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Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan

5 from 8 votes

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A smooth, velvety cream of cauliflower soup with a handful of ingredients (no cream or potato). This is a pure and simple recipe that’s satisfying and comforting.

A small bowl of creamy soup with pesto on top and a spoon.
Cozy, creamy cauliflower soup made without milk or cream.

There are a few things you need to know before diving into this creamy cauliflower soup recipe.

  • It only requires a handful of ingredients
  • The soup tastes rich and satisfying and is ready to serve in about 30 minutes

It has a pure taste of cauliflower, accented by the delicate onion flavor of leeks. You don’t even need to use stock as a liquid base if you don’t have any, and the addition of a good amount of grated Parmesan cheese adds a layer of savoriness that’s hard to hate on.

A small bowl of creamy soup with pesto on top and a spoon.

If you love the comforting soothing vibe of a classic creamy broccoli and cheese soup, this recipe might remind you of it.

The texture of the soup is lusciously dreamy-creamy but it doesn’t have any flour, cream or butter. For me, that translates into a soup without that gloppy, pasty texture you sometimes get when you make one thickened with a milk and flour base.

Stir in a spoonful of fresh basil pesto for color and another layer of flavor.

Two hands holding a spoon and bowl of creamy soup.

Use a blender for the creamiest soup

  • The best way to achieve a light, smooth texture is to use a high-speed blender or a handheld blender.

I have to admit that my whole cooking life would be completely different without a few electric appliances, and my blender is one of those.

I bought my Vitamix almost ten years ago. Yes, it was quite an investment, but it’s still going strong, whipping up smooth pureed soups like this one, as well as daily smoothies and sauces. But that’s not to say you need a fancy blender to make this soup — not at all!

Overhead view inside a soup pot with cauliflower florets and water.

It’s really the humble cauliflower you have to thank here. Cauliflower is a perfect stand-in for carbs, to the point where we’ve become obsessed with turning cauliflower into pizza crusts, using it as a low-carb substitute for rice or simply roasting it to put together a super-tasty cauliflower salad.

Along with its other virtues, cauliflower makes magical purees that have a lovely velvety texture.

Three bowls of cauliflower soup with a ramiken of pesto on the side.

How to make creamy cauliflower soup

The process for making this soup is pretty efficient.

  1. First, sweat the some leeks in olive oil.
  2. Add your cauliflower florets along with water and seasoning. If you prefer, you can use broth instead of the water. This is an especially good option if you plan to make this without the Parmesan, because it will add the salty umami in place of the cheese.
  3. When the cauliflower is tender, use a blender to puree it until very smooth (in two batches).  The other option is to just immerse a handy stick blender into your pot and blend away.

Tips: For a soup with a perfect creamy texture, follow the ingredients ratio carefully, which is 5 cups water to the florets from a large (2-pound head) of cauliflower.

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan

Karen Tedesco
A super-smooth, comforting and creamy cauliflower soup that doesn’t contain any butter, flour or cream. The recipe makes a beautiful pureed soup perfect for Keto or low-carb diet plans.
Print Pin
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup and Stew
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts chopped
  • 1 large cauliflower, about 2 pounds, cut into florets
  • ¼-½ teaspoon red chili flakes, to taste
  • 5 cups (1.20 l) vegetable broth, or water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Pour the oil into a large (4 or 5-quart) saucepan or Dutch oven. Place over medium low heat and add the leeks. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook about 5 minutes, or until the leeks become meltingly tender without coloring.
  • Add the cauliflower to the pan along with the chili flakes, water and salt. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover and until cauliflower is soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheese and puree the soup in a blender in 2 batches or with an immersion blender until it’s very smooth.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and additional cheese before serving, and drizzle olive oil over each serving.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • This recipe is a good choice for those following a Paleo, Whole30 or Keto lifestyle.
  • Feel free to omit the cheese to make this a creamy vegan cauliflower soup.
  • If too much liquid evaporates during cooking, add more little by little to achieve the consistency you like, then check for seasoning (more water will dilute the flavors).
  • For a delicious garnish, add a swirl of fresh basil pesto when serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 975IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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8 Comments

  1. Made this tonight as part of my slow carb/low carb meal prep. This was amazing! I did add a touch of nutmeg because it makes the parmesan pop, and instead of salt I used a little chicken stock. I will definitely make this again and again and again.. So simple yet so delicious! Thank you

  2. So happy I came across this recipe. Will be making it tomorrow. Your food photography is beautiful as well. Thank you.

    1. Me too, although I admit I was purist Reggiano snob for a lonnng time. There’s always room for more on the cheese shelf, I say.

  3. sounds perfect for a busy weekday dinner, Karen!
    btw, your kale/smoky date salad was a smashing success last weekend at the dinner party! this was my second hit salad with this foodie group, so i’ve been dubbed the salad queen 😉

    1. Thanks Taina – how great! That makes me happy to hear. Nothing beats being The Queen of something ))