Just when I thought I’ve used cauliflower as a replacement for everything, I found this soup recipe! It’s creamy, comforting, and has a slight hint of smokey bacon. I left a handful of cauliflower whole to add a nice texture to the soup. The soup still has all the same components of a classic ‘loaded soup’ – cheddar cheese, bacon, and onions. You can even throw in some crushed red pepper if you want a little spice.
I think I like it better than regular potato soup. It’s less heavy than potato soup and the cauliflower cooks faster than potatoes. With the crumbled bacon, it’s a great cold weather soup. I think I could eat soup all seasons, depending on the type of soup. This soup is definitely a winter soup, but something like minestrone or ramen I could eat in any season.
You could even cook this in an instant pot or slow cooker to make everything easier. I cooked it on the stove top and it was ready in under 1 hour! There’s just something about cooking soup on the stove that I love…the smell as each ingredient is added, the slow simmer as everything cooks together. Basically, the perfect way to cook a cozy, fall dinner.
Do you love or hate the ‘cauliflower-is-the-same-as-potatoes’ trend? (maybe I could have thought of a better name for that…) When I first head about cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’ I was skeptical. While I’m still going to eat normal mashed potatoes, I think the cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’ is a great alternative and option to eat occasionally. But, paying $17 for a cauliflower ‘steak? That’s something I can’t quite get behind yet. I’ll stick with this soup for now.
Loaded Cauliflower Soup
|Yield: serves around 6 people|
Creamy & comforting soup with all the good 'loaded' ingredients - cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives.
- 6 stripes bacon
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 cups cauliflower, chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 chives, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- In a large dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp. Set bacon aside to drain. Leave 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in pan.
- Add onion, carrots, and garlic to dutch oven. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add cauliflower. Cook 5 minutes, until beginning to brown.
- Add stock, paprika, salt, pepper. Cook and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add half the soup to a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Add back to dutch oven. Mix in milk. Simmer 5 more minutes.
- To serve, place in bowls and evenly divide the bacon, chives, and cheese among bowls.
images & text © North Coast Eats
adapted from Cooking Light