What's For Dinner: Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup || A Less Processed Life

Four days until Spring and it's currently snowing outside. And that's after a lovely weekend with temperatures in the mid-60s! Gotta love living in the Northwoods. 

Cauliflower Soup || A Less Processed Life

So, yeah, it's definitely still soup weather around this parts, and this hearty cauliflower soup will hit the spot on a cold, snowy day.

Cauliflower Soup || A Less Processed Life

Although there isn't an ounce of cream in this recipe, the resulting soup is velvety in texture and rich in flavor. The addition of cauliflower florets fried in brown butter along with a generous brown butter drizzle and scattering of freshly chopped chives gives this soup an elegant flair – making it just as appropriate for a dinner party as it is for a simple weeknight dinner.

Cauliflower Soup (printer-friendly version)
makes 4 to 6 servings

1 head cauliflower
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and rinsed thoroughly
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 1/2 - 5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
additional salt and pepper to taste

1. Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and trim off the end of the stem. Use a paring knife to cut around the core to remove it. Cut the core into thin slices and set aside. Cut a heaping 1 cup of 1/2-inch florets from the head of the cauliflower and set aside. Cut the remaining cauliflower into 1/2-inch thick slices.
2. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the leek, onion, and salt and cook until the leek and onion are softened and just golden in color, about 7 minutes.
3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add 4 1/2 cups water, the thinly sliced core, and half of the sliced cauliflower. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining cauliflower and return the mixture to a simmer. (Add more water if necessary to ensure the cauliflower is covered in liquid.) Continue to cook until the cauliflower is tender and easily crumbles, about 20 minutes longer.
4. While the soup is simmering, melt 5 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently, until the florets are golden brown. Remove the florets with a slotted spoon and place in a small bowl. Toss the florets with vinegar and season to taste with salt. Continue cooking the butter until it browns. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and reserve for garnishing.
5. Carefully process the soup in a blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. (Do this in two batches if necessary so as to not overfill the blender. Also, cover the opening at the top of the blender with a towel to allow steam to escape.) Return the pureed soup to the stock pot and return to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, a drizzle of brown butter, and freshly chopped chives.

(lightly adapted from this America's Test Kitchen recipe)


  1. Also added some fried bacon bits and a tablespoon of curry powder at the end. Delish!


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