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Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

I had a head of cauliflower, it’s getting cold outside and I wanted some soup but it had to be very simple. I found this recipe on Food52, I had run out of stock vegetable or chicken and couldn’t run to the store, was waiting for a delivery and when I saw how easy this soup was and the list of ingredients is minimal I knew this was what I would make. This is part of the Food52 Genius collection, it is genius in it’s simplicity and tasting it you would never know just how easy it is to make. It would be an elegant addition to any meal, your guests will be impressed. As it is this recipe is vegan, no dairy or animal products at all. Of course I added a couple of tbs of butter to mine, just because I like butter but this is completely optional and unnecessary. The soup is delicious as is.

Serves 8

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin
  • 1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 5 1/2 cups water, divided
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
  3. Working in batches, purΓ©e the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.
  4. Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
smooth and creamy

smooth and creamy

105 Comments Post a comment
  1. Looks yummy- love your drizzle on top! πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
    • Thanks so much, it’s delicious and so simple. I had a pot of soup in an hour. Great recipe!

      October 30, 2014
  2. Oh no! I’ve just made cauliflower cheese with my cauliflower – now I’m kind of wishing I’d made this. I always love a good cauliflower soup and this one sounds so elegant and simple. Oh well next time!

    October 30, 2014
    • Thats funny because I almost made cheesy cauliflower gratin but opted for the simple soup. Wish we could swap out some of each.

      October 30, 2014
      • yes that would be good – we’d get the best of both worlds! Sadly, I think it would be cold by the time it arrived!

        October 30, 2014
      • Ha! yes I’m afraid neither dish would or could withstand the trip.

        October 30, 2014
  3. Such a simple and heart warming recipe Suzanne. I bought a cauliflower today from the grocery store. Will make a small portion soon.

    October 30, 2014
    • It’s so good Sonal, it takes almost no time to prepare and is so comforting. I was thinking of adding curry spice to it, that would be delicious also.

      October 30, 2014
  4. I love this soup! I’ve been wanting to make a cauliflower soup for these chilly days too! Mmm this one looks really smooth and creamy!

    October 30, 2014
  5. This is the same way, like I make my cauliflower soup! Deilcious! x

    October 30, 2014
    • It’s the best, so easy. I almost feel guilty posting something so simple but then simple is so often the best.

      October 30, 2014
      • I agree & so do many others! xxx

        October 30, 2014
  6. Cauliflower soup is my favourite! Perfect as you’ve described for those chilly days! Definitely would love to try this soup, it’s looks so comforting and warming!

    October 30, 2014
  7. Hi Suzanne, Love soups! How chilly is it in NY? Hot still in Florida. Cheryl

    October 30, 2014
    • Up until yesterday the weather was pretty warm 60’s and 70’s but today and over the weekend it will be colder, 40’s and 50’s perfect soup weather. Blustery cool weather and hot soup go hand in hand. Thanks Cheryl.

      October 30, 2014
  8. I made cauliflower last night for dinner and realized that it has quickly become one of my favorite vegetables because it is so versatile. Looks yummy πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
    • Me too, it’s chameleon like. can take on just about any flavor. Can sub as mashed potatoes if you are watching carbs, resemble cous cous. Love the stuff.

      October 30, 2014
  9. Nice. I love cauliflower soup…

    October 30, 2014
  10. looks very good!

    October 30, 2014
  11. Mmmmmm! I LOVE cauliflower soup this time of year!

    October 30, 2014
  12. Looks fab, and much healthier than my version πŸ™‚ A great lighter option!

    October 30, 2014
    • It’s very light, even with the small amount of butter I added. Thanks Nicky.

      October 30, 2014
  13. This looks scrumptious! Can’t wait to try it πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
  14. Looks and sound delicious, never had cauliflower soup! Love the olive oil on top! πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
  15. One of the best soups I’ve ever had in my life was a cauliflower soup…get this, on a plane! It was in first class and was divine. Long story, but we did not pay for first class, my husband’s company did and I’m telling you they serve amazing food! It was years ago though….what is funny is I don’t even like cauliflower on it’s own but I loved the soup. Now, we can’t even do cauliflower b/c of his gout, but I still could eat it.
    This looks so yummy and easy…I would have to add some garlic though because I love the extra kick and flavor garic adds to my soup! πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
    • I never got kicked up to first class, I’ve heard the food is great though. I love cauliflower soup, it’s so creamy and delicious. The garlic would be great in the soup. Even using shallot instead of onion I think would really make it fantastic. Thanks Brandi.

      October 30, 2014
  16. Wow wow what a comforting soup… Apt for the weather…. yummmm

    October 30, 2014
  17. Ummm… Sounds wonderful Suzanne. As a kid, my family never served cauliflower. I’m glad to have caught on to it as an adult. Happy Halloween & hugs!

    October 30, 2014
    • I never had it as a kid either. I had it for the first time as an adult. Love the stuff, Thanks so much.

      October 30, 2014
  18. looks great!

    October 30, 2014
  19. I love soup when the weather turns cool and this soup looks delicious.

    October 30, 2014
  20. M-R #

    Amazing ! – and deeply interesting, Suzanne, all this about the Food52 Genius collection ! If the rest are as good as this recipe, I shall be VERY happy !
    Thanks for this one. πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
    • I so love simple straightforward recipes. This is genius in its simplicity. I hope you enjoy, I know you are in the throes of summer and soup may not be on the menu but sometime if you make it I hope you like. Thank you.

      October 30, 2014
      • M-R #

        Sometimes making a soup on a cooler day and dividing it up into portions in the frig can be wonderful: a bowl of soup alone furnishes a summer meal. πŸ˜€

        October 30, 2014
  21. Looks amazing!! Can’t wait to try it!

    October 30, 2014
  22. Hi Suzanne, love that there is no cream used but it looks so creamy. Cauliflower is one of those veggies that has really grown on me in recent years. Very nice!

    October 30, 2014
    • It tastes like there is cream in it, it’s that creamy. I really love cauliflower. Thanks Cheri.

      October 30, 2014
  23. Cannot get any more delicious than that! πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
    • It’s just like your soup which was my inspiration. I didn’t have stock of any kind, turns out this tastes great without. Thanks Francesca.

      October 30, 2014
  24. I’ve been wanting to make this soup for ages! I love cauliflower and it’s truly all about the cauliflower!

    October 30, 2014
    • It really is all about the cauliflower, the onion enhances rather than detract, It’s a perfectly balanced soup, Delicious. Thanks Susan.

      October 30, 2014
  25. I wish this PC would allow me to go through the screen, pick up this bowl, and eat it for dinner lol. Seriously, this is amazing

    October 30, 2014
    • The soup is so good, I saved some for tomorrow I bet it will be even better the next day. Thanks.

      October 30, 2014
  26. I love cawliflower and this soup is simple, yet amazingly inviting. My kind of dish when IΒ΄m alone!

    October 30, 2014
  27. This looks so lovely and comforting Suzanne! I’d love some for my lunch right now with some crunchy bread on the side. Have a great weekend!

    October 30, 2014
    • Thanks Margot, would love to have you over for a bowl of soup with some lovely bread. You have a great weekend also.

      October 30, 2014
  28. That drizzle of olive oil gives the soup a real gourmet touch! It sounds like a wonderful recipe–I will have to try it soon!

    October 30, 2014
    • Thanks Nancy, it’s a great soup, quick and easy all you need is cauliflower and onion. So simple.

      October 31, 2014
  29. Luks yummy :). will try it soon πŸ™‚

    October 30, 2014
  30. I think sometimes we can (and not just cooks, everybody!) in such complex flavors that we can forget what food tastes like! And it’s ok for Cauliflower to taste just like cauliflower, and the same holds true for everything. I LOVE the idea of this soup!

    October 30, 2014
    • This would meet with your frugal guidelines. Feeds 6 and costs literally a few cents per person, Thanks so much.

      October 31, 2014
      • It would, wouldn’t it! And enough room left over for some toasted croutons or maybe even a grilled cheese!

        October 31, 2014
  31. This sounds fab. I love cauliflower, and I LOVE simple recipes – thanks πŸ™‚

    October 31, 2014
    • Would love to drizzle some your olive oil on this soup. Thanks so much.

      October 31, 2014
      • That would be great! We’re kinda getting out of soup season here, so I think I might have to delay this 😦

        October 31, 2014
      • Great for when you have cooler weather for sure.

        October 31, 2014
  32. Cauliflower soup is one of my favourites! And I love Food52 too. Great recipes and products to be found!

    October 31, 2014
  33. Hi there,

    We have launched a new website http://www.recipesgawker.com/, a community for food bloggers and food lovers. This website is based on Pinterest concept but specific to food. You can pin, organize and share your wonderful recipes here. Appreciate if you can join our community and start pinning recipes.

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    October 31, 2014
    • Thanks so much, will definitely check it out, Love pinterest and great concept devoted just to food.

      October 31, 2014
  34. Simple and beautiful. I’ll be making this. I’m so glad you didn’t add heavy cream. While I love it, my stomach cannot tolerate it. This is perfect.

    October 31, 2014
    • I usually like some cream in my pureed soups but this didn’t need it, it’s creamy without, I love it. Thanks Amanda.

      October 31, 2014
  35. Oh, might have to try this on Sunday….

    October 31, 2014
    • It’s good, a nice glass of wine with it, white or red? Does it matter? I think I would love white because the soup is light.

      October 31, 2014
  36. I love this kind of easy, yet delicious and clean soups for fall! Thanks for sharing Suzanne! Going on my list πŸ™‚

    October 31, 2014
    • Thank you, I love this soup, Healthful, delicious and perfectly seasonal.

      October 31, 2014
  37. It sounds like perfect winter-warming food. And easy to make too, what’s not to like. πŸ˜‰

    October 31, 2014
  38. Perfectly simple. Love it.

    October 31, 2014
  39. A delicious and comforting soup πŸ™‚

    November 1, 2014
  40. It is good to have a hot soup for this cold season, our weather turns to bitter, windy and wet. 😦

    November 1, 2014
    • Totally agree, I just got in and had a hot bowl of the leftover soup, it’s cold and rainy and blustery. The soup was so good and warming, Thank you so much,

      November 1, 2014
  41. When you have great ingredients, it doesn’t take much to turn out a fabulous dish! I wonder if I’d like cauliflower soup as I’m not a big fan of this cruciferous veg. I have a big pot of broccoli soup on right now as it’s probably the only cool-ish day we will have here in So Cal for another month! πŸ™‚

    November 1, 2014
    • I wonder, it definitely tastes like cauliflower but there is a good dose of onion in the soup so that really changes how it tastes. I love it, it’s so creamy and smooth. Love broccoli soup also. Do you make it creamy?

      November 1, 2014
  42. Liz #

    what a lovely recipe! Like how the veggie side turns itself into a soup. What a perfect meal πŸ™‚

    November 2, 2014
    • It’s the best soup, almost addictive. The creaminess is so wonderful I love it. I can’t wait to get another head of cauliflower and make some more.

      November 2, 2014
  43. Looks creamy delicious Suzanne!! We’re big soup eaters here.

    November 2, 2014
    • It was so creamy, I’m a big soup eater in cold weather. This was so good. Thanks so much.

      November 3, 2014
      • I love soup to warm you up– but I also love leftovers from a big pot of soup!

        November 3, 2014
      • Me too, this soup gave me 3 days of leftovers and I gave some to my friends. I had a big pot of soup. Leftovers are the best.

        November 3, 2014
  44. I love your drizzle on top. πŸ™‚

    November 2, 2014
  45. It looks so creamy – can’t believe it doesn’t have any stock. How easy is that!

    November 3, 2014
    • It’s so easy, and I am glad it doesn’t contain stock, that would detract from the cauliflower flavor I think, this soup is pure joy to eat. Thank you.

      November 3, 2014
  46. Yum Yum Yum!!! I must make this πŸ™‚

    November 3, 2014
    • It’s so simple and delicious I highly recommend the recipe. Thank you.

      November 3, 2014
  47. You had me at minimal ingredients! Looks delicious and simple to make…the perfect soup. πŸ™‚

    November 3, 2014

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