalks at their base, where they join the bulb. You can discard the stalks and feathery fronds or use the fronds as a salad garnish.

showing how to make cauliflower soup by showing what fennel looks like

  • Celery: you will need 2 cups chopped celery, for me this was almost one bunch.  To chop, I slice each stalk in half lengthwise then chop the other direction.
  • Butter: I love the added flavor but you can substitute with olive oil for an even healthier soup.
  • Olive oil: you can substitute with your preferred cooking oil if you wish.
  • White Onion: I usually use yellow onions but for this Cauliflower Soup recipe, you will want a white onion for a sweeter, cleaner flavor.
  • Garlic: use more or less depending on your garlic love.
  • Chicken broth: I prefer chicken broth over vegetable broth because it has more flavor.

What spices to add to cauliflower soup?

Our Roasted Cauliflower Soup boasts a complex aromatic base of onions, garlic, fennel and celery.  We further enhance the flavor with:

  • Yellow Curry Powder: Curry powder can be found with the spices at any grocery store.  Please don’t skip the curry or you will be missing out on serious YUM as curry is a mixture of many different spices.
  • Herbs: We use dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano.  You can substitute the dried herbs for fresh herbs.  The general rule is 1 teaspoon dried to 1 tablespoon fresh.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Use more or less cayenne pepper to taste but please don’t skip – it makes the Cauliflower Soup come alive! If you aren’t sure how much to use, you can wait until your Cauliflower Soup is done and then start with a pinch.

How do you make easy cauliflower soup?

Step 1: Roast Cauliflower

Toss cauliflower with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper and roasts for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden because color = flavor.  The trick to deeply flavorful cauliflower is to spread it out in an even layer so it roasts and doesn’t just steam.

Roasted cauliflower caramelizes and sweetens and will impart a greater depth of flavor to your Cauliflower Soup.  While the cauliflower is roasting, I use this time to chop the onions, fennel and celery.

showing how to make healthy cauliflower soup by roasting cauliflower

Step 2: Sweat onions, fennel and celery

Next, we build flavor by sweating our aromatics.  Sweating is a process in which vegetables soften and sweeten instead of turning golden and nutty.

To sweat the aromatics, cook them over medium-low heat until translucent and tender, stirring often, this will take about 10-15 minutes.  You will have to keep an eye on the onions to see when they’re done because they won’t turn golden.  Once they’re translucent, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

showing how to make cauliflower soup by cooking onions, celery, garlic and fennel in a white pot

Step 3:  Thicken Soup

Next, sprinkle in flour and cook for additional 2 minutes to get rid of raw flour smell, then add chicken broth and all seasonings. Reserve about ½ cup roasted cauliflower for garnish and add the rest to the soup.

showing how to make cauliflower soup by stirring parsley, oregano, cayenne pepper into soup

Simmer Cauliflower Soup for at least 5 minutes or longer if needed to thicken. This allows the cauliflower to release it is nutty flavors into the soup and all the flavors to blend.

showing how to make cauliflower soup by adding roasted cauliflower to the pot with the broth.

Step 4:  Blend to desired Consistency

You can pick the consistency of your Cauliflower Soup.  If you want tender chunks of cauliflower in your soup, in addition to the garnish, only blend part of the soup. If you want a completely smooth Cauliflower Soup, then blend all of the soup.

For the smoothest, CREAMIEST Soup, use your blender and not an immersion blender. I was not satisfied with the texture of the soup when I used my immersion blender.

To puree the Cauliflower Soup in the blender, add soup to blender in batches, adding pureed soup to a separate bowl.

While using the blender, make sure you let some of the steam escape by lifting up a corner or it will explode. I leave a corner open and cover it with a paper towel so steam can escape but soup cannot.

Step 5:  Garnish

Taste your soup and season with additional salt, pepper and/or cayenne to taste.  Garnish with reserved cauliflower and something crunchy like pepitas, sunflower seeds or roasted chick peas.

Step 6: EAT!

up close of a ladle of the best Cauliflower Soup with roasted cauliflower

Now dig into luscious, healthy, guilt free Roasted Cauliflower Soup!

Can Healthy Cauliflower Soup be made vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free?

EVERYONE needs the pleasure of slurping this velvety soup. As written, it is not vegetarian, gluten or dairy free, but with a couple easy swaps, it can fit everyone’s dietary needs:

  • Gluten Free Cauliflower Soup: use gluten free flour.
  • Vegetarian Cauliflower Soup: substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Dairy Free Cauliflower Soup: thin soup with chicken/vegetable broth instead of milk and use oil instead of butter.

far away shot of a bowl of easy Cauliflower Soup garnished with curry roasted cauliflower

 

How do you thicken cauliflower soup?

If you puree all of your Cauliflower Soup then it is likely to be on the gorgeously thick side and you may want to thin it out with chicken broth, milk or half and half.

If you puree only part of your soup, then it will either be the perfect consistency or perhaps slightly thinner than you may like.  Don’t let this bother you though, because it is very easy to thicken Cauliflower Soup.

To thicken Cauliflower Soup, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water until smooth.  Add to soup and simmer until thickened.   If you would like even thicker soup, then repeat.

Can you Make Cauliflower Soup in Advance?

Cauliflower Soup reheats beautifully, so it is perfect to make in advance. You can even meal prep by adding serving size portions into separate containers for the week (or up to 5 days).

You can reheat individual servings in the microwave or heat larger quantities on the stove until warmed through.

top view of creamy cauliflower soup garnished with roasted cauliflower, parsley and pepitas

How long can you keep cauliflower soup in the fridge?

This Cauliflower Soup will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator.  As always, use common sense and if it doesn’t smell right, then throw it out.

Can you Freeze Cauliflower soup?

YES!  Many soups with dairy or pasta in them don’t freeze well but this Cauliflower Soup freezes great.

If you know you are going to freeze, then thin your soup (if needed) with chicken broth instead of milk.

side view of healthy cauliflower soup with a golden spoon and freshly cracked pepper

HOW TO FREEZE CAULIFLOWER SOUP:

  1. Cool. Cool Cauliflower Soup completely before freezing.
  2. Package:  Transfer soup to a freezer safe container.  You can use sandwich size plastic bags for individual soup portions, quart size bags or freezer bags.  To easy fill these bags, place them in a container that you can wrap the top around the edge of – for example, place a sandwich size bag in a mug then cuff the edges around the mug.  This keeps the bag open and prevents it from collapsing when you are pouring in your Cauliflower Soup. Squeeze out any excess air then seal and label.
  3. Freeze. Freeze Cauliflower Soup for up to three months
  4. Defrost/Reheat. The easiest way to thaw your soup is in your refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Looking for more healthy Soup Recipes?

up close of a spoon of creamy Cauliflower Soup

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

up close of a ladle full of creamy Cauliflower Soup in the pot

Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup is SO creamy, healthy, easy to make and bursting with flavor – you won’t believe it’s low fat and low carb without any cheese or cream!  Most importantly, you won’t believe how delicious this Cauliflower Soup is.  It’s loaded with curry roasted cauliflower with nutty caramelized flavors, onions, garlic and my secret ingredient – fennel!  It’s guaranteed to satisfy your warm creamy soup cravings – without ANY guilt!  This Roasted Cauliflower Soup is also freezer friendly and reheats beautifully for stress free dinners or lunches throughout the week.
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins

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Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter may sub olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel chopped**
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano, salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch -⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Milk as needed to thin (use broth if freezing)

Instructions

Roasted Cauliflower

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking tray with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add cauliflower to prepared baking tray and and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss until evenly coated, then spread out into a single layer.
  • Roast at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until starting to char on the edges. (I use this time to chop the onions, fennel and celery.)

Soup

  • After the cauliflower has been roasting 10-15 minutes, melt 2 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven/soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, fennel, and celery and cook until translucent and tender, stirring often, about 10-15 minutes (we are sweating the vegetables- they will not turn golden).
  • Increase heat to medium high and add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook for additional 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Reduce heat to low and add chicken broth and all seasonings. Reserve about ½ cup roasted cauliflower for garnish and add the rest to the soup.
  • Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Puree desired amount of soup with an immersion blender or working in batches, puree in blender, taking care to let smoke escape or it will explode (I leave a corner open and cover with a paper towel). I find my blender gives a smoother, more desirable consistency.
  • Stir in a little milk or half and half if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste soup and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish soup with reserved roasted cauliflower, and option freshly chopped parsley and roasted pepitas.

Notes

*Fennel: DON’T SKIP!  Fennel is crucial to the flavor of this Cauliflower Soup. If you aren’t familiar with cooking fennel, most grocery stores carry it or specialty produce stores such as Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. definitely do.  Look for plump, round fennel bulbs as opposed to flat elongated ones because those won’t be as sweet. We want just the bulb for our Cauliflower Soup recipe, so chop off the fennel stalks at their base, where they join the bulb. You can discard the stalks and feathery fronds or use the fronds as a salad garnish.

Can Cauliflower Soup be made vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free?

EVERYONE needs the pleasure of slurping this velvety soup. As written, it is not vegetarian, gluten or dairy free, but with a couple easy swaps, it can fit everyone’s dietary needs:
  • Gluten Free Cauliflower Soup: use gluten free flour.
  • Vegetarian Cauliflower Soup: substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Dairy Free Cauliflower Soup: thin soup with chicken/vegetable broth instead of milk and use oil instead of butter.

HOW TO FREEZE CAULIFLOWER SOUP

If you know you are going to freeze your  Cauliflower Soup, then thin your soup (if needed) with chicken broth instead of milk.
  1. Cool. Cool Cauliflower Soup completely before freezing.
  2. Package:  Transfer soup to a freezer safe container.  You can use sandwich size plastic bags for individual soup portions, quart size bags or freezer bags.  To easy fill these bags, place them in a container that you can wrap the top around the edge of – for example, place a sandwich size bag in a mug then cuff the edges around the mug.  This keeps the bag open and prevents it from collapsing when you are pouring in your Cauliflower Soup. Squeeze out any excess air then seal and label.
  3. Freeze. Freeze Cauliflower Soup for up to three months
  4. Defrost/Reheat. The easiest way to thaw your soup is in your refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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19 Comments

  1. Wendy says

    Jen, your soup recipes are out of this world good!! Every time you post a new one I go to the store for the things I need and I have never been disappointed !!! I love the addition of fennel. Thank you for all of your recipes and the time you spend on gathering information on preparing them.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so so much Wendy! I am honored you are loving my soup recipes so much and I love hearing how you run to the grocery store right away so you can make them! Thanks for making my day!

  2. Nora says

    Way too much blah blah blah, pictures and ads to weed through before you find the recipe. Painful

    • Jen says

      That is why there is a “jump to recipe” button at the very top of the post so you can skip right to it. The “blah blah” is there for those who do find it helpful and is how I have built a thriving business.

      • Maggie says

        Just showing you support! I have followed you for a long time and your recipes are incredible and posts are super informative. Keep building that business sista

        • Jen says

          Thanks for your support Maggie, that is so kind of you! I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my recipes and posts!

    • Mary Ann says

      I spend many hours reading your ‘ blah, blah Jen, Don’t stop.

      • Jen says

        Thanks for your support Mary Ann! I’m so happy you find it helpful! xo

  3. Carrie says

    Do you think I could roast the cauliflower and freeze it, then later thaw and finish making the soup?

  4. Mary Ann says

    Just finished making this soup. It is a cold wintery night here in Nova Scotia Canada and this
    was the perfect supper. Thank you again for another winner.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Marry Ann, I’m so happy it hit the spot! My family is taking a cruise up to Nova Scotia and Quebec this summer – I’m so excited to see your beautiful country!

      • Mary Ann says

        Fantastic, hope they have a safe and memorable trip.

  5. Cynthia says

    Fantastic cauliflower soup! We’ve made it 4 times now and just love it! I’ve adjusted the seasonings each time because of a missing ingredient or just felt like experimenting like adding cummin which is great! Looking forward to trying it with fennel! Never had it before.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Cynthia, I LOVE hearing this Cauliflower Soup is on repeat at your house and that you’re having fun experimenting with it!

  6. Larisa says

    Another great recipe! Just finished my second bowl as I’m typing this. Followed the recipe exactly, besides doubling the spices along with the curry powder. Definitely another keeper recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Larisa, I’m so pleased it was a hit!

  7. Ermelinda Pace says

    Very interesting recipes. I’m going to try the tomatoe soup recipe.

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