Simple Cauliflower Soup

To take this soup from simple to sublime, add a dash or two of truffle salt or truffle oil to the soup when serving.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • Florets from one head of cauliflower (tough core of cauliflower discarded)
  • 1 quart of water
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Chives
  • Olive oil


1 Cook cauliflower florets in salted water: Bring 1 quart of water to a rolling boil in a medium-sized pot. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Add the cauliflower florets, and cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove florets to a bowl. Reserve cooking water.

2 Purée cooked cauliflower: Working in batches, fill a blender half-way with cooked cauliflower, add enough cooking water to the blender bowl so that it comes up a quarter of the way. Purée until smooth. You want the consistency to be that of soup, so if you need to add more water, do so.

3 Add salt and butter: or each blender batch, add salt and butter to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and about a tablespoon or more of butter for each blender batch). Since you are using only lightly salted cooking water for a base, not stock, you will need to salt this more than you would otherwise.

4 Serve: Serve immediately into bowls. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with chopped chives.

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  • Janet

    Delicious and light!

  • Janet

    Can you freeze the leftovers?

  • Geraldine

    Just made this soup, my daughter and I both loved it! So simple, so quick, so delicious. I added too much of the cooking liquid, so I put in a splash of heavy cream which finished it off nicely, but next time I will use less liquid. Will now follow you on pinterst, thanks.

  • Amy

    Just made this. Great, simple recipe. Perfect as is. Thank you!

  • sandraregina

    I love this soup, and I like to add a bit of bacon crumbled in, and shred some old cheddar on top. I’ve also followed the same steps but with broccoli instead of cauliflower and it works really well.

  • anna

    i whipped this up for myself along side the kids mac n cheese in no time. simple… perfection. bright, fresh and delish! i preferred it w/o the truffle salt….and i DO love my truffle salt…;o)

  • ana

    This was awesome, thank you!

  • Sandra Regina

    I made this for lunch today with parsely instead of chives, with added bacon and shredded cheese. It was so yummy!!!

  • Tao

    I made it the other day as my first meal to break my week long fast. Thought it would be something easy for my stomach (minus the salt and butter). It was simple yet delicious! I added the salt and butter for my boyfriend and he loved it too.

  • LC

    We made this for lunch yesterday. The instructions to “Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the (1 quart of) water” — which you then reuse as the soup base — made this much too salty. Is that measurement correct?

    It was the correct amount, assuming you are using unsalted butter. I’ve adjusted the recipe to specify unsalted butter and to start with a little less salt since some people are more salt sensitive than others. With unsalted butter and 1 Tbsp to start I ended up having to add more salt to the soup. ~Elise

  • Wendi

    Thank you Elise. There is a restaurant in Seattle called Carmelita. It is a vegetarian restaurant. They have perfected the cauliflower soup. My husband has been asking me to make this soup for years. I thank you for this. I will let you know how it turns out.

  • Jen

    Wow, I just made this for lunch, and not only was it delicious, but it was quick and easy to make. The drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of chives makes the soup look gourmet. I crumbled some yummy blue Stilton cheese on top (just got my crock in the mail last week), and talk about a divine meal! I always appreciate (and keep) the simple recipes the most, and in this economic climate, also the inexpensive ones!

  • Martijn

    Hi Elise, this looks really nice! I love cauliflower, and this was very easy to make. I figured if this works with cauliflower, it should work with broccoli as well, so I went and made both. Combine both in one bowl for an awesome presentation. See my blog entry for a picture. :-)

  • michael bash

    Related item from Laurie Colwin (R.I.P.) Chunk up a head of brocoli, a couple of spuds, 3 or 4 garlics and an onion is you want in a pot with water (or veggie stock) to almost cover. Add curry powder to taste – big Tbs. Cook till quite soft, buzz in blender with 1 small yogurt. Serve hot or room temp. That’s Laurie – simple and yummy.

  • Renee

    We had this for supper last night and it is absolutely incredible!!!
    Thank you!

  • paulie

    I substituted the butter with Olive Oil, delish!

  • Chez US

    Making for dinner – can’t wait! We got some beautiful cauliflower at the Farmer’s Market today!

  • amy

    Even better with a sprinkle of blue cheese and fresh parsley!

  • Alex

    Looks delicious, I feel inspired!

  • Ashley

    This looks fantastic! And I just bought some truffle salt from O&Co not too long ago. Yum!!

  • Lisa

    This sounds delicious! I would leave out the salt completely, maybe use some reduced sodium chicken broth, and add a little grated cheddar at the end. Yum!

  • Laura

    Oh so lovely! I absolutely adore cauliflower, but since I can’t always be bothered to defrost my stock in time, this is the perfect soup recipe for me!

  • brooklynite

    smitten kitchen has an excellent cauliflower soup – you cook a head of cauliflower in a quart of broth or stock, and then blend it and stir in fresh grated parmesean cheese, salt and pepper. easy as possible and delicious.

  • Sarah

    And here I was wondering what to do with the head of cauliflower I bought at the grocery store last night…do you think this soup would freeze well?

    No idea. But the soup is so easy to make, you could easily make one serving at a time. ~Elise

  • The Duo Dishes

    They make good mashed ‘potatoes’, so why not soup?

  • Abby

    I love cauliflower and am so happy it’s finally an “in” vegetable. I’ll have to try this soup! It’s so beautiful.

  • Hélène

    Simple & beautiful. That looks healthy & good.

  • Alex

    Recipe looks great! I bet you could use less water in the blender and this recipe could double for cauliflower “mashed potatoes”.

  • iffet

    It very simply and easy to make.

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married)

    Love cauliflower recipes, will definitely have to try this soup, thanks!

  • Erin

    Wow, this sounds wonderful. Thanks for the reminder that not every dish has to be complicated to be good!

  • The Daily Colander

    Classic. Simple. Food doesn’t have to have a lot of ingredients to be great.

  • Gira

    Hi Elise, this looks fab. I, however, will be adding cheese, reminiscent of the cheese sauce my mother used to put over boiled or steamed cauliflower. :D

  • Kalinda

    I’ve been on a soup kick (not surprising considering I’m in Chicago) and a cauliflower kick, but I have yet to combine the two.

    This looks lovely and I love the simplicity.

  • jonathan

    I made a simple cream of broccoli soup recently with few ingredients. Like Elise, I used the best ingredients I could find and followed the recipe steps verbatim.

  • Jasonda

    Perfect for February.. :) Thank you!

  • corynne escalante

    I looove cauliflower soup! It is unexpected to be sure, but delicious nonetheless. Thanks for posting.

  • Andrea

    I wonder, what this would taste like blanched in some vegetable stock. That way the flavour will be boosted slightly.