Creamy Cauliflower and Bacon Soup Recipe

A match made in cream soup heaven.

A bowl of easy-to-make creamy cauliflower soup garnished with bacon
Creamy cauliflower comes together with smoky bacon in this easy soup.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Why It 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.

You know who get along great together? Cauliflower and bacon. That's who. But cauliflower and cream also have a thing going on. Obviously there's only one way this can end, and it ain't pretty.

Scene: Bacon struts into the the diner, his body extra streaky, his skin extra crisp. He walks up to the bar and orders a milk, chocolate. He takes a big swig then walks over to the booth full of brassicas in the corner.

Bacon: Cauliflower, I'm bacon. Bacon McCrisp, and I'm your density. I mean...I am your destiny.

Cream walks into the bar and looks around, angrily.

Cream: Hey McCrisp, I thought I told you to stay away from my brassica. Well, it's gonna cost you.

The two engage in a mighty exchange of fisticuffs, eventually dragging poor cauliflower into the brawl and pummeling each other into a purée so smooth, light, creamy, and delicious that it threatens to cause a rift in the space-time continuum.

Close scene.

At least, that's how it all goes down in my head. In reality, the details are a lot more mundane, but the end result no less delicious.

There's not really much to this soup other than getting three ingredients together that were born to be together. We start by sautéing bacon in a saucepan until crisp, then use that rendered bacon fat to sweat some onions, garlic, and scallions. In goes chicken stock, cream (half and half or milk will work if you'd prefer), and cauliflower for a simmer.

As it cooks, the dairy will break. This is not a problem, because once you dump everything into a blender and purée it, it all comes back together.

A spoonful of creamy cauliflower soup with bacon lifted from a white bowl

Serious Eats / J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Bacon goes back in along with some scallions, the soup gets seasoned, and that's about all there is to it. Sometimes simple perfection is just not worth messing with.

I see dinner in your future.

October 2014

Recipe Facts

4.9

(14)

Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Special Equipment

Blender, Dutch oven

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
411 Calories
27g Fat
16g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 411
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 1886mg 82%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 70mg 350%
Calcium 140mg 11%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 879mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)