“Creamy” Cauliflower Soup (GF/Paleo with DF/Vegan/AIP options)
Hey look, there’s been a bit of a backlash against cauliflower because it’s showed up in so many low-carb, lower-calorie foods like cauliflower rice, cauliflower crust pizza, cauliflower tortillas, mashed cauliflower, even cauliflower crackers.
I get it. While some of these substitutions taste great, others are…less great.
I myself really like caulirice (I roast it!) and the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s is pretty bomb too (also best when roasted!).
One reason cauliflower shows up as a replacement for flour and starches (other than it’s low-carb and low-calorie) is that it has a lovely, creamy quality to it when pureed.
That’s what makes this soup so smooth, even though it has no cream in it.
Another reason is that its mild-yet-savory flavor is complemented by such a variety of herbs, spices, cheeses, meats and fish, nuts and seeds, on and on.
Below is a basic recipe for “Creamy” Cauliflower Soup, which is simple to prepare and can be frozen for future fast meals. (The best combo, right?)
It tastes fantastic on its own, but it’s super fun as a canvas for all sorts of delicious topping combos. I’ve served this as a starter at several dinner parties and even as the star of the show at a ladies’ luncheon.
Let’s talk about protein – with my coaching clients, we work with a very specific satiety formula for creating meals that turn appetite way down. Each meal includes a combination of protein, some starch, some plants (veggies/fruit/herbs), and healthy fat. When you get that ratio right, cravings diminish and it gets easier and easier to eat healthfully and to naturally eat the right number of calories.
This soup for sure falls into the vegetable camp and provides some healthy fat too. To round out a meal with protein and carbs, have alongside a couple of tacos, an open-faced sandwich, an omelet with potatoes, or a salad that includes chickpeas or black beans. So delish, so nutrient-dense, and super filling for hours.
“Creamy” Cauliflower Soup
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons butter, divided (can sub vegan butter)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Several grinds of black pepper
So many fun garnish options, get creative:
Shredded gruyere with teeny bit of freshly grated nutmeg
Ginger scallion sauce and bacon
Buttery croutons and lots of black pepper
Chopped toasted nuts with a drizzle of olive oil
Shards of crispy prosciutto
Salted whipped cream with minced chives
Small cubes of fennel sausage and boiled potato
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread cauliflower evenly across the baking sheet and drizzle with 2
tablespoons of the oil. Turn cauliflower pieces to coat evenly with oil. Sprinkle
with salt. Place baking sheet in the oven and roast cauliflower for 15 minutes.
Turn cauliflower pieces over and roast for another 10 minutes or until the
cauliflower is tender and browned in spots. When done, remove from oven and
- While the cauliflower roasts, add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to a Dutch
oven or large saucepan and set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the
onion and a couple of pinches of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion
is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, then stir in the
- Add roasted cauliflower to the Dutch oven. Bring soup to a boil, then turn
heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Working in 2 batches (do not fill a blender more than half full of hot liquid
because steam will cause overflow), add half of soup,1 tablespoon of the
butter, and 1tablespoon of the lemon juice to blender. Puree soup (hold the
blender cover on tightly, then start on very low speed and increase speed
slowly). When soup is perfectly smooth, transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the
remaining soup, butter, and lemon juice.
- Season soup with salt and black pepper. Serve hot with garnishes.