This is one of those recipes that I’m going to tell you if you think you don’t like cauliflower: TRY AGAIN. That’s right. No wimping out on this one. This Creamy Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup is incredible. In fact, if you have someone who’s a cauliflower hater in your home you might try calling this “Garlic Soup,” instead. You won’t notice any unpleasant flavors from the cauliflower, just added nutrition benefits from the vegetables.
Unlike other Cream of Cauliflower soup recipes, the flavor of this soup recipe is greatly enhanced with the rich, subtle flavor of roasted garlic. Roasting the garlic and cauliflower adds a deep, earthiness and a richness that doesn’t necessarily come from heavy calories.
One thing that I really love about cauliflower is that it seems to last for quite a while in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. The first time I made this soup I used a head that I had sitting around for – and I am not kidding – at least 2 weeks.
Cauliflower was on sale at the grocery store and I picked one up thinking it’d be good to have on hand for snacking or a vegetable side dish one night (related: Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes). But it sat there, and sat there, and sat there. Until one day I was really pressed with what to have for dinner.
I had garlic soup on the brain that night but after one look at the still fresh head of cauliflower in the fridge my plans morphed into a little something else.
Besides being a this Garlic and Cauliflower Soup being full flavored on it’s own, I think this richly flavored recipe could be a wonderful base for other creations as well, much like this Potato Leek Soup.
In fact, next time I prepare this I am going to experiment with that. But for now, I think it is plenty tasty with a sprinkling of bacon and a slice of crusty bread for dipping. Try this Light Whole Wheat Baguette on for size.
Creamy Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
1 whole head cauliflower
1 large whole head garlic
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus up to 2 more as needed for desired consistency
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh minced parsley
1/3 cup half and half
3 ounces cooked and crumbled bacon
additional oil for serving - olive oil or truffle oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut cauliflower into individual florets. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Cut the top off of the head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap with foil. Place wrapped garlic on the baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower and garlic at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. When the cauliflower is tender and golden remove from the oven.
The garlic will need to roast for a total of about 25-30 minutes. You can remove it to check it's progress as needed - it should smell fragrant but not raw, be golden and tender.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a cast iron dutch oven or medium-large stock pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and flour and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the wine and water, whisking to combine with the flour mixture. Then, slowly add in the 2 cups broth. Add the bay leave and roasted garlic cloves. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Working in batches, add the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed and smooth. Add additional broth during or after blending to achieve desired consistency. After all the batches have been completed, return to the pot. Stir in the half and half and parsley. Cook until just heated through. Adjust salt and pepper for tastes.
Serve immediately, topped with bacon and a drizzle of olive or truffle oil and a side of bread for dipping.