Cauliflower Soup

published Sep 28, 2021
Cauliflower Soup

This easy, creamy cauliflower soup, flavored with garlic and thyme, is naturally dairy-free and vegan.

Serves4

Makesabout 6 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook45 minutes to 52 minutes

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cauliflower soup in a bowl
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This deeply savory cauliflower soup is so creamy and comforting, you’d never guess it’s dairy-free. Rather than milk, cream, or even a dairy alternative like coconut milk, this soup gets all of its richness from cauliflower itself. You’ll roast it first to deepen its naturally nutty flavor, then blend it with broth to create ultra-smooth results. This is the soup you’ll want to eat all fall long.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How Do You Thicken Cauliflower Soup?

There are many ways to thicken cauliflower soup. Some recipes lean on heavy cream, half-and-half, milk, or coconut milk to thicken the soup and make it creamy. Others blend in cooked potatoes with the cauliflower. My favorite way to thicken cauliflower soup, though, is to simply let the cauliflower do the work. When cooked and blended with chicken or vegetable broth, cauliflower’s natural starches make the soup plenty thick, rich, and creamy without the need for much else.

How Do You Fix Bland Cauliflower Soup?

Bland cauliflower soup is a result of a lack of seasoning. Here’s how to ensure every bowl is packed with flavor.

  • Season twice with salt and pepper: You’ll start by seasoning the cauliflower florets with salt and pepper before roasting. Then, season again when the roasted florets are combined with broth on the stovetop. Your soup should be well-seasoned if you follow this approach, but it’s always a good idea to taste it before serving in case your personal preference is a little more salt, pepper, or both.
  • Add lots of aromatics. Leaning hard on aromatics is another way to load cauliflower soup with flavor. Here, garlic, onion, and fresh thyme lend tons of savory flavor to the soup. Since cauliflower is such a mild vegetable, it can handle a heavy hand.
  • Finish with lemon. A big squeeze of lemon juice stirred into the soup right before serving brightens it up. Acid helps draw out flavor and ensures every spoonful of this soup is balanced and interesting.

Can You Freeze Puréed Cauliflower Soup?

Since this cauliflower soup doesn’t contain any cream, which can become gritty when frozen and thawed, it freezes exceptionally well. Simply let the soup cool, transfer it to an airtight container, and freeze it for up to three months. The night before you want to enjoy it, transfer the container to the refrigerator to slowly thaw overnight, then reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cauliflower Soup

This easy, creamy cauliflower soup, flavored with garlic and thyme, is naturally dairy-free and vegan.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes to 52 minutes

Makes about 6 cups

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 large head

    cauliflower (about 2 pounds)

  • 4 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 small bunch

    fresh thyme

  • 1/2

    small lemon

  • 1 (32-ounce) box

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Cut the florets and stem of 1 large head cauliflower into bite-sized (about 1-inch) pieces. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, season with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, and toss to coat. Spread into an even layer.

  3. Roast, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized at the edges, 20 to 25 minutes total. Meanwhile, dice 1 medium yellow onion and mince 2 garlic cloves. Strip the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh thyme until you have 1 tablespoon. Squeeze 1/2 small lemon to get 1 tablespoon juice.

  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

  5. When the cauliflower is ready, reserve 4 florets for garnish. Transfer the remaining cauliflower to the pot. Add 1 box (32 ounces) low-sodium broth, half of the thyme leaves, the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine, then place over high heat and bring to a boil.

  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover with the lid slightly ajar and simmer until the flavors meld and the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.

  7. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Use an immersion blender to blend directly in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, blend in batches in a regular blender.) Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Divide the soup between 4 bowls and garnish with the reserved roasted cauliflower florets and thyme leaves.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.