You know what?

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I

I’m having a meltdown this week. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the debate made sure that Private Practice couldn’t be on last night. Maybe it’s because I would like to unfriend everyone on Facebook, forever… or at least until mid-November. Maybe it’s because I’m inching closer to 30! eeek. Maybe it’s because I emotionally ate ice cream for dinner and then emotionally online shopped until midnight.


Let’s talk about soup instead. Especially since my husband is reading this.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I

So the thing is, last year around this time I had some incredible cauliflower soup that seriously just melted in my mouth. No… I mean MELTED. I attempted to recreate it but it turned out like paste and consequently… ended up being showcased in my recipe disasters of 2011. But… I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. For a year. For 12 loooooong months. Do you have any idea how long that is in impatient, annoying girl-time?

Let me tell you: a long time. Totally worth it now though. Maybe sometimes patience pays off? I will probably never truly find out.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I

Oh and here’s the other thing. I’ve never been able to get behind the whole mashed cauliflower craze. No people, they are not potatoes. It’s freaking Thanksgiving and I want to eat REAL MASHED POTATOES. It’s the biggest food holiday of the year and I had a great workout this morning and I plan on stuffing myself to the brim and then doing it again four hours later and no, I don’t want to touch your mashed cauliflower no matter how delish you say it is.

Alright, perhaps the reason I haven’t been a fan is because I’d just have to swirl so many butter rivers and cream streams and five thousand pounds of cheese with eight sprinkles of salt into the mix in order to make it palatable and do what it’s supposed to do… taste like potatoes. Whatevs.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I

BUT. I might be changing my tune now. I’m not about to go swap one of my favorite side dishes for these goofy looking florets, but hear me out when I tell you that this soup tastes eerily similar to potatoes. To, say, potato soup. Except it’s lighter in texture and taste and is creamier, yet still does the whole mouth melting thing. It’s sort of… heavenly. And YOU KNOW how I feel about things that slightly resemble broccoli. Ugh.

What I’m trying to say is that if you don’t like cauliflower, you will probably still like this. I hope so.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I

While the soup is incredible and made most of it’s journey straight from the pot into my mouth, the toppings are what initially sold me on this soup last year. The roasted cauliflower is something I can handle in a small amount while enveloped in a soup pillow, but the crispy fried capers and chive oil are the bees knees. I mean it. If you don’t like capers, try them fried. Little crunchy pops in your mouth? Um hello lover.

If you’re having a meltdown sort of week, you might wanna make this soup. If you’re having a great sort of week, you also might want to make this soup. If you have a ton of “fake”book friends that are spamming up your feed with political rants every 30 seconds, definitely do not make them soup. And then unsubscribe. And make yourself the darn soup.

Problems solved.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I


Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Capers and Chive Oil

Yield: serves about 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


1 sweet onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
1/4 cups capers, patted completely dry
salt and pepper to taste
additional roasted cauliflower for topping

chive oil
1/4 cup chopped chives
3-4 tablespoons olive oil


Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, then add onions with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped cauliflower and vegetable stock, then cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until softened. A few times during cooking, use your spoon to press down and break apart or mash the cauliflower.

While cauliflower is cooking, make the chive oil. Combine the chives and olive oil in a blender or food processer and blend until totally smooth. If needed, you can strain the oil thru a very fine mesh strainer. To fry the capers, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add dry capers and shake the pan or stir, tossing for 1-2 minutes until crispy and fried. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Once the cauliflower is soft, scoop it (and all the remaining broth) into a large bowl. Add half of the mixture to a blender with half cup of water and puree until smooth. Once smooth, add back to the pot and puree the remaining cauliflower mixture with the other half cup of water. Add to the rest.

Heat over low heat, stirring in milk or cream and remaining butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then garnish with additional roasted cauliflower (I roasted at 425 with olive oil, salt + pepper for 40 minutes, tossing), capers and chive oil.

[recipe inspired by habitat and adapted from bon appetit]

Creamy Cauliflower Soup I

I feel so much better already.

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143 Responses to “Creamy Cauliflower Soup. (OMG it’s so good I swear.)”

  1. #
    Discovering Italy — October 18, 2012 @ 4:01 am

    The soup seems really delicious! I will make it for sure! Thank you.


  2. #
    foodwithpictures — October 18, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    Great post! And I will try this soup… looks wonderful!


  3. #
    Alyssa — October 18, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    It is sooooo pretty!


  4. #
    Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa — October 18, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    Love this soup!! I love cauliflower – it makes awesome pizza crusts, hummus and soup. Can’t wait to make this for dinner tonight!


  5. #
    Jamie — October 18, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    this looks amazing! definitely trying.
    p.s. i’m secretly wishing i could have the strength to delete my facebook account too!


  6. #
    HeatherChristo — October 18, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    So freaking gorgeous Jessica. truly.


  7. #
    Meghan — October 18, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    This looks great! My hubby claims he doesn’t like cauliflower, so I’ll try this recipe out on him. Looks amazing! Especially the chive oil. YUM!!!


  8. #
    Jackie — October 18, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    I only want to try this soup because “one eats with their eyes!”
    Your pics are so good. I can smell the soup cooking, feel the steam comming off the pot .
    Could you also share what kind of camera you use ? New to your blog, and love it.


  9. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — October 18, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    Political rants are getting way too out of control! I already did some unfriending before the elections just to keep up shop a bit. If I unfriend any more people I may be left with no friends at all, which may not be a bad thing on FB. This soup looks like it could shut up even the rantiest of persons, so maybe we should share. Beautiful pictures as per usual!


  10. #
    Donna — October 18, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    I am soooo making this for the weekend…..I must add…THIS IS THE MOST GORGEOUS FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY/PRESENTATION/COLOR “ATTENTIVENESS” I have EVER seen…Really magnificent…You should enter this offering in a bazillion contests…really…that fabulous….Veritable bottomless pit of creativity/talent…thou.


    • Jessica — October 18th, 2012 @ 11:36 am

      You are so kind! THANK YOU!


  11. #
    a — October 18, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    I hope you feel better already. The soup looks, and probably tastes great! I’m a cauliflower fun, so I’m an easy target. I eat it raw even, as a salad ingrident.


  12. #
    Colette — October 18, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    Creamy cauliflow
    Crispy capers
    Vibrant chive oil


    • woodsprite — October 29th, 2012 @ 5:58 pm



  13. #
    Gia — October 18, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    This picture is stunning!!!!


  14. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — October 18, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    I’m totally on board with this, but then again, I do mashed cauliflower all the time!


    • Jessica — October 18th, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

      Thank you!


  15. #
    Joanne — October 19, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    This looks so delicious! I love how you add the capers at the end. Yum.


  16. #
    lisa — October 19, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    I recently became a vegetarian and was sad I was not going to get to try many of your recipes but you have had several great vegetarian recipes lately such as the quinoa sliders, black bean patty melt and now this soup!!! Thank you! Having this for dinner tonight!


  17. #
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — October 19, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    Great recipe… cauliflower is so versatile! I’m loving your photos, too! :P


  18. #
    Ross @ TheFaceBaby — October 19, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Cassie loves making smashed cauliflower for me since she’s obsessed with smashed taters and I’m just so-so on them (yes, I say smashed instead of mashed … sue me).

    This looks and sounds delightful. I’ll add it to her “Make this for me now, woman!” list. (I kid! I kid!)


  19. #
    Joanna — October 21, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    This looks so super awesome. It has been added to my menu for this week. The husband is away for work this fortnight so it’s all mine! Can’t wait to try the chive oil and capers Mmmm. Would i be able to add the cup of water to the pot and just use a stick mixer instead of the blender? Thankyou :)


    • Jessica — October 21st, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

      I personally don’t like using the immersion blender with this because it doesn’t get it silky smooth and creamy. If yours can do that or if you don’t mind it being thicker or slightly chunky, go for it!


      • Gaius Gracchus — November 19th, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

        That was true for us, too, until we bought an All Clad hand-held blender. It is a freakin’ monster… but still light and easy to use and clean. Has a variable setting plus turbo button. They are around $100 and worth every penny. You can find them on Amazon or at Williams Sonoma — probably other places as well.

        The other thing we love about it is that the blender part is all metal. It always bothered me to stick plastic into hot liquids.

      • Gaius Gracchus — November 19th, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

        I don’t know if it was clear from my comment, but the All Clad hand-held blender can emulsify/liquify just as well as most regular upright blenders.

  20. #
    Bridgette — October 21, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    Making this right now and realized…. You have a butter discrepancy…? (?!?!?) where do the other 2 Tbsp go?


    • Jessica — October 21st, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

      Oops so sorry! You stir it in at the end.


  21. #
    Wyatts momma — October 22, 2012 @ 2:44 am

    I made this tonight and it was amazing. I could not stop eating the fried capers and roasted cauliflower, before the soup was ready. One question, where do i use the two tablespoons of butter? one was used for onion olive oil saute. This is on our Thanksgiving menu. Thanks Jessca


  22. #
    Elizabeth @Food Ramblings — October 22, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    my mouth is watering!!


  23. #
    Faith — October 26, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    Made the soup tonight, and it really was delicious! I don’t know if I “fried” my capers right, but they were still good :)


  24. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — October 27, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    Such a pretty presentation!


  25. #
    rmd — October 29, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    While awaiting the wrath of Sandy, I made this velvety soup. Once I answered the questions from my kids about what that “green stuff” was on top….and their excitement that there were capers as well….our soup course was pretty quiet…everyone loved it! I made a few subs based on what I had in my pantry…so chicken stock instead of veg, evap milk instead of cream/whole milk and we never put the mysterious last two tablespoons of butter in….(just read the comment on that) The leftover chive oil was being drizzled over everything else on the table…bread, chicken etc….Thanks for another delicious dinner!


  26. #
    Niki — November 2, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    Omg. I made this tonight. I had no capers, and no chives. But I used the green ends of some green onions, and a teensy little bit of bacon crumblies.


  27. #
    Lauren — November 6, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    This soup was great! I made it for my husband last night. I did not have any extra cauliflower to roast so I put in a small chunk of toasted artisan bread to garnish. It was delicious! We are going to make this part of our regular meal rotation. However, my soup turned out a bit yellower than your silky white looking soup. OH well it tastes amazing and I cannot wait to make it again!


  28. #
    tanya @ i heart chocolate milk — November 9, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    wow…yummy recipes, gorgeous photos!! love it!


  29. #
    Charity — November 13, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    I just made this last night and wow is it good! I didn’t have any stock so I added two stalks of celery with the cauliflower plus 1/2 tsp dried thyme and basil and a good amount of pepper and some salt for flavoring. I forgot the milk accidentally and just whirred it up a LOT with my handheld blender. Still so creamy and good! My husband and I love it. (I did skip the capers and chive oil since I didn’t have the ingredients but still loved the soup. ) Will make again!


    • Charity — November 13th, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

      Forgot to say that I browned the butter before I added the onion. So good and gave the soup some nutty flavor. Thought of you Jessica and your addiction to browned butter while doing it. Might have to join BBAA (Browned Butter Addicts Anonymous) with you. :-)


  30. #
    Rachel {Studio Cuisine} — December 2, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    Had to comment to let you know I’m this soup for the third time this year, and I haaate repeating recipes. It is just THAT good!


  31. #
    Lana Pribic — December 5, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    Me and some friends have a dinner club every week, and it’s my turn to cook this week. I decided to make this soup with cornbread. I’m so excited to get cooking, I’ve been dreaming of this recipe ALL week!


    • Lana Pribic — December 6th, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

      And the verdict is… THIS SOUP IS AMAZING! wow. I thought that the chive oil and capers would be more of a garnish.. but no. They are absolutely essential and add sooo much flavour and uniqueness to the soup. Making it again ASAP.


  32. #
    Bart — January 14, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

    Will definitely try, but will need all my strength to leave out nutmeg (an indispensible cauliflower companion) …


  33. #
    Erin @ Adventures of a Hungry Redhead — January 24, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    You weren’t kidding this is GOOD! I had to blog about it too:
    Thanks for the recipe and the beautiful photos.


  34. #
    Rose — January 27, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    Made this soup tonight, it’s delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
    I didn’t make roasted cauli, cuz I don’t like it, but the other toppings are totally to die for. For anyone else trying this, It turned out quite a bit thinner than the pics and than I expected, I think because my head of cauliflower was small-ish? Next time I’d use less broth/water, or 2 heads… but regardless, so yummy. I browned the last 2 Tbsp’s of butter before mixing it in, was fab.


  35. #
    Tina — January 28, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

    I am your new, won over, true blue fan. Your photos, style, wit, recipes… combined they are a culinary symphony. I made the soup for dinner tonight with only 2 minor changes. I pan roasted the cauliflower for 10 minutes before adding the stock to develop some depth. Once the pureed soup returned to the pot, I replaced the butter with 2 Tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese and whisked gently until it melted. I am a cauliflower convert. Scrumptious! Thank you!


  36. #
    Aleydis — October 15, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    I’m eating this soup as I type and I’m loving it! Though it seems my blender’s blade isn’t sharp enough – the soup is not quite as creamy as yours and my chive oil was a lighter green and was not as fine and quite… frothy?
    Great recipe, I’ve been a quit follower for a few months now and you always make me smile!


    • Aleydis — October 15th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

      I was wondering, will the chive oil keep outside of the fridge?


  37. #
    Beth — January 17, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

    I just made this soup tonight, the fried capers totally made this soup! It was great and I got compliments from my husband and in-laws!!!!


  38. #
    Bracha — March 4, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

    i made this soup for a dinner party for around 30 people. it was a huge hit. the chive oil didn’t add much flavor but really gave the soup a beautiful presentation. thad the crunchy capers added such a subtle but very present taste and texture to the simple cauliflower soup. i also used frozen cauliflower to save time and it was still delicious. (i used fresh for half, then as the party numbers went up last minute i realized i needed much more so i used frozen which cooks much faster.)


  39. #
    Colleen — October 20, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    This has become one of my favorite soup recipes! My partner thinks it odd that I am completely satisfied with eating this at lunch every day for a whol week (haha), but it is THAT good. So glad I stumbled across your recipe. Thank you!


  40. #
    Erin — January 2, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

    Do you think minus the garnish, that this soup would freeze well?? I can’t wait to try it!


  41. #
    Rachel — January 14, 2015 @ 12:30 am

    This is my favourite soup of all time! I’ve been making it for a couple of years now on a VERY regular basis! Love it, just simply love it.

    Oh….and THANKS!! xo



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