Curried Cauliflower Soup is not only creamy and delicious, it’s also Paleo, vegetarian, and gluten free!
Cauliflower. I doubt she’s anyone’s favorite vegetable. Tomatoes, asparagus, and her far more popular cousin, broccoli, usually get first billing. No one talks about their, ‘first head of heirloom cauliflower” for the season. No one waxes poetic about cauliflower. But I do like cauliflower, as long as I’ve jazzed it up a bit. I like it mashed with butter, but my favorite way is Indian style with toasted cumin seeds or curry and a bit of butter or ghee*. (This post was originally posted on August 15th, 2013, has been updated and contains affiliate links)
The latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated came out with a recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Soup. I love Cook’s Illustrated because they explain the extensive testing process for each recipe. But all I could think of was curried cauliflower soup…with crispy onion bits…and toasted cumin seeds…and a bit of drizzled ghee. Cook’s recommended cooking half the cauliflower first and then adding the remaining florets half way through, for more texture. Pulse it in your food processor or blender or puree it for a smoother soup.
The way the writer described the soup, it sounded as though he’d tasted the best thing in the world! It was worth a try. This curried cauliflower soup recipe uses just water, no chicken broth, which is my usually cooking stock. Using just water makes it vegetarian. Substituting the butter or ghee for another fat and it’s vegan as well. With no flour, it’s also gluten-free and Paleo! I think I’ve pretty much covered it all!
Spencer loves this curried cauliflower soup! OK, so he’s easy to please. But when he points the spoon at the bowl and nods his head because his mouth is full, that’s a good sign.
I keep my Indian spices in this little tin. The colors of it are so wonderful. I use them all the time, not just for Indian food. Curry powder comes in hundreds of different blends, I used 2 tablespoons of a mild version and it was perfectly spiced for my 12 year old. Not too hot, just a nice finish. Use less or more depending on your taste. Crispy onions-I never make enough. I should make a note of that. If you’re looking for more vegetarian or vegan recipes, try Butternut Squash with Toasted Cashews, Wild Mushroom or Vichyssoise.
I hope you enjoy this curried cauliflower soup recipe and add it to your fall soup rotation!
Some of the items used in this post are available at my Amazon store at no additional cost to you.
Curried Cauliflower Soup
- 1 head cauliflower 2 pounds
- 1 stick unsalted butter or ghee, (4 ounces) For vegan, use coconut oil.
- 1 leek white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin and washed throughly.
- 2 small onions halved and sliced thin, reserve half for crispy onions.
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons curry powder (less or more depending on your taste or the strength of your curry powder)
- 1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds optional
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 5 cups of water
- Pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Using paring know, cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut heaping 1 cup of 1/2-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter or ghee in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, curry powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high; add water, sliced core and HALF of the sliced cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, saute remaining sliced onion in 3 tablespoons of butter or ghee, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Reserve.
- In same pan, add 2 more tablespoons butter and cook reserved cauliflower florets, stirring frequently until florets are golden brown and butter is browned and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Reserve florets in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper, save remaining butter in the pan for drizzling.
- Over a medium heat, toast whole cumin seeds, shaking pan for 1-2 minutes until they pop and crackle.
- Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Add water if necessary if soup is too thick.
- Garnish each bowl with reserved florets, toasted onions and cumin seeds. Drizzle each bowl with melted browned butter.
*Ghee is Indian clarified butter with the milk solids skimmed off. It has a much higher smoking point than regular butter. Unlike regular clarified butter, ghee is cooked for a much longer time giving it a rich nutty flavor. It can be purchased in Indian grocery stores, most health food stores and Trader Joe’s markets all over the country. Regular butter can be substituted, but needs to be watched more carefully to prevent burning.
Melissia Daggett says
Cynthia, This sounds great!
Del's cooking twist says
Your soup looks delicious! I add it on top of my to do list this week!
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says
YUM, This sounds great! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂
Its live now!
Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com
Cannot wait to try this soup! I love these flavors together and that topping of toasted cumin and onions looks amazing!
Katie @ Domestiphobia says
Okay this sounds so good to me, I really want to try it. But I’m confused — how do you get the onions to crisp? When I saute onions in butter, they get soft. Is it the butter/onion ratio that does it? Is it a higher cooking temperature? Thanks!!
Katie, I fry them in small batches so they don’t get too crowded. Also, if you don’t have ghee, use oil which has a higher smoking point than butter.
Taylor Kiser says
I love the flavors of this curried cauliflower soup! Looks so delicious!
Great clean eating recipe!
I actually haven’t made cauliflower soup before, but this sounds really good!!
It’s really delicious!
Marie | Yay! For Food says
This sounds so tasty! I love curried cauliflower, but never tried it in soup form. I need to try that next time. The crispy fried onions and toasted cumin seeds is such a great idea too!
I love curried anything!
A very poetic introduction to cauliflower.
The soup is a great way to use the underappreciated vegetable.
haha! Well cauliflower is now sort of the darling of the veggie world isn’t it!?
What a delicious sounding soup! I love your spices and the added leek. There are just so many plusses.
It’s such a great vegetarian soup.
Shashi at Savory Spin says
That Cook’s Illustrated article sure must have been a good read! Just like this curried cauliflower looks so insanely delicious!
Love Cook’s Illustrated! It is a really terrific soup!
zouhair fiorino najjar says
Most stunning and healthy recipe ..posted to all my social media accounts..Special thanks for the awesome Bowel..i have nice collection of old Chinese and Japanese bowls..pots ..rose holders and similar items..
Jeff the Chef says
Yum! I’ve never had a soup like this!
Christina | Christina's Cucina says
I don’t like cauliflower, but I bet I’d like this with the curry flavor! Always looking for ways to eat different veg!
ahh! you’re missing out!