Silky Cauliflower Cheddar Soup Recipe

Cauliflower is quite a popular vegetable these days, particularly with anyone watching their carb intake. It can stand in for starch in items like pizza crust and bread, but its mild flavor is better when paired with cheddar in everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to soup. Here we're making a cauliflower cheddar soup that includes pears, even though developer Julie Kinnaird admits they make for an "unusual ingredient." She feels, however, that "the sweetness from the fruit creates balance with all of the flavors."

"This recipe is loosely based upon a potato and cauliflower soup I had while traveling in Chile," Kinnaird says, explaining that this soup did include pears, which she found to be an "interesting addition." When she created her own recipe, she also chose to flavor the soup with fennel, sage, and thyme. These ingredients, she feels, lend "herbal complexity" while the pears provide "a lovely contrast to the tangy white cheddar." She also feels that the step of browning the vegetables before adding the broth gives the soup what she calls "a wonderful umami-like depth."

Collect the ingredients for the silky cauliflower cheddar soup

The vegetables in the soup are cauliflower, fennel, and a potato, to which you'll be adding a few pears. For cooking you'll need olive oil and chicken stock, while seasonings include salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and sherry vinegar. You're also going to need some shredded cheddar cheese. While Kinnaird tells us "I love the ivory color of the soup that comes with using white cheddar," she does say that "A yellow variety will work just fine."

Prepare the produce

Before you can get started with the cooking, you'll need to do a certain amount of prep work with all of these herbs, fruit, and vegetables involved. Peel and chop the shallot, potato, and pears, then take the leaves and stems off the cauliflower and break the head up into florets. Cut the stalks out of the fennel, then core and chop this vegetable. The sage and thyme will also need to be chopped up, too.

Cook the vegetables in the broth

Heat up the oil over a burner set to medium, then cook the shallot for about 5 minutes. When it's soft and just a bit brown, add the cauliflower, fennel, potatoes, and pears, then sprinkle in a tablespoon each of sage and thyme.

Stir-fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes. Once they're beginning to brown, pour in the broth, then add some salt and pepper (as much or as little as you like). Once the soup is simmering, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for half an hour.

Blend the cheese into the soup

Turn off the heat under the soup and let it cool down just a bit, then pour it into a blender and puree it along with the cheese. Kinnaird says that you can use an immersion blender if you prefer, although she cautions that the soup may be somewhat less silky should you do so. Once the soup is fairly smooth, pour it back into the pot, stir in the vinegar, and heat it up until it's warm. Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the top, then it's ready to eat.

The leftovers should be refrigerated in a sealed container. If you won't be finishing the soup right away, you can also freeze it, although in this case, Kinnaird advises that you give it another spin in the blender once it thaws as this will help to restore the consistency.

Silky Cauliflower Cheddar Soup Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
Thanks to the addition of pears, this silky cauliflower cheddar soup features a subtly sweet flair.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cauliflower soup with herbs
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, leaves and stems removed, broken into florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1 bulb fennel, stalks removed, cored and chopped
  • 1 large gold potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cup shredded white cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Fry the shallot for about 5 minutes until it softens and starts to brown.
  2. Stir the cauliflower, fennel, potatoes, and pears into the shallot along with 1 tablespoon each of sage and thyme.
  3. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until they start to brown.
  4. Add the broth to the vegetables along with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cover it, turn the heat down, and cook it for 30 minutes.
  6. Let the soup cool a bit, then transfer it to a stand blender along with the cheese. Blitz until silky smooth.
  7. Return the soup to the pot to reheat it, then stir in the vinegar.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the soup to serve.
Calories per Serving 429
Total Fat 22.1 g
Saturated Fat 7.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 35.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.2 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Total Sugars 15.5 g
Sodium 1,320.4 mg
Protein 17.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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