It’s 15 degrees in Portland metro today and weirdly, my family asked for soup. So weird. I’ve been known to make a soup or two in my time, so I was able to help them out with this creamy cauliflower white cheddar soup. It’s an extremely satisfying dish and drop-dead decadent when you add bacon and buttery rosemary croutons. I served this with an arugula radish cucumber salad dressed with lemon rosemary vinaigrette. Quite an inexpensive pairing that made enough for seconds. Hope you give this one a try!

Serves 4-6 portions


  • 1 large cauliflower (approximately 3 lbs – TJ’s has organic 2-3 lb heads), cut into bite-size pieces, including core
  • 5 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided for soup and croutons
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (more for soup)
  • 4 T butter, divided
  • 1 C onion, chopped
  • 3 T fresh garlic, minced and divided (approximately 6 cloves)
  • 3 C organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 T fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh organic lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 C aged white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (or more if needed)
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and rough chopped
  • 1/2 C organic Italian parsley (or 1/4 C chives), chopped

Preheat oven to 450. On a parchment lined sheet pan, toss cut cauliflower in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes until fork tender. While cauliflower is roasting, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to stock pot on medium heat and add onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so not to burn. Add in 2 tablespoons garlic and sauté for about one additional minute. Add broth. When cauliflower is done, add to the stock pot. Increase heat to medium high for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer mixture for 20 – 25 minutes. To blend, remove soup from heat. With an emersion blender, carefully blend soup until creamy. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, nutmeg, 2 tablespoons butter, cream, cheese, salt, pepper and blend again. Check for seasoning. Remember you’ll be adding bacon, so you may not need to add additional salt.


  • 2 C cubed artisan, day-old bread
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T salted butter, melted
  • 1 T fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Keep oven on 450. After cauliflower is done and added to stock, line sheet pan with another sheet of parchment paper and toss cubed bread with all ingredients until well incorporated. Spread evening on sheet pan and roast in oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Set aside until ready to assemble soup bowls.


In good sized vessels, ladle soup in, leaving a bit of room for toppings. Top with equal amounts of crispy bacon, croutons and a sprinkle of parsley and/or chives. Enjoy! If you do not eat all of your soup, it will keep refrigerated for several days.


  • This soup can be adjusted for vegetarian eaters by changing chicken broth to vegetable broth and omitting the bacon.
  • For a vegan version, swap out chicken broth for vegetable broth, omit cream, cheese, butter and bacon. Use olive oil (or other oil) in place of the butter quantities. If you want to add a creamier element, you can use coconut milk. Maybe consider topping with crispy cauliflower florets (roasted just a little longer than the cauliflower going in soup) and / or salted, roasted cashews, butter-free croutons and chopped herbs