Cauliflower gets a flavor-packed, smoky jolt from bacon in this creamy, comforting soup. It's simple to make and reheats beautifully.
Why this recipe works:
- Cauliflower and bacon are natural-born partners. By first rendering bacon fat and then using it as the base for our soup, we create extra layers of flavor even before the cauliflower hits the pot.
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
- 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup half & half or heavy cream
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until bacon is completely crisp. Remove from Dutch oven with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the dutch oven.
Add onions, half of scallions, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock, bay leaves, half & half (or cream), and cauliflower. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until cauliflower is completely tender, about 30 minutes,
Working in batches, blend soup until completely smooth (if you don't have a very powerful blender, remove the bay leaf before blending. If an extra-smooth soup is desired, pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer after blending); if soup is too thick, whisk in additional hot chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, until you've reached the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve sprinkled with crisp bacon pieces and remaining scallions.
Blender, Dutch oven