Try this easy roasted cauliflower soup, loaded up with crisp bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and scallions. Lower carb, but might even be better than the baked potato version!
Looking for a new way to add more cauliflower to your diet? Look no further! I am actually an unabashed carb lover, but this is going to enter our regular soup rotation.
How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower is incredibly popular right now, and for good reason. It’s low in carbs and calories, high in protein, and is a great source of a variety of vitamins and minerals. That’s all well and good, but even better, it tastes good!
How to Cut Cauliflower
Set the head of cauliflower on a cutting board, and get a good sharp knife. Cut off any large outer leaves. Cut the cauliflower in half, then in quarters, and remove the central core stem by cutting it out on the diagonal. At this point the cauliflower will fall into several large florets. It’s a good idea to break these down further into smaller 1-1.5″ diameter florets, because they’ll cook a little faster that way.
How to Roast Caulifower
Simple. Take a large (9×13) Pyrex dish or baking sheet and drizzle it with oil. Spread out the cauliflower florets. Top with a liberal amount of salt and cracked black pepper (and seasoning if you’re roasting for a side dish, but not needed for this soup). Toss the cauliflower around to coat it with the oil. Roast in a preheated 425F oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are fork tender and starting to brown.
Bacon Roux (Soup Base) with Onion and Garlic
What is a Roux?
A roux (pronounced “roo”) is nothing more than a mixture of flour and fat used as a flavoring and thickening agent for sauces, soups, and stews. They can be light or dark, depending on how long the two are cooked together before adding liquid.
What Kind of Stock Should I Use?
In the picture above, I’m using homemade turkey stock leftover from Thanksgiving. Normally I would have used chicken, but pork and vegetable stocks would work as well. Homemade stock is always better than store-bought, boxed is usually better than canned, and canned is better than bouillon cubes. If you’re using store-bought stock, use the low sodium variety if you can. If you must use regular sodium stock or bouillon, do not add any extra salt to this recipe before tasting – it’s really easy to go too far when you’re also using bacon and cheese.
How to Make Bacon Roux
Start by frying the bacon bits until they’ve reached your desired level of doneness. Remove the bacon bits to a paper-towel line plate, keeping the rendered fat in the pan – this will be the base of the roux. Add diced onion and cook for about 2 minutes with a pinch of salt, then add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Once the onion and garlic have softened, add the flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. It should form a paste. If there doesn’t seem to be enough fat for the flour, add a tablespoon of butter, oil, or bacon fat if you store extra in your fridge.
Add Stock to the Roux
Begin to slowly add liquid to your bacon roux. Add your stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring each time until all of the liquid has been absorbed and there are no lumps. The first addition of liquid will often still result in a paste-like consistency – that’s normal. Stir until the lumps are gone, then add more stock. Keep adding stock until the entire 4 cups have been incorporated.
Add Roasted Cauliflower to Soup
By this time, the cauliflower should be nearly of the oven. Add the roasted cauliflower directly to the soup. Stir to incorporate, then blend the soup together. I use an immersion or stick blender, but you could also transfer the soup in small quantities to a regular blender (never fill a blender more than half full of hot soup).
Add Cream and Toppings to Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Once the cauliflower has been blended, reduce the heat to low. Stir heavy cream (you could substitute half and half or milk, but the soup will be a little less decadent) and sour cream in. Do not allow to boil. Add half of the bacon and cheddar cheese – reserve the rest to top individual bowls. Stir everything together, and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed to suit your preferences. Ladle into bowls, top with additional cheese, bacon, and scallions, and enjoy!
What to Serve with Roasted Cauliflower Soup?
This soup is fairly hearty. Small portions would make a delicious appetizer for a dinner party with entrees to follow, but a large bowl will easily serve as the main component of a family dinner. A green salad and crusty bread would be the most classic accompaniment. Sandwiches, lighter pasta dishes, and other appetizers – especially seafood – would go nicely with this soup. Some ideas, from my site and elsewhere:
- Fall Kale Salad with Bacon and Cheddar
- Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
- BLT Pesto Pasta Salad
- Caprese Salad
- Beet, Orange, and Arugula Salad
- Bacon Grilled Cheese
- Portobella Pesto Panini
- Pan Con Tomate
Other Soup Recipes You May Like:
Loaded Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Immersion (or traditional) blender
- 2 heads cauliflower about 4 pounds – cut into florets
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 12 oz bacon sliced into lardons
- 1 onion large, or 2 small, diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups stock homemade or low-sodium storebought
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream may substitute half and half or milk
- 4 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 scallions chopped, may substitute chives
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425. Toss cauliflower florets with neutral oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender and just starting to brown.
- Fry bacon pieces, preferably in cast-iron pan, until desired level of doneness. Remove to paper towel-lined plate, reserving rendered bacon fat.
- Pour bacon fat into soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes or until softened. Add flour, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add an extra tablespoon of oil or butter if needed to ensure that all of the flour is absorbed into a paste-like roux.
- Begin adding stock in 1/2 cup increments. After each addition, stir until well-mixed and free of lumps before adding next 1/2 cup of stock.
- When cauliflower has roasted, stir into soup. Blend in soup pot with immersion blender, or transfer in portions to traditional blender. Be sure never to fill blender more than half full of hot soup.
- Stir sour cream and heavy cream into soup. Add half each of bacon and shredded cheese. Taste the soup. Add salt and pepper if needed to suit your tastes. Ladle into serving bowls, and top each portion with remaining cheese, bacon, and scallions. Serve immediately, and enjoy.