Cauliflower Cheese Soup

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One of the first sets of cookbooks I began collecting as a young girl was the Company’s Coming set, produced by Jean Paré. She had great, easy-to-follow recipes, beautiful pictures, and easy conversation throughout. A lot of my first masterpieces date back to this collection, and certainly my love of trying new recipes grew through it.

This is my collection. I won’t show you all the cookbooks below and above it, or in my drawers. Does anyone else read cookbooks like novels, from cover to cover?

My Jean Paré collection, well-loved and well-worn.

One of my first books within the set was Soups and Sandwiches and I think my favourite recipe in the book was, and still is the Cauliflower Cheese Soup. It slides so easily down the gullet, it’s soothing, yet has a wonderfully full flavour. The toasted bread cubes on top add a delightful contrasting crunch. One day last week, one of my sisters was asking how to make it, and as mom and I were telling her how, our own hunger for it grew as well. I knew we still had some lovely heads of cauliflower at Martin’s, so I went home and quickly cobbled the soup together. The cauliflower is done now, but you can use frozen as well, and we still have tasty Bright’s cheese and Eby Manor milk, as well as the root vegetables, pears and apples. Remember this soup recipe next year when it’s cauliflower season and come on in to Martin’s!

Mom got her last little box of soup out of the freezer, and my sister made it too. So all three of us enjoyed it that night. As my husband was eating it, he commented three times (I was counting) on how good it was. Three things help to make this soup exceptional. A. The cauliflower is cooked in the chicken broth = Hello, flavour! B. You need to use a good quality medium or even sharp cheddar. More equals less with cheese; the sharper the flavour, the less quantity you need. C. The bread cubes on top. They lift this soup waaay beyond the ordinary. If you have homemade chicken stock, it hits the soup right out of the ballpark into the neighbour’s lawn. I didn’t have any this time, but it was still really good.

Cauliflower is in the cabbage family. It is generally started inside from seed, then the seedlings are transplanted outside after the danger of frost is over. After the heads begin forming, the plant leaves are tied around the head to promote “blanching” or whitening of the heads. To keep cauliflower white while cooking, do not add salt until it is done. 

Cauliflower Cheese Soup



  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, about 6 cups chopped (frozen cauliflower can also be used successfully)
  • 3 cups of chicken broth or stock (check ingredients for GF)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 – 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour (use 1/4 cup corn starch or potato flour to make this gluten-free)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups milk 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese


  • 3 cups of stale bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes or coarsely grated (omit or use gluten-free bread to adapt to GF)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • fresh parsley, chopped


Cook cauliflower in chicken broth until tender. Do not drain. Cool a bit, then run through blender or use immersion blender in the pot to your desired smoothness. We like a few chunks in ours. I love my immersion blender for things like this. 

Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until clear and fragrant. Mix in flour, salt and pepper. Whisk in milk by degrees, and stir until smooth. Heat on medium heat until it begins to boil, stirring frequently. You can be browning the bread cubes in butter either in a 350° F oven or in a skillet while this is thickening.

Turn heat to low. Add cauliflower, stir, then add cheese and stir again. Heat just until hot but not boiling. Ladle into bowls and top with a little sprinkle of cheese, fresh chopped parsley, and the buttered toasted bread cubes. Be comforted and well.





8 thoughts on “Cauliflower Cheese Soup

    Janet said:
    November 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

    perfect timing for tonight’s menu! thank-you.


      rosekmartin responded:
      November 7, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Great! Glad I could help! That’s how I felt after my mom and my sister’s discussion.


    Jo said:
    November 7, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I can attest to the savoury flavour and lovely consistency of this soup as I was the one inquiring about it. Embarrassed to say it but I had never made it before.


      rosekmartin responded:
      November 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      I’m so glad we had that conversation!


    Monica said:
    November 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Yes, I also read cookbooks from cover to cover. It’s pleasurable reading, plus I often learn something new. Your monthly posts are my food goals, Rose. I love your style of cooking, and there is always something just a little better about your recipes that update the classic dishes.


      rosekmartin responded:
      November 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Why, thank you, Monica! That comment makes my day! I will admit, when I try a new recipe, I usually think “How can I improve this dish?” Sometimes it doesn’t actually need improving, but just a bit of tailoring to our personal tastes. For instance, I added the garlic to the original soup recipe because we love how garlic adds such depth of flavour to soups, but I know not everyone will agree.


        Monica Orr said:
        January 23, 2018 at 7:02 pm

        This was DELICIOUS! A new winter favorite. I’ve made cauliflower soup before, but this one was by far the most savory and satisfying. I think even reluctant cauliflower eaters would enjoy it.

        Liked by 1 person

          rosekmartin responded:
          January 23, 2018 at 8:57 pm

          Thanks for letting me know! I love hearing feedback like this.


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