Made with only a few ingredients, this soup is easy, satiating, and adaptable to most any taste, allergy, or preference!
When I was growing up, my mom would make me soup if I wasn’t feeling well. We weren’t above chicken noodle from a can, but sometimes she would make her own concoction.
The following soup brought her so much joy because it was so easy she couldn’t believe it. I remember how excited she would get that the recipe had just two main ingredients.
“Emily, this soup is pure health,” she would say. It’s just vegetables! As a teenager, I likely rolled my eyes, grabbed a spoon, and ate on the couch.
But as a mom myself now, I can appreciate the ease as well as the pride in feeling like you created something nutritious and delicious for your family to enjoy.
When I first talked to Ann about this soup, she was unsure if the minimalist recipe could fly on its own. The purist in her saw the value and ease of the base recipe (using only cauliflower and chicken broth!), but her creative cooking mind got us working towards multiple adaptations, meal ideas, and flavor twists to give Fountain Avenue Kitchen readers some options.
In the end, we were both really excited about these options, which maintained the utter ease of this recipe while offering additional flavors, added protein, and fun toppings to keep everyone happy.
We hope you enjoy the ease of this soup base–and the experimenting–as much as we have!
How to start – pick a pot that reflects your intentions:
For a brothier soup, or one with some added ingredients, a large stock pot is fine. For a thicker, more basic soup, start with three or three and a half cups of broth and use a smaller soup pot: if there’s not enough broth to cover the large stock pot bottom, the cauliflower may burn.
Get creative – what’s in the fridge?
Start with the cauliflower soup base, adding ingredients you and your family enjoy (or ingredients in the fridge that need to be used before they spoil!) to give it personalized depth of flavor. Here are some ideas:
- Add celery and sauté (with or without the onion) before adding the cauliflower.
- After the cauliflower cooks down, add a can of drained cannellini or other white beans. This will thicken the soup and increase the heartiness because of the added fiber and protein.
- Add two chopped carrots along with the cauliflower. This will give the soup a brighter color and a touch of sweetness.
- Add half a head of broccoli along with the cauliflower. This will also change the color, and it may make the soup a bit more grainy. But for broccoli lovers, this can be a great alternative to a broccoli cheese soup. Sprinkle cheese on top for a similar effect!
- Peel and dice a pound of baking potatoes and add along with the cauliflower. This will make the soup creamier, thicker, and more filling.
- Use the white and light green part of a leek (instead of the onion) for that classic cauliflower leek combination.
- If it’s easier to find (or you don’t feel like cutting a head of cauliflower), use frozen cauliflower instead of fresh. One and a half bags (or about 650 grams) is similar to a fresh head of cauliflower. Start with a lower amount of broth (three cups) because frozen cauliflower contains more water.
- If you enjoy roasted cauliflower, try roasting the florets before adding to the broth. This adds an extra step, and is not necessary, but will supply a hint of nuttiness and overall depth of flavor.
It’s all about the toppings!
This soup works as an appetizer, snack, or entree and can be bolstered with a wide range of toppings. These are the ones we’ve tried (they are delicious!), but honestly, anything goes!
- Turn this soup into a loaded baked potato, topping with cheese, bacon, chives, and sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- For an element of crunch, top with roasted chickpeas, croutons, or onion crisps. Store-bought is fine too.
- A sharp grated cheddar makes everything taste better, right? It’s a perfect pairing here.
- Add a dollop of hummus, plain or even red pepper for color. Stir it in for a thicker, creamier texture.
- If you like spice, drizzle in some harissa or chili oil. A swirl on top will supply appealing color as well.
- Similarly, if you happen to have leftover Romesco sauce, swirl a spoonful into the soup for a flavor and color punch.
- For added flavor and color, do the same with pesto.
- Fresh herbs like chives, dill, and parsley, work as a colorful, flavorful garnish.
Save it for later.
The cauliflower soup will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. As a test, I froze a few batches, and they reheated quite well. If the soup should appear watery when thawed, simmer for a few extra minutes upon reheating.
💛 Tell us, how do you like your cauliflower soup! Leave comments in the section below!