Simple Cauliflower Soup

Our recent trip to Big Sur for Thanksgiving, where we ate soup for lunch and dinner, inspired me to simplify our dinners at home, and so I have been experimenting with soups.  I love having a hot bowl of one-main-ingredient soup on hand, and then enhancing it with toasted bread crumbs, leftover grains, hot sauce or nuts.  Sometimes we even throw some raw salad greens, thinly sliced cabbage, leftover braised greens or cooked veggies, or the stray chopped radish or cucumber on top and mix with the hot soup, a la pozole, one of my all time favorite foods EVER.

Normally I use homemade broth in my soups but I was curious to see the taste using only water and the main veggie.  It turned out so pure and clean tasting that I may only rarely go back to using broth!  I hope you enjoy this soup I’m bringing to Fiesta Friday #46, hosted by the soulful cooks Margie and Juju.
cauli soup 3 (1 of 1)

farmer's market december (1 of 14)

I got this basketball sized purple beauty at the farmer’s market


farmer's market december (4 of 14)

Florets separated


farmer's market december (5 of 14)

3/4 of the florets ready for roasting (I added a bit of sriracha)


farmer's market december (6 of 14)

Florets and stems with an onion, leek, and salt and pepper


farmer's market december (7 of 14)

Cauliflower “rice”, florets whizzed in the food processor


cauli soup (1 of 1)


cauli soup 7 (1 of 1)


  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 lemon
  • water
  • salt + pepper


  • 1 tbsp zaatar
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • fresh chives or parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In a large, heavy bottom pot warm the butter and olive oil over moderate heat. Remove the large stem from the cauliflower, and thinly slice into rounds. Cut the rest into florets, and reserve 1 cup of florets.  Toss the rest of the florets with salt, pepper and about 3 tbsp. olive oil.  Roast for 15 – 20 minutes until beginning to brown darkly around the edges.
  3. Thinly slice the leek and onion, and add to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower stems and reserved florets.  Season with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add enough water to cover (about 4 cups), cover, bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low for about 30 minutes.  Drain and toss with roasted florets.
  6. Puree in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender, in batches.  Season to taste and add olive oil, salt and pepper if needed.  Juice the lemon and stir into soup.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and add chopped chives, parsley and/or toasted almonds if you wish.

*If you’re feeling ambitious, rice some of the florets and ladle into bowl before soup, and top with a roasted floret or two.


26 Comments on “Simple Cauliflower Soup

  1. Love this soup, simple cauliflower soup is the best. Purple, wow, it’s absolutely beautiful, I can’t get over the color. Nothing like a steaming bowl of soup in the winter, this hits the spot.

  2. I don’t know how you manage to make soup look so beautiful. I am a big fan of soup, but photographing it can be a challenge for me. Love that you use zataar in the recipe too.

      • You didn’t spell it wrong, you just transliterated it differently. I didn’t even notice your spelling, and did not intend to correct you at all. My preferred transliteration is zata’ar.

    • Thank you Nancy, it’s been good to get back to the blog. I have a lot of catching up to do with you all though!

  3. Your photography is just stunning Sue! The purple looks absolutely gorgeous in the white bowl against the black background. And what a good idea to make this simple but beautiful soup with that handsome violet cauli. Just lovely xx

    • You just made my day with your kind comments, I’m glad you love the photos. I am just a color freak!

  4. Love your soup, especially with the purple cauliflower – what a nice presentation! I almost made it to Big Sur once except there was this one bridge that stopped me dead in my tracks even though Gene was driving. Needless to say we drove back to Carmel – Big Sur is not for the faint of heart (afraid of heights). Thanks for sharing this with FF – I do not see purple cauliflower very often 🙂

    • Wow, so interesting because I am deadly afraid of heights but only in airplanes . . . driving over bridges no problem! You can’t really go wrong in Carmel though! Thank you for your nice comments and also thank you for hosting this week!

  5. Wow this is stunning. I love the color and I love that you saved some of the grated cauliflower as garnish. Beautiful presentation and delicious soup.

  6. A lovely tasty purple cauliflower soup,..I love it too! Yummm! x
    Bring me a bowl of delicious soup & I am a happy woman! 😉

  7. Sue… this is a master piece! As Angie says I’m in Italy right now, I’m reading all your recipes with my mum, and she asked me to tell you that your soup is fabulous! Thanks for bringing this recipe to FF!

    • Oh Margy, how nice that you are with your mum in Italy right now! I wish I could ziip over for some pasta! Thanks for hosting this week!

  8. Sue, your simple cauliflower soup looks so exotic. The colors, pictures and everything looks so classy. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: