This cream of roasted cauliflower & cheese soup came about because I had a couple of heads that needed to be used. Since we don’t often, and very sadly, get large heads of cauliflower these days, I used two medium ones to make a big pot of soup. Unless you are ordering from a farm producer, the supermarket cauliflower tends to be on the very measly and expensive side of the spectrum. I’m assuming due to high demand from the low carb diet brigade. I long for the days of buying large unpackaged heads of cauliflower from my grocery store, but they seem to be over. Where I can I buy them out of the disastrous Styrofoam and plastic packaging I do. The total weight of the cauliflower I used for this soup was around 1.2k after the leaves were trimmed off.
I decided to roast the cauliflower before to intensify the flavour as I did with my best ever butternut soup recipe, but you can totally skip this step and add the raw chopped up cauliflower to the pot when you add the stock and the milk. Just cook it for about 20 minutes longer. When you are pureeing the soup with your stick blender or food processor, add a little extra milk if you want to thin it down. This recipe makes quite a thick soup and a swirl of cream at the end finishes it off. I also reserved a few of the small pieces of roasted cauliflower to top the soup and to add texture. I sprinkled these on the soup along with chopped fresh parsley, roasted cashew nuts and finely grated Gruyere.
What toppings can you add to your cauliflower soup?
You can really go mad here with toppings and since cauliflower is quite a neutral-tasting soup, flavourful bits really make it pop.
I added Gruyere cheese which I finely grated and stirred through the soup and as well as sprinkled over the top, but you could just as easily replace with Parmesan, Pecorino or an aged sharp Cheddar. Blue cheese would also work brilliantly.
You could also add the cheese to a crouton/slice of toasted bread and float that on top like for French onion soup. Or make your own croutons from bread by tossing it in the oven with olive oil and seasoning.
Chorizo sausage would also be lovely. Pan fry chopped up pieces and use the rendered oil to drizzle over.
Fry sage in sizzling butter until crisp and scatter these on top. I feel you can never get enough crispy fried sage leaves.
I love crunchy bits for texture so any roasted nut or seed would be lovely as well and dukkah.
Recipe – Makes one large pot of soup which will serve 6 peoplePrint
Cream of roasted cauliflower & cheese soup
A delicious cream of roasted cauliflower to cosy up to in winter.
2 small-medium heads of cauliflower weighing 1.2kgs after the leaves are trimmed off
About 3 – 4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
A few thyme stalks (optional and if you have)
30gms butter (a big knob) or 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek, washed and chopped (optional)
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
3 bay leaves
1-litre vegetable stock
250ml / 1 cup milk
50 – 80gms Gruyere cheese, finely grated (as much as you like)
125ml / half a cup cream
Chopped parsley to top (about 1 Tbsp)
Chopped roasted cashews (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200C / F and was and trim the cauliflower of the outer leaves. Cut it into medium-sized pieces including the stalk. Toss in olive oil to lightly coat, season with salt and pepper and spread out on a large baking tray. Scatter over the thyme stalks if you are using these. Roast with for about 30 minutes until just cooked through and starting to take on colour.
While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the butter in a large pot and sweat the onions, leek and celery for about 5 minutes until soft, add the garlic and bay and cook for a further minute. If the cauliflower is not yet ready, turn off the heat.
When the cauliflower is roasted, remove from the oven and take out a few of the smaller pieces if you want to use these to top the soup (optional). Keep these warm in the turned-off oven. Add the rest of the roasted cauliflower to the pot with the stock and milk and bring to the boil. Then turn this down to low heat and allow this to simmer for 25 minutes.
When the soup is cooked, remove the bay leaves and either blend with a metal stick blender (heat-proof) straight away, or allow to cool slightly and process in a food processor until smooth. Reheat if necessary. Add the cream or additional milk if you want to thin it down. Dish up and stir through the grated cheese into each bowl. Top with the toppings of your choice and additional cheese.
A few other delicious soup recipes:
& cauliflower recipes:
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