Cream Soup Base… (you won’t believe it’s made from cauliflower!)

07 Nov
Cauliflower Cream for soup or sauce

Cauliflower Cream for soup or sauce in the pitcher of my Ninja. Hopefully you can see the very SMOOTH texture in this pic!

I never thought I would see a day that I counted CAULIFLOWER among my favorite vegetables.. and yet here I am! It’s actually one of my staple grocery items now, and I don’t want to be without it any more than I want to be without nut butter (egads… )

The problem turns out not to be that cauliflower was “icky”, but rather I’d never had the occasion to really get to KNOW Cauli. Before going on Wheat Belly, giving up grains and also going low-carb, I had only my trusty (high-carb) root vegetables and starches to rely on to thicken or act as a base for other toppings. The healthy head of off-white, cruciferous abundance was something I usually avoided at the store! I knew it was good for me, but if I was going that route, I’d grab broccoli or cabbage way before I’d reach for Cauli. If I had only known…

So here is one of the methods that will show you why I hold it with such high regard in my kitchen, and hopefully it’s something that you will try as well.

In my house we LOVE soup! Broths, chowders, stews… especially as cold weather becomes the norm, warming up with a bowl of homemade goodness is a cherished tradition! Well, most cream-based soups rely on a rue of flour or an addition of cornstarch to make them thick and creamy. Not this one!

To make this cream soup base, you will need:

  • A high-powered blender or food processor 
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cleaned, center stalk removed
  • 1/2C heavy cream
  • 1/2C cream cheese, softened 
  • Add-ins are optional and include shredded cheese,
    roasted garlic or other seasonings
  1. The first step is to steam the cauliflower on the stove top in a few inches of water. I use a covered stockpot because it’s easiest for me. I usually let it steam for 20 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is VERY soft. When it’s done cooking, strain it and let as much water drain out as possible. (Getting the cauliflower soft enough is essential to this method working.)
  2. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a high speed blender (I use my Ninja) or food processor. If your cauliflower is large or your bowl is small, you may have to do this in more than one batch. (This works with freshly steamed cauli, as well as with some that has been refrigerated for a few days.)
  3. Blend cauliflower until SMOOTH, adding 1/2C heavy cream as you go. (When I say smooth, I mean almost as smooth as pudding… like you can’t believe it’s actually cauliflower, “smooth”)
  4. When you’ve blended it to the right consistency, add the softened cream cheese and continue processing until all the small pieces are blended in as well.Β  Makes about 6C

That’s IT! Really.
Now that you have this incredible, thick, smooth Cauliflower Cream, you can use it in conjunction with a wide variety of soup recipes such as the (Easy) Creamy Veggie Soup with Bacon that I will be posting next. If you have a very small head of cauli, you may need to halve the other ingredients. I’ve had a giant farm-market head the last few times I’ve made this, and the quantities above were ideal.

If you want to use this as a cheese sauce over veggies or meat, you can add grated cheddar (or whichever cheese you prefer) to the smooth mixture while it’s still hot, and process until creamy again.

Mixing the Cauliflower Cream into a broth with veggies and bacon

Mixing the Cauliflower Cream into a broth made with veggies and bacon.

The method for making this into a creamy soup is to saute any other ingredients you may be using for your soup (such as bacon or other meat and veggies); add about 32oz of broth; simmer until all ingredients are cooked; stir in the cauli-cream and grated cheese if you will be using any. Voila! Creamy, thick, low-carb soup that can hide an entire head of cauliflower πŸ˜€Β  I plan to use this base to make clam chowder in the very near future (alas not today as my son is not a fan of foods that come from water.) I’ve used a variety of add-ins and may post updates using this base in the future. Flexibility in the grain-free kitchen is key!
Oh, did I say “hide”?….. Well, yes, cauliflower is one of MY favorites, but it is NOT a fave of my son… so this is an excellent means of kitchen camouflage! I think just about anyone would be hard-pressed to identify this as being made from veggies, even those who turn up their noses at the mere thought! If this describes you, and you give this a try… I’d love to hear what you think! Who am I kidding, I always love to hear your feedback πŸ™‚


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15 responses to “Cream Soup Base… (you won’t believe it’s made from cauliflower!)

  1. johnnysenough hepburn

    November 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    This sounds a great alternative to a roux, which I’ve never really thought about before. Have to admit, sometimes I’m lazy and go with smashing potatoes just to help thicken a chicken soup.

  2. Pat

    November 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Gretchen, you need to copy write this recipe! Its a stroke of genious!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      November 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Pat! This is definitely a great discovery in the kitchen πŸ™‚ Not sure how to copy write it, or it if would be worth the effort, but I’m very pleased that people are finding it to be useful. ~Gretchen

  3. cooktocure

    December 9, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I referred a couple of people to your website recently who want to get off wheat to see if their inflammatory issues go away.. and they love your recipes. Of course I knew they would. πŸ˜‰ One of them told me she tried this soup and her husband, a tall hunky guy, loved it. πŸ™‚ Thanks Gretchen. ❀

    • Gretchen without Grain

      December 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thanks so much for the referral! I hope that ditching the wheat is helpful for your friend, it sure changed my life when the inflammation went away. Hope all is great with you πŸ™‚

      • cooktocure

        December 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

        Can’t compalin.. it’s all good thank God.

  4. cmeljmab

    January 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm


    • Gretchen without Grain

      January 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      I’m not sure, as I have never had enough left over… but I imagine it would freeze OK. I have refrigerated it and used it a few days later with no problems at all.

  5. Jan

    March 19, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I make this soup about once a month, freeze in small containers so I can take one out as needed. It freezes very well. I do love this soup. Gretchen, can you give me more ideas to change it up? Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      March 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Jan~ I’m so glad that this has been a good staple for you, and happy to know that it freezes well! I have used it as a base for clam chowder, added cheddar cheese and some coconut flour and used it as a binder for baked zucchini (or other veggie) au gratin, and also used in place of a white sauce on top of veggies! If you think of other creative ways to use it, please let me know πŸ™‚ ~Gretchen

      • Jan

        March 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

        Thank you Gretchen~I added some coconut milk this time and added some Asiago cheese. It was very good. Thanks for the above ideas, I love zucchini. I work full time and it’s always a challenge to figure out what veggies to have. I have recently starting using Chia seeds. Good stuff too. Thanks again and I look forward to more great recipes from you…:)

  6. kasey

    August 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I have been doing this for a while now, but not exactly as you do. I poach the cauliflower in low sodium chicken broth and add some to the blender. Then I add a couple tablespoons cream and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It turns out to be a mousse consistency. My daughter is going to do this as a 4-H project for fair judging in the category of recipe makeovers.


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