Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Soup

December 5, 2008 at 10:55 pm 19 comments

Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Soup

The mercury has taken a decidedly sharp turn downward and soup season, at least here in Pennsylvania, is in full swing.  I hadn’t made a big pot of soup since…um, let’s see…filing through the archives…ah, there!  Well, August wasn’t so long ago.  But before that, the last batch was made in January.  It’s high time to start stirring the pot again, don’t you think? 


I’ll start off this winter’s soup making with a recipe I’d clipped years ago (2004 to be exact) and, frankly, forgot.  You’d better believe I won’t be forgetting this Creamy Cauliflower-Garlic Soup again.  Ever. It is so simple to make, and yet it’s outright luxurious, like a fuzzy white bathrobe that engulfs you after a long hot soak in the tub.  Who knew cauliflower could be so dynamic


I have to shamefully confess that I had this soup prepared and all eaten a couple weeks ago.  I hate when my archives get backed up so I’m not posting the day after trying a recipe.  But this log jam in the drafts is auspicious in a few ways.  First, I can tell you that even now, several days and outstanding new recipes later, this soup still makes me drool.  Second, I can say with complete confidence that the leftovers are equally delicious and keep for several days in the fridge. 

Florets and cloves

So, go ahead!  Snuggle up with a bowl of this creamy wintry-white soup full of robust garlicky flavor.   You should still be able to find some local cauliflower at a farmers market or stand.  As for me, I happen to stash away a few bags of prepped florets in my freezer so I can make more soup as the flurries fly.   If you can get the extras, I’d recommend blanching it for two minutes and flash freezing it on a tray before bagging it up for future use.

Spoonful of soup

Creamy Cauliflower-Garlic Soup
Adapted from Sunset, December ’04 Issue

1 head garlic, unpeeled
1 T. butter
2 large or 3 small heads of cauliflower
8 C. vegetable broth
½ C. light cream
½ t. freshly ground nutmeg
¼ t. ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
Minced chives (optional)

Using a sharp knife, cut the top half inch off the head of garlic.  Set garlic on a sheet of foil and top with butter and a dash of salt.  Draw up edges of foil and create a sealed pouch to enclose the garlic.  Bake at 400 F until garlic is soft when squeezed, about 45 minutes.  Carefully unwrap and let stand to cool. 

Meanwhile, trim the leaves off the cauliflower heads and cut into small florets, discarding any large stem pieces.  Place florets in a colander and rinse under cool water.  Drain before placing in a large soup pot.  Add broth and bring to a simmer over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and cover, allowing the cauliflower to simmer until very tender, about 30-40 minutes.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves from their skins into the soup pot and stir.  Add the cream and stir.  Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standard blender, process the soup until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  You will likely need to add a good deal of salt and pepper so taste as you add and don’t be afraid to add more. 

Serve soup garnished with bacon crumbles and/or chives if desired. 

(serves 10-12)

Sensuous Cauliflower Soup


Entry filed under: Recipes, Soup. Tags: , , , , .

Last One…for Now Rhubarb & Port Risotto

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. vanessa  |  December 6, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Oh my, this sounds good. Have you ever had mashed cauliflower? Sooo good

  • 2. Jennie  |  December 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Vanessa – yes, actually I have mashed cauliflower and mixed it with sweet potatoes and that was amazing. The recipe is in the Recipe Index page. 🙂

  • 3. DocChuck  |  December 6, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    What a wonderful soup for those cold evenings spent in a cozy cabin in the mountains of North Carolina.

    Sorry … I was just anticipating our upcoming Christmas week which we will be spending in our NC condo. AND, we will be taking a copy of your recipe with us to enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing your delicious-sounding recipe.

  • 4. Iva (from Cooking for Friends)  |  December 8, 2008 at 12:33 am


    I just came across your beautiful blog through the review you left for the Eat Feed Autumn Winter book on Amazon. Just breathtaking! I admire your dedication to sustainable living and farming. I have been quite excited to see these ideas start making waves over the last coupe of years. If you don’t mind I’m adding your blog to the list of links on mine. Wishing you all the best!

  • 5. Jennie  |  December 8, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Welcome, Iva! So glad you found the blog and I look forward to browsing around yours. Sounds like we’re kindred spirits. 🙂

  • 6. MrsDocChuck  |  December 8, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Sadly, my husband’s high cholestrol and other assorted health problems (plus his enormous weight gain) mean no more rich food like this. No butter, no cream and no bacon for us, I’m afraid. But it’s all for the best.

    The soup does look fantastic, though. I’ll try it with margerine and fat free half and half and soy bacon bits.

    We are so looking forward to Christmas in our little cabin.

    My only concern is that the green inner shoot of the garlic is said to be bitter. Should I remove it first?


    Liz, RN

  • 7. Jennie  |  December 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Liz – Actually, I use soy bacon all the time so there’s no sacrafice there. And margerine will work just fine. The ff half and half might not be as creamy but I still think the soup will be delicious. I hope you will enjoy it in your cabin. As for the inner green shoot of the garlic…no need to remove. I’ve never had it taste bitter and I roast whole heads of garlic all the time. All you taste is smoky sweet garlic goodness! Mmmm!

  • 8. Michelle  |  December 8, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    The soup sounds like it is delicious, gonna have to try it. Have you ever tried oven roasted cauliflower? Great stuff.

  • 9. Tammy  |  December 8, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    This looks delicious! The amazing thing is I have all the ingredients in my frig right now.

  • 10. Julia  |  December 9, 2008 at 9:36 am

    This looks beautiful. I hope I can get my kids to eat it! I love the snow falling on your page. Great effect!

  • 11. Pann  |  December 9, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Mmmm…. another delicious recipe.

    Oh, and, fun snow!

  • 12. therealchiffonade  |  December 11, 2008 at 9:06 am

    My boyfriend ‘Big Bear’ now weighs in at over 400 pounds, and has lost most of his teeth. I think that he is a very good candidate for your wonderful looking soup.

    We just moved to Atlanta from Florida and are presently looking for jobs so there will be a lot of soup in our future, because we are on food stamps.

    Glad you shared this recipe.

  • 13. Elizabeth  |  December 16, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I’m putting this on my “must make soon” list… Up here in central chester county, i’m feeling that change in weather too – yikes! so, this recipe is very timely for me too:) and today, we’re getting ICE! BURR!

  • 14. Little Swallow  |  December 17, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I’ve followed this blog for a little over a month now, and this is the first recipe I’ve tried. So delicious! Perhaps our definitions of “medium/big” are different, but I will add more cauliflower next time, perhaps almost twice as much, and I was quite happy with my choice to double the amount of roasted garlic. I also don’t keep cream in the house and forgot to buy it before making the soup, so I used milk and it was no problem. I also halved the butter for roasting the garlic — so those who commented with cream/butter concerns should know it’s still quite tasty when a bit of the fat/cholesterol is trimmed!

    Because I’m vegetarian and didn’t have any fake bacon around, instead of bacon, I topped it with some pan-fried shallots (with equal parts butter and olive oil and a dash of sea salt). It was a great garnish!

  • 15. A. Woz  |  December 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    I have a head of cauliflower, have several garlic heads from our local farm share. Looking forward to making this on Fri, when we are expecting a snow day in WI due to 13 inches of predicted snowfall…I’ll report back how good it is when eating in front of a warm fire and with kids loving a day off from school dancing their kid antics around me.

  • 16. Louise  |  December 21, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I make a cauliflower soup quite similar to this except I roast the cauliflower (drizzled with a bit of olive oil) and garlic before blending them together and adding the other ingredients. I will have to try it this way though because yours looks so thick and creamy. This recipe is a keeper. I’m going to save it for National Soup Month which happens to be in…January! Thanks for sharing, Jennie.

  • 17. Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » December 2008 Roundup  |  February 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    […] Milk Sauce from QlinArt, Syrian Tomato-Rice Soup with Kibbeh from Spoonbread for Hieronymus, Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Soup from Straight from the Farm, Baked Tortellini from Tart Reform, Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry from […]

  • […] just a vehicle for shuttling other amazing flavors into your mouth.  Case and point: that dreamy Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Soup that I made last winter and the Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Mash I declared the […]

  • 19. Dawn  |  January 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    This soup was so easy to make, and had to be the BEST soup I’ve had in a long, long time. I’m making it for my family again this week. Even my picky four-year-old loved it!


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