Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

This smooth, creamy cauliflower soup with sharp cheddar cheese is absolutely what you want on a chilly day. It's ready in under an hour. Serve with some crusty bread and a side salad!

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced celery (about 2 to 3 ribs)
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot (1 small carrot)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups roughly chopped cauliflower (see How to Cut and Core Cauliflower)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Method

1 Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, garlic: Heat butter in a large 5- to 6- quart Dutch oven or thick bottomed pot on medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots.

Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the onions are softened. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

Sautéd onions, celery, carrots and garlic Cooked Vegetables for cauliflower cheese soup

2 Add the potatoes, stock, cauliflower, bay leaves, thyme, salt and black pepper. Heat on high and bring the stock to a simmer. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender.

Pre mixed cauliflower cheddar soup ingredients in cooking pot chopped cauliflower added to soup mix

3 Purée until smooth: Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves. Either using an immersion blender or a standing blender, purée the soup mixture until completely smooth.

Pureed vegetables for cauliflower cheese soup cooking in pot Pureed ingredients in cauliflower cheddar soup

4 Add the cheddar cheese and Worcestershire: Slowly add the grated cheddar cheese, continuing to purée the soup as you add the cheese, until completely blended. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.

Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

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Comments

  • Ccos

    I rendered a lb. of bacon to sauté veggies. The soup was delicious and will make again.

  • Sheila

    I made this tonight and the recipe is a keeper! I share my soups with neighbors and friends and still have enough left for my lunches for the week. One of the key ingredients here is the Worcestershire sauce. It’s just 1 tsp, but it’s a requirement–really helps to bring out the flavor of the cheddar cheese. Highly recommend.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Donna popowski

    One of my favorite recipes, always tell everyone else about it actually I have a pot of it cooking right now. Thank you for this recipe can’t get enough of it!

  • Dee

    I love this soup!!! I usually sauté the carrots, onion, and cauliflower and then put everything in my pressure cooker to cook it faster. this has become one of my favorite dishes.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Apura

    Wow. It is very easy to make. Healthy and yummy too.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Tim

    Thanks for this recipe, Elise, it’s yummy.

    I wonder why the recipe proposes excluding the cauliflower cores? They are perfectly edible and usable (as are the leaves). I imagine someone who follows the coring instructions might be inclined to just discard the cores when they seem to work just fine along with the florets in this recipe.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tim, good point! I’ve added more info on using the cores on the coring instructions, and modified this recipe to say “chopped cauliflower” instead of “chopped cauliflower florets”.

  • Molly Boyll

    Hello! Does this soup freeze well?

  • Courtney

    I’ve made this so many times. My extremely picky daughter requests it often. The hubs won’t eat cauliflower at all so he’s out… but if she loves it, that’s a big win for me. Highly recommended.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kenn

    Just a favorite of mine

  • Barb

    I made this in my pressure cooker. Cooked on high 5” with natural release. Veggies were perfect. Mine not as orange as pictured. Feel like something is missing but really good anyway!

  • Toots

    Just made a batch of this to use up a cauliflower I’ve had hanging around a little while. Very yummy! Not a super cheesy taste (and I used extra sharp cheddar) but I’m ok with that cuz I feel oftentimes in the US we rely too heavily on rich cheeses and sauces, etc and it was nice that in this dish it just worked to give some extra depth of flavor but the cauliflower remained the main star of the soup. I love soups in cold weather so I will be eating this regularly!

  • Ruth

    Very delicious and lite. The cheese gives it the creamy texture. I also did not blend all veggies. I also added a few extra cloves of garlic.

  • Erica

    This soup is delicious! I made it a week in advance of dental surgery and it froze and reheated wonderfully. So comforting and filling without all that cream/milk like most soups.

  • C Gray

    Great taste. I used white Wisconsin Extra Sharp cheddar cheese. I’ll give it 5 stars…

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Susan

    Looks delicious, do you know what the nutritional stats are on it?

  • Heather

    Very tasty, but not near as orange as your pic. Maybe more carrots next time

  • Lindsey

    Could you do this in the crockpot?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lindsey, I haven’t tried making this in a slow cooker, but if you do, please let us know how it works out for you.

  • Victoria Charlton

    Can I do it without celery because my husband is allergic!

  • Jacque

    Made this today, but I roasted all of the veggies before I added them to the stock. Tossed the cauliflower, onion, carrots, celery, and 3 whole garlic cloves in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roasted for 25 mins at 425. I never tried the original recipe, so I’m not sure about the comparison, but my version was delicious!

    • Claire

      I think this is a good idea. I made this pretty much as written, but I found myself wishing I’d gotten more color on the veggies, because I found the soup just the teensiest bit bland. I even used homemade chicken broth. Next time I would caramelize the onion while roasting the cauliflower and garlic to up the flavor. Very nice recipe, though. A sprinkle of smoked paprika on top jazzed things up. Served with an endive orange salad with shallots.

  • Carol

    I wanted a nice creamy soup to serve to the family. Our standard is generally a cream of broccoli, but I was looking for something a little different. My addition of a 1/2 cup heavy cream swirled in at the end completed it nicely. My husband is now asking for this soup to be served, and he’s a tough cookie when it comes to trying new foods! You have a winner here! Thanks for posting it : )

  • Rebecca

    Made this for a competition and received rave reviews! Everyone who tasted it couldn’t stop gushing over it! Thanks for another unique and winning recipe!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Libby

    I made this with white cheddar and didn’t have carrots, so I ended up with a beige soup instead of the nice orange color you got. It was very tasty and makes a big batch, too!

    This reminds me of a soup from 101 Cookbooks a few years back with cauliflower and blue cheese. The blue cheese flavor is stronger with a smaller amount of cheese. The celery in your soup adds a nice fresh flavor. I may try a mix up with your recipe but adding blue cheese instead of cheddar.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Libby, Heidi posts the most wonderful recipes, doesn’t she? I do find that a little blue cheese goes a long way, so I can see why she opted for 1/3 cup in that recipe instead of the full cup the source recipe called for.

  • Heather

    Yum!! Just made it and it’s perfect!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Alison

    I made this soup last night for dinner (served it with flat iron steak). It was very good, but it seemed like it was missing something I couldn’t put my finger on. I wonder if the vegetables were roasted first it would add a bit more depth to the flavor profile? Thanks Elise!

  • mascasa

    ¡Fantástica receta! Fácil de preparar, con buenas fotografías, y un resultado delicioso, me encanta. Muchas gracias por compartirla con todos/as.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kathie

    Made this today and it is awesome. My husband likes most vegetables but not cauliflower- he liked it too. Definitely a keeper.

  • suzanne Swartz

    I love your recipes but I tried this recipe for Cauliflower soup and I have to admit that mine is 1/2 the ingredients, 1/2 the time and twice as good… Very old recipe from a very old friend who is the best little soup maker in the world. And , no, mine does not contain any yuck cans of soup.. All fresh ingredients… I have to double the recipe as my daughter and grandkids all eat it. Good way to get the cauliflower into them. Neighbors all make this soup now, and I was asked to bring it to a soup party we have in the neighborhood. I do love your recipes tho…

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Suzanne, you are welcome to post your recipe here in the comments.

  • Heather

    Plugged this recipe into MyFitnessPal and it’s only 305 calories a serving. How fantastic! So many of my favorite hearty soups are a little too indulgent. (16g fat, 15g protein, and 3g fiber). Definitely gonna make this soup soon!

  • Jen

    This was absolutely delicious. I’m a long time reader, first time commentor and every recipe I have tried from your site has been great. But this recipe surprised me the most. I’ve never had anything similar but always wanted to try a cauliflower potato combo of some sort and hey this just happened to have cheese involved. Score! It was a 10. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Becky

    I look forward to trying this. I plan to hold out a cup of veggies before blending smooth and add back in after the cheese is blended in.

  • Cheryl A.

    HI there – I just love this blog – thanks so much for sharing so many awesome recipes!! I was wondering how many cauliflowers make up 6 cups? Approximate? Thanks again!

  • yvonne

    I did not puree. Much heartier..

  • Ryan

    I bet 1Tbsp of fish sauce would add great depth of flavor in here, along with the Worcestershire.

  • [email protected]

    Cheddar in Australia is not the same vibrant colour as it is in the US but the flavour is the same! I will be trying this for sure – I bought 3 cauliflowers for $3 the other day!

  • Bebe

    Elise, can this be done with broccoli? I’ve been looking for a good broccoli-cheddar soup. (This looks wonderful!)

  • Laura @ Raise Your Garden

    Ok, this is totally the type of soup that I would order at a cozy restaurant and then try to pick the waitress/waiters brain about what ingredients were in there! I made the Pioneer Women’s cauliflower soup recipe and enjoyed it very much, but I absolutely am enamored with your cheddar spin and the overall color it gives this soup!!! Her soup used monteray jack which was good but I cannot wait to try this. If I send you an email after I make and taste, please don’t think I’m stalking you! It’s just that a tiny cup of this type of soup is at least 4 bucks in any restaurant I frequent and that’s just silly if I can make it myself. I seriously cannot wait to try! Thanks a lot for this one.

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

      I just made this soup for halloween like I said I was going to do and it was a BIG hit. My mom who has never been one to give compliments raved. That’s big for my self esteem. For anyone out there reading this, the soup is a forgiving recipe so you don’t have to panic if you get a little too much potato or whatnot. Two other things.
      1.) I doubled the cheese (hey, bathing suit season is over and Spanx is on sale right now and
      2.) I added crispy bacon on top straight from the oven (I’m a bacon/oven gal) and broke it in tiny pieces and ate right away. I loved this addition but it’s up to you!

      LOVED this soup. So hearty today when it’s freezing here in Buffalo.

      • Elise Bauer

        I’m so glad you liked it Laura! And thank goodness for spanx, right?

  • Jan

    What cheese do you like to use? Some cheddars are not as silky when melted.

    • Elise Bauer

      I like Tillamook sharp cheddar.

      • Torrey

        I remembered this question, and just got on to post about Tillamook cheese. You can find it in the supermarkets, and its actually good cheddar. Pasture-fed cows, traditional methods, etc. The “Special Reserve” Extra Sharp Cheddar would be perfect for this recipe. Though I may have to try it with whatever I have on hand. ;-)