Naturally thick and creamy, this simple soup takes on a whole new persona with the right disguises. Keto Loaded Cauliflower Soup eats like your favorite potato soup but with hardly any carbs and nary a drop of guilt. Bacon brings a smoky air of mystery, while added veggies sneak in more nutrients. Dress it up with green onions, sour cream, or shredded cheese for flair.
Even before the cauliflower craze took hold, cauliflower soup was one of my favorite ways to enjoy this versatile veggie because I absolutely adore a creamy soup. It’s kind of like making good on those threats to just eat cheese sauce with a spoon… just classier. Way classier.
To be fair, it’s also healthier. Now that I’m exploring some more keto-friendly recipes, I did ask a friend if eating a vat of melty, liquid cheese was acceptable on the diet (strictly as a joke, of course) and her thoughtful, but frightening response was “Depends on the carb count.” So I may have done some further research in the interest of the uh, nutritional sciences… and not only are there more carbs than in actual cheese, but whatever they use to liquify said “cheese” is probably not something we should consume by the vat. Just in case you’re wondering.
In much healthier news, OSK has featured a few delectable creamy cauli soup recipes before (Curried Cauliflower Soup and Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup). I also love using cauliflower as a base for a number of my other favorite soups – including mushroom and leek – because it has the amazing superpower of getting beautifully thick and creamy without adding bulk (in more ways than one), but more importantly, it lets the other flavors sing.
Thankfully, this particular soup is not cauliflower soup pretending to be, say, potato soup. It’s simply borrowing some of potato soup’s accessories for a night on the town. And by town, I mean in a bowl, in your hands, in your jammies, on your couch. It’s really the only proper way to appreciate creamy soup.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
Blend until super smooth – past the puree stage. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer to a regular blender and pulse until smooth, then transfer back to your pot to finish.
Season properly. Steamed cauliflower is really a blank canvas – you can (and should!) make it taste like anything. But that also means it really needs to be seasoned well – i.e., use more salt and pepper than you think.
Watch your broth. Add just enough broth to barely cover the cauliflower. Right around three cups is enough for a generic head of large cauliflower. Too much broth will result in a thin pureed soup that can’t handle the toppings. Remember – you can always add more later!
Can I use frozen cauliflower?
Yes! You’ll need about 2 pounds, or 2 16-oz bags of frozen florets. There’s no need to defrost – simply add to the sautéed vegetables along with the broth.
Can I roast the cauliflower?
Roasted cauliflower takes on an entirely new (and delicious) flavor profile and while I love roasted cauliflower in general, and even other soups, I don’t prefer it for this particular soup because it becomes too sweet. Simmered florets in this recipe take on the smokey, savory flavors of the bacon and onions, and allow the toppings to really shine. If you’re into roasted cauliflower soup, try this version!
Make it your way
The base for this soup is short, simple, and flexible for a variety of diets. Whether you’re paleo, keto, or trying your first Whole30 round, this cauliflower soup fits the bit. Tweak to meet your specific needs through the garnishes:
- Keto Cauliflower Soup: garnish away with good quality fats like cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions. Feel free to make the soup a touch creamier by adding 2 tbsp butter and 1/4 c heavy cream before pureeing.
- Whole30 Cauliflower Soup: garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, bacon, and chopped chives. Some diced avocado wouldn’t be going too far.
Storing and Reheating Cauliflower Soup
Fridge: store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
Reheat: warm single servings in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through, or large portions over a medium flame in soup pot.
Freezer: cool completely in the fridge, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. I like to store soups a couple different ways: (1) larger potion in gallon zip lock bags, frozen flat for easy layering; (2) in 1-cup silicone molds for individual portions. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat.
More ways to love on cauliflower
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Cauliflower Risotto
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Mediterranean Roasted Cauliflower
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Did you make this cauliflower soup? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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Loaded Cauliflower Soup (Whole30, Keto)Print Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 6 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets, about 4 cups
- 3-4 c chicken stock
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- chopped chives or green onions
- sour cream
- shredded cheddar cheese
- Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and set onto a paper towel lined plate to drain. Drain all but 2 tbsp fat.
- Add the onion, leek, and celery, then toss to coat in the rendered bacon fat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add ½ c chicken stock to delgaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
- Add the cauliflower and 2.5 c chicken stock (for 3 cups total added). Season with salt and pepper and add the bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and can be easily pierced with the tines of a fork.
- Use an immersion blender to puree, adding additional broth as needed to reach the desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add more broth and thin to desired consistency.
- Ladle into bowls and serve warm, garnished with toppings of choice.
- Keto: add in fats through toppings, like good quality sour cream, cheddar cheese, and avocado.
- Whole30: top with a drizzle of olive oil and sliced green onions.
- Fridge: store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: warm single servings in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through, or large portions over a medium flame in soup pot.
- Freezer: cool completely in the fridge, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.