I was thinking about how especially useful cauliflowers are in a *SANE world. Cauliflower that thinks it’s rice. Cauliflower that masquerades as mashed potatoes. Cauliflower swathed in cheese sauce. Cauliflower that makes soup all kinds of creamy. It seems to me that cauliflower is getting more versatile and exciting by the minute around here; but still cauliflower is always the bridesmaid and never the bride; because cauliflower just steamed and plonked on a plate is really rather bland.
The other day while waiting for inspiration to strike in the veggie section of the grocery store, I elected cauliflower as the star of my next soup. And I wanted to surprise you with a wholeheartedly exciting cauliflower soup. One that might allow you see the bashful cauliflower in a whole new light. I’ve always enjoyed cauliflower, however it was served up. At home growing up that meant one of two things: plain boiled, or served under blanket of thick, silky, yellow, bubbling, cheese sauce. My mother’s cooking was very simple, for the most part. I am doubtful that exciting cauliflower has ever crossed her mind. I, on the other hand, am a complete lush for exciting vegetables. I think that gene must have come from my father – he was absolutely, positively the adventurous eater out of the two. My mother ate Chinese food once, and I remember the event vividly – my father, brother, boyfriend and I shovelling down special fried rice and chicken with pineapple like it was our last meal while my mother sat stony faced at the table picking and poking. Boiled cauliflower over Chinese food every time for her.
If you have never really favored cauliflower, I’d encourage you to give this a whirl. I hope you’ll really like it.
There’s a couple of things in this recipe that might catch you unawares. One of them was an idea from Nancy, who takes extraordinary images of flowers. Nancy follows a Paleo diet, so we often exchange notes on new things we’ve tried. Nancy mentioned a Leek and Pear Soup that her husband had made, and as I hovered by an enormous pile of lettuce in the corner of the produce department, I realized that pear might just be the perfect ruse to sweeten up that slightly bitter Brassica. Plus you probably wouldn’t be expecting sweet.
Since sweet does not always equal exciting, I browsed around the herb and spice department for quite some time – trying to imagine what various combinations could do to a humble cauliflower’s street cred – before my gaze alighted on the canister full of Five Spice. Hands up if you’ve only ever had Five Spice with chicken? Me! Me! Pick me!
It was time. Time for Five Spice to infiltrate other areas of my culinary adventures, and time for cauliflower to shine.
This soup is a cinch to throw together and extremely filling. It is creamy and comforting like potato soup; and it would go brilliantly with those Cheesy Biscuits we all got so excited about the other week.
So without further ado, here’s my Spiced Cauliflower Soup for you. GO, cauliflower!!
- 2 cups / 1 pint chicken or clear vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 lb / 670g cauliflower, cut into florets
- 5 oz. / 140g onion, chopped
- 1 pear, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 / 2 fl oz. cup heavy cream (double cream)
- 1/2 tsp Five Spice Powder (do not guess, it’s powerful)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Put stock, cauliflower and onion in a stock pot and cook for 15 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
- Carefully transfer vegetables and stock to a blender.
- Add the pear and blend on high until completely smooth.
- Add salt, cream, five spice and lemon juice and blend for another minute.
- Gently reheat in the stock pot if necessary.
cathI love cauliflower and was looking for something to do with that five spice in the larder too! Going to give it a try at the weekend :)
carrieHi Cath! Let me know what you think. Thanks so much for your support!
Michelle“Add the pear and blend on high until completely smooth.” I am a little confused, I didn’t see pear in the recipe.
carrieHi Michelle – It’s right there between the onion and the salt.
FRANNIECan’t wait to try this spiced cauliflower soup. Will be making it on black friday !! I LOVE Cauliflower !!
carrieWonderful! Let me know how you like it, Frannie. And Happy Thanksgiving!
SaraEek…I just noticed the pear in the menu and no pear – any suggestions for a suitable replacement?
carrieSara – if you happen to have apples around, I would use half an apple instead, although usually we don’t reccommend eating apples as they are a less nutrient dense fruit and have a greater amount of sugar in them. Otherwise, leave the fruit out and add a small amount of xylitol, stevia or alternatve to add the sweetness. Hope that helps!
Susan HamptonCarrie — seriously you need to make a cookbook…I love using the recipes off the computer but I still love a printed cookbook!
carrieSusan – in the works!
Andrea M.Yet another yummy soup recipe and another great use for cauliflower. For my onion I used a large leek, and it gave the soup a terrific flavor. I would never have thought to put pear in this, but it really works! Keep those awesome soup recipes coming, Carrie! :)
carrieHurrah for cauliflower!!! And I LOVE that you used a leek, Andrea :-)))
CynthiaHi Carrie, I am 60 years old and for the last 20 years I have weighed 180. I have a slow thyroid so I’ve blamed my hormones for about 15 of those years. The last few days went like this, on Fri. I had an offer from Prevention for yet a other diet book. I have a lot of health/diet books from prevention and I decided to look over this offer. This offer is for Jonathan Bailors book Eat More Lose More. Long story short, hormone WOW science wow! Ordered it wanted to learn more so I went to you tube which led me to Amazon. On Sat. I ordered your cook books for soups, smoothies and sides, ice creams and Jonathans book The Calorie Myth. I HATE! vegetables and I am all for a way to eat them with out gaging. In my kitchen I have a Kitchen aid blender a stick blender and a Nutri Bullet. This is Sunday and here I am at 1:45 AM. This cauliflower soup recipe sounds like it will taste less like cauliflower and a lot like yum! Am I right? Will leeks change the taste enough to make this soup taste like 2 soups? Any and all help I can get will be most welcome. I am not a good cook unless you are talking about a gallon of this and 8-10 lbs. that I now know is unhealthy Thanks..Cynthia P.S. I don’t text or send e-mail this is a first for me.
carrieHi Cynthia! Welcome! This Cauliflower Soup is very yum by all accounts. Let us know what you think! There is also a Leek and Cauliflower Soup recipe if you want to try that too: https://carriebrown.com/archives/20952
LeeAnn O'ConnellJust made this soup with my new Vitamix machine ;) This soup is amazing! So good! I love that I could pour myself a nice hot cup of healthy soup right out of the blender into my mug. YUM!
SherryHi Carrie, I have your soup recipe book and a couple of my favorites from that are not listed here on your website: the Cream of Veggie and the Green Bean Casserole soups. Are those not Keto friendly? Thanks.