Smoky Charred Cauliflower and Potato Soup With Kale Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

A vegan riff on the Portuguese soup of caldo verde. When charred, cauliflower attains a nuttiness that borders on meaty while simultaneously becoming sweeter.

Recipe Details

Smoky Charred Cauliflower and Potato Soup With Kale Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 60 mins
Serves 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 3 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane grater

  • 2 chipotle chiles packed in adobo sauce, chopped fine, with 1 tablespoon sauce from can

  • 2 quarts water

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks

  • 1/2 pound kale leaves, thick stems removed, leaves roughly chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally until well browned and lightly charred on all sides, about 10 minutes total, reducing heat as necessary if smoking cauliflower starts to burn or oil smokes too heavily.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and chipotles and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add half of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until cauliflower is completely tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Using a hand blender or standing blender, puree cauliflower/onion/chipotle mixture until smooth. Return to pot. Add remaining water, potatoes, kale, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until potato is easily smashed and incorporated into broth, about 30 minutes.

  4. Remove bay leaves and mash potatoes with a large spoon or potato masher. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, drizzling with extra-virgin olive oil.

Special Equipment

Blender or hand blender

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
241 Calories
6g Fat
43g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 241
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 590mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 82mg 408%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 1149mg 24%
*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.)