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Golden Cauliflower Soup

It’s not exactly soup weather in Austin yet. The temperature is still annoyingly hovering in the high 80s, and the stack of (super cute) sweaters I bought a few weeks ago sits on my shelf, mocking me and the life choices that brought me to the land of perpetual flip flops and the (questionable) glory of swimming holes.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t eat soup.

In fact, I’m eating my soup so defiantly, I’m eating it for breakfast. Soup in the a.m. is an easy, cheater way to get extra vegetables into my belly, and it’s a good stand-in for coffee or tea: it’s comforting, warm, cozy, and bonus! it gets eaten instead of drunk. (‘Cause being drunk that early in the morning would be a bad way to start the day.)

With this soup, cauliflower proves once again that it is the ultimate magical vegetable. This puréed soup is creamy, smooth, and fluffy — like pillows and happy clouds and Smudge. It’s great topped with herbs (dried or fresh chives, Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning, freshly chopped parsley), spices (cinnamon and nutmeg, Ras el Hanout, Penzeys Tsardust Memories), or luscious fat (a little melted ghee or extra-virgin olive oil, finely chopped nuts or pine nuts). Slurp!

This recipe appears in my cookbook Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.

Golden Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4-6 | Prep 10 min | Cook 60 min

Ingredients:
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup canned coconut milk

Directions:

1. Wash and core the cauliflower, then coarsely chop. Set aside.

2. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the broth and water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.

4. Working in batches, carefully transfer the cauliflower and some of the broth to a blender or food processor. Cover the top with a dish towel to protect yourself from splatters, and purée the cauliflower until smooth, adding more broth as necessary.

5. Pour the purée back into the soup pot, then add the salt, pepper, and coconut milk. Stir to combine and cook over medium until heated through. Serve immediately with garnishes, or store covered in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm the soup gently over medium-low heat until bubbly.

NOTE:
I tried adding herbs and spices during cooking, but got the best results when I kept the soup plain and added seasonings at the end as garnishes as recommended above. I also experimented with chicken broth, beef broth, water, and different combos of all three for the base of this soup; the hands-down winner was beef broth. The versions made with chicken broth (and celery) ended up tasting too much like gravy. (If you’re looking for a healthy gravy you can ladle over chicken or turkey, cut this recipe in half, add a stalk of celery with the carrot/onion and use all chicken broth for the liquid.)

More Soups

Gingery Pork & Bok Choy Soup
10-Minute Pizza Soup

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85 Responses to “Golden Cauliflower Soup”

  1. Lydia says:

    Yay! This is going in my AIP-okay recipe pile come January. Thank you!

  2. LMoll says:

    Is this Whole30 compliant? It looks like it, and looks delicious, so I hope it is!

    • Lauren says:

      It’s definitely Whole 30 compliant! Mel is doing the Whole 30 right now and all of those ingredients are allowed on the Whole 30.

      • Mel says:

        Thanks, Lauren!

        LMoll, almost all of my recipes are Whole30 compliant, and when they’re not, I clearly explain in the recipe that they’re “treats” or offer ingredient substitutions to make them Whole30 complian.

  3. kelly alice. says:

    these days i’m less interested in if something is “whole30 compliant” and more interested in the macronutrients. any thoughts about publishing that kind of info with your recipes?

    • Mel says:

      I don’t put my recipes through nutrition calculators because even though I track macronutrients, I don’t do it for individual recipes.

      This is almost ALL vegetables, so I figure a cup of soup is roughly equivalent to a cup of cauliflower. There’s 1/2 cup of coconut milk, so if you divided the soup into, say, 6 servings, that would be 1/6 of a 1/2 cup of coconut milk, which is pretty minimal fat… roughly 4 grams of fat.

      Anyway. That’s the scoop on this soup, but no, I won’t be included nutrition info with recipes.

  4. Anita says:

    You mentioned that you were working on this recipe a while back and I’ve been anxiously awaiting it’s appearance…and here it is on my birthday! Thanks!! :-)

  5. barb says:

    Cauliflower soup in virtually any form is amazing. I make one with home made chicken stock (bone broth) & bacon. I puree most of it but leave a few smallish chunks. It’s a dead ringer, flavor wise, for my old childhood favorite campbells bean & bacon soup. (except without all the toxic gick)
    Eriko

    • debi says:

      Hey Barb-
      Any chance you would post your new and improved “Bean & Bacon” soup recipe?
      That’s my all-time FAVORITE Campbell’s soup!!
      I’d love to have a Paleo version!
      Thank you!
      debi :)

  6. Okay I totally made something just like this on accident a few months ago. Divine.

  7. Laurie says:

    Perfect! No dairy and it looks so wonderfully creamy and delicious. Will definitely try this!

  8. Kathy says:

    A question about cauliflower…..

    How do I avoid the sweet taste that I get whenever I use it? Is it a cooking method thing? Cooked too long? Not long enough? I’ve used frozen florets and fresh cauliflower – same result.

    I really want to love all things cauliflower, especially the basics like smashed cauliflower, cauli-rice and now this lovely soup, but the sweetness just doesn’t set right with me.

    • Mel says:

      Cauliflower is naturally pretty sweet — that’s why most people like it ;-)

      You might try sticking to recipes that use “darker” spices with some heat, like chili powder, for example. Roasting and caramelizing the cauliflower — like this recipe and my cocoa-toasted cauliflower in Well Fed — actually heighten the sweetness, so less cooking might work better for you.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the recipe! I now know what I am making with the head of cauliflower in the fridge. I recently got your new book and I have to say great recipes, great photo’s and great layout. I’ve really enjoyed reading it and making mayo, chocolate chili, creamy cucumber salad and more. I look forward to your next book!

  9. Therese says:

    Perfect timing!! The cold and rain continues here in the SF Bay Area and this soup looks warm and comforting as well as easy. Another Well Fed winner.

  10. AKM says:

    YAY! I can’t wait to make this. Thanks, nice lady!

  11. Kristen says:

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! I just whipped it up while prepping my food for the week. I had a bunch of broccoli stems so I threw them in for some extra veggie goodness and it is delicious :) Your cookbook is becoming my paleo bff!

  12. Alisha says:

    Sweet! I’ll be trying a cheater version of this tonight with frozen cauliflower

  13. Liz says:

    Yay! I’ve got cauliflower in the fridge I need to use!!

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!!

  14. Teri Pittman says:

    In the interest of giving back, I actually made butternut squash soup today! I used chicken broth, the squash and a little coconut milk. I added about a tablespoon of sunbutter and seasoned with curry powder. It really turned out nice. It’s cool and wet here, so this will be the next soup I make!

  15. Cathy M says:

    Yay! Snow on the ground here in Denver, and a new, yummy soup recipe to make for dinner! Sounds like fate…

  16. Nae says:

    Wow I just made this soup and I’m in love!!! So comforting :)

  17. Claire Clark says:

    Looks lovely though as we are vegetarian will be using veg stock.. Will let you know..

    Snow on the ground here in NE Scotland too..

  18. 1. You crack me up
    2. Enjoy the weather, it’s snowing here -.-
    3. I always eat dinner for breakfast so this is right up my alley!

  19. Colleen says:

    Ran across this luscious little number this morning. I was already planning on making Diane Sanfilippo’s Quick & Easy Salmon Cakes for brunch. What an amazing pairing! Topped the soup with Penzey’s Tsar Dust, red hawaiian sea salt and fresh parsley. I swear my hubby and I were making little piggy noises while we were eating!

  20. Rebekah says:

    Love this! I don’t usually like creamed soups, but this one was delicious…and I couldn’t stop eating it! Thank you :).

  21. Cheryl Sams says:

    This is a delightful soup! Just made a big batch to help get me through Hurricane Sandy… Sure beats spagettios!

    Thanks for all your recipes!

  22. Melanie says:

    This recipe is fantastic!! When I made the soup I decided I wanted it to have a little bit of heat on it, since the flavors are very warm. It was great with a heaping teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I also add a bay leaf to the vegetable mix when it was simmering to give it more depth of flavor.

    It makes such a great base to add anything to it. I’ve added sausage & herbs, chicken & avocado… the possibilities are endless.

    Thank you so much for this recipe!

  23. Laura says:

    I just made this and I’m obsessed already. Cream of Cauliflower soup from a restaurant near my house was my favorite growing up, but this was much better!

    • Mel says:

      Hooray! That’s such an awesome compliment… glad you like it! I have another pureed soup coming next week, and I’m torn between which one is the best. Glad I get to eat both!

  24. Jacqui says:

    Hey Mel
    Ever try an immersion/stick blender? I got one last Christmas and I swear it is amazing. I still have faint black bean soup specks (pre-paleo days!) on my ceiling from using a regular blender and NOT cooling the mixture before whirling it. Cuisinart’s stick is so easy to use and clean.
    Jacqui

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried one because I just really don’t want to add another appliance to my kitchen. My blender is such a workhorse, and I love it. But between soup and mayo, the argument is pretty strong for an immersion/stick blender. I just can’t with any more kitchen clutter ;-)

  25. [...] golden cauliflower soup is absolutely yummy! I made mine with vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian. Comments: 0 Posted [...]

  26. [...] article in constant digital contact; we feel alone together recipe golden cauliflower soup [...]

  27. sderric says:

    I made this over the weekend and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you!

    Keep the soup recipes coming!

  28. Julie says:

    I made this last week and really liked it. I had enough left over for two smallish bowls so I wanted to add something to make a little more substantial lunch/dinner. I added some diced ham and let me tell you, that was awesome! The sweet cauliflower with the salty ham was just perfect!

  29. Gianna says:

    This soup was delicious! I made it for company and they ate every drop. I just started the paleo diet recently and am loving it (although I’m a vegetarian, but one who eats eggs and fish)because of recipes like this one. The sunshine sauce is AMAZING, as is the “world’s best stir fry sauce.” Your Well- Fed cookbook is the only one on my kitchen counter right now; I’m having a ball trying the recipes, and haven’t found anything we haven’t loved yet. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Glad you liked the soup! Congrats on making the switch to paleo — I love when vegetarians find ways to make it work. So great to get *some* animal protein and kick the grains. YAY!

      Thanks for taking Well Fed into your kitchen. Glad to be there!

  30. [...] Golden Cauliflower Soup: It’s epic. Try it. [...]

  31. [...] Golden Cauliflower Soup [...]

  32. Claudia says:

    Just made this soup today in preparation for the cold front. This soup is delicious!!!! Love your recipes. Thanks so much for posting.

  33. Kel says:

    I just made this and as expected, it was delicious!

  34. Emily says:

    I just made this to eat with my breakfast, and it is DELICIOUS! I was dubious as I am not always a creamed soup kinda gal, but this soup may make me a convert. YUM with Tsardust Memories!

    • Mel says:

      So glad you like it! I’ve never been a soup person either, but man! both this and the Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup are in my regular rotation now. Who knew eating soup for breakfast was the trick?!

  35. Rebecca says:

    I raced the snow storm to the store for some compliant beef broth because I was out of homemade. This soup was delicious! I have mucho leftovers and I feel prepared for the end of the world. LOL

  36. [...] Golden Cauliflower Soup – Cauliflower is really versatile, try it in this soup, or search for other healthy recipes. [...]

  37. [...] this site.  While playing around on it, I stumbled across this cauliflower soup on a blog called The Clothes Make the Girl.   This dish is perfect for the overcast weather we have had lately.  It’s easy to make and [...]

  38. Amy R says:

    I just made this recipe and it is so delicious! I am sick as a dog today and I this soup was just what I needed. Thanks, Mel, for what you do and for sharing your recipes with the world. I for one am very grateful. :)

  39. Rebecca says:

    Just wanted to say, this soup is just amazing. Your book has turned me onto the paleo way of living and I am truly enjoying cooking. Thank you.

  40. Nicole says:

    I made the zucchini soup and loved it! Do I have to use canned coconut milk? Would the kind in the carton work ok?

    • Mel says:

      You should always only use the canned coconut milk — the kind in the carton often includes sweeteners and other weirdo ingredients. For canned, the only added ingredient should be guar gum, and sometimes you can find it without, and that’s even better. Enjoy!

  41. Brooke says:

    Just made the soup and it is fantastic. I was wondering if I could freeze it in small batches.( I’m never sure what is okay to freeze.)
    Thanks!

  42. Jennifer says:

    This was seriously easy and delicious and will be great for breakfast! Thank you so much for tinkering with and perfecting all of your recipes before posting them. It’s great being able to go to your site and know that whatever recipe you post will be a winner – exactly as is. I am loving all the soups lately.

    • Mel says:

      I’m glad you liked it — and thank you for the thoughtful compliment! I HATE when I try a recipe and it doesn’t work, so I’m a stickler for testing at least a few times before I share.

  43. Laura Jo says:

    Cold dreary weather, a head of cauliflower that demands attention today, carrots and onion on hand, and the last of my homemade chicken bone broth found lurking in the freezer — and your recipe for one amazing batch of Golden Cauliflower Soup. Its really good! (I didn’t even add the coconut milk). I added, however, some turmeric to my individual bowl which I really enjoyed. Tummy and gut are always pleased with the very soft cooked veggies. Heart and soul are always pleased with the comforting deliciousness of soup. Thank you for the inspiration today! – Laura Jo, Anchorage, AK

    • Mel says:

      Love the addition of turmeric — it’s got so many benefits. Glad it made you feel cozy!

      I have a batch in my fridge and ate it with fresh grated nutmeg — so yum.

  44. Jen says:

    Just found out I have to do the AIP for Hashi’s. So thankful for your tracking your progress and what you had to eat at meals. I just made a big batch of this soup and am putting some in the freezer to pull out for ease this week.

    Thanks for the great recipes! This soup tastes so creamy and yummy. I ended up forgetting to put the coconut milk in it, but it still tastes wonderful.

    • Mel says:

      Good luck with the AIP! I think the trick is to really get creative with the flavorings you CAN use: ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and all the herbs and garlic.

      I’m glad you like this soup! It’s cozy, right?!

      Happy eating to you!

  45. [...] freezer or they will break).  This will allow me to have AIP-legal stock on hand for soups like Golden Cauliflower Soup, Chicken Zoodle Soup, or adding to pan sauces for chicken piccata (recipe coming [...]

  46. [...] Golden Cauliflower Soup; Tuna and Spinach Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil [...]

  47. [...] 2 pieces of Whole Foods Naked Roast Beef; Golden Cauliflower Soup [...]

  48. [...] in the afternoon, I decided to make soup with some cauliflower we needed to use up.  I found this recipe for Golden Cauliflower Soup and it turned out [...]

  49. stacy H says:

    I was wondering if you use the coconut milk in the cans or the half gallon size that is in the cooler for your recipes?

    • Mel says:

      I always use canned coconut milk. The kind that comes in the carton can contain added junk and sugar. When choosing your canned brand, if you can find it without guar gum, that’s awesome, but if not, no biggie. The only ingredients you want, however, are coconut milk and guar gum.

      Enjoy!

  50. [...] me crave anything else “bad” for me. In fact, I really ended up craving more of the cauliflower soup that I had made for lunch, so I finished it off for dinner. Next time I’m doubling that [...]

  51. […] These 30 days are flying! As far as meals go, I’ve eaten my coconut shrimp and chili leftovers (a lot) and also made cauliflower soup! Yep, I’m super gourmet apparently. I got the recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/10/24/golden-cauliflower-soup/ […]

  52. […] I like rules, and I love following recipes – mostly because I feel virtuous when I obey them and because occasionally breaking out of them is delicious fun. Which partially explains why I enjoy following the paleo diet. Paleo eating – sometimes called the primal or caveman diet – is based on the idea that we feel our best when we mimic the nutrition of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. I know! It sounds a little groovy or like something from science fiction. But what it boils down to for everyday meals is this: avoid grains – especially the ones that contain gluten – dairy, legumes, and excess sugar. These foods, while often tasty, can make most people feel less than their best. That’s a lot of favorite comfort foods on the “no” list, right? That’s why it’s important to focus on the “yes” list instead. Think of every kind of meat, seafood, vegetable, and fruit you can. Go on! Imagine your list… keep going. Now imagine yummy fat sources like coconuts and avocados and olives. That’s a lot of wonderful food! And those are the foods that make up the paleo diet. I’ve been eating this way for five years. I don’t think I would have been able to stick with it if I hadn’t learned how to cook food that’s every bit as delicious as “regular” food. And sometimes, you can even make super healthy food a little fun and kooky. Three hundred sixty four days of the year, cauliflower is a gentle vegetable. So humble, so bland and unassuming, so eager to please. What other vegetable allows you to grate it to smithereens to make rice or mash it into submission or purée it until it’s creamy comfort in a bowl? […]

  53. […] den jeg har vært med å gi ut – sjekk til høyre på siden!). Oppskriften finner du også her, på nettsiden til damen bak Well Fed 1 og 2, Melissa […]

  54. Suzanne says:

    Totally enjoyed your interview on balanced bites! A lot of good things shared. I am in recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. It has totally made my life crazy. For the last three years I’ve been living with whoever will take me in, But somehow still manage to eat good food.
    The last place I lived had the Cuisinart stick blender. I agree! It totally rocks! It might be my favorite kitchen tool also. I made this soup today with the crummy stick blender that someone gave me. It still turned out fab! The family I live with want the recipe.
    I also like what you shared about switching up flavor profiles, and also what you shared about looking great but still being unhealthy.
    Thanks for sharing your genius!
    Suzanne in Boston

    • Mel says:

      Thank you for listening to the podcast and for stopping by to let me know you liked it. That’s very thoughtful of you!

      Hope you’re Chronic Fatigue is feeling better. Sending all good wishes.

  55. Suzanne says:

    Thanks Mel!
    Your a love.
    Can’t wait to try some more recipes!!

  56. Harmony says:

    I had about 3/4 of a head of cauliflower in the fridge but I really wanted to try this soup today because it’s a cold and rainy day and I’m getting a head cold.
    I also had an avocado that was to the point of needing to be used RIGHT NOW, so I tossed it in the Nutribullet with the cauliflower so that I’d have enough purée to put back in the stock.
    SO. GOOD.
    I garnished with nutmeg, bacon pieces and pecan pieces.
    I definitely made it fattier, but hey, I’m sick! :)

  57. Audrey says:

    I’m on day 4 of my first whole30, and I think this soup is going to be my lifesaver!! It is absolutely delicious! Loving your blog!! thanks for all the great info!

  58. […] By: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/10/24/golden-cauliflower-soup/ […]

  59. Sarah Clark says:

    I made this soup for lunch today. I added some curry powder and chili powder because it was just a little bland for me and it turned out amazing! So amazing that I gave my nine month old some bites (because he always wants whatever I am eating of course) and he loved it. This soup will definitely be going into rotation at my house… even after I’m finished with my whole 30!

  60. […] Golden Cauliflower Soup by The Clothes Make the Girl […]

  61. Kelley says:

    The texture of this soup is so smooth and satisfying. Thank you for the great recipe!
    I have both of your books on my Kindle Fire and I have loved each of your recipes I’ve tried so far.

  62. […] thing I did was make some broccoli soup.  I followed this recipe but used broccoli instead of […]

  63. Beth says:

    Tried this soup and the cumin-roasted carrots today–both were delicious! Thank you so much for posting!

  64. Gretchen says:

    I love this recipe! I started my Whole30 a week ago and am loving using the four week plan on your site. I think it will be easy to keep doing cook ups and paleo friendly meals after the Whole30 is done. Thanks!

  65. Dana Johnson says:

    Your website is a lifesaver. I am starting the Whole 30 this Monday. I started it 1/2 way last week by doing research and trying your methods to accommodate them to my schedule. The hot plates have been a lifesaver, as have the sauces. I also made myself a Thai sauce to drizzle over any hotplate, making an instant Thai treat! All the best!

  66. Guinnevere says:

    Thank you so much for this and all the recipes. I’m just digging into WF2, but WF has been my dog eared kitchen companion for ages. Fave paleo cookbook! :)

    This is simmering now (I’m tempted to put it in the instapot because I’m hungry!) and tomorrow I’m making your carnitas and testing out some of your new meatball recipes! You make paleo so easy for us!

  67. Curtis and Sher Davis says:

    My husband and I started Whole 30, 44 days ago…With the help of your recipes, we’re still going strong.(I must say, before this I was a sugar-holic…and still can’t believe I could follow this idea )But, after feeling so great, we didn’t want to quit. We’re making this great tasting soup tonight, our 2nd time… Thanks for all your efforts!! Just got your “WF2″,book as a gift for my hubby!! We are loving your recipes!!

    • Mel says:

      Right on! Congratulations on 44 days of awesome! It must feel so good to be free of the sugar. YAY you!

      I’m really glad my recipes have helped you out! Thank you for buying Well Fed 2!

      Best wishes for all good things to you!

  68. […] Cauliflower Soup: Excited to try another soup from Mel for breakfast and increase my Well Fed 2 count by one more this week. I bought mason jars for transporting my morning soup, hopefully it’s a little easier than the containers I’ve been using. […]

  69. This was delicious. I used an immersion blender to puree the vegetables – too lazy to haul out the food processor and then clean all the bits. Next time I might just add the whole can of coconut milk and reduce the water.

    Yummy – and perfect soup for the snow storm sitting on top of VT right now.

    I usually make a batch of soup and freeze it for lunches – but I’m not sure this one is going to make it to the freezer…

  70. Rebecca Brill says:

    Thanks for this recipe Mel! I was getting sooooo tired of eggs in the morning, so this soup is a wonderful addition to my breakfast rotation. I am having it RIGHT now with a sausage patty. So. Good. And so great that its Whole30 compliant! Thanks!

  71. Jenni Lawrence says:

    Made a double batch of this tonight for my family (dinner tonight and lunches tomorrow). Also put a pork roast in the crock pot all day and then shredded it and put it in the middle of each bowl of soup…..Delicious! My husband and three kids (14, 12, & 4) loved it. I tweaked the recipe a little, added the entire can of coconut milk (since I doubled the recipe) and used less salt and pepper then the recipe called for, like I said, it was great. I look forward to making your sweet potato soup in a few days. Thank you for the recipe.

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