I have to admit that as I was concocting this recipe, I was a little doubtful of how well this soup would be received. Then everyone (even my baby grandson) voluntarily took seconds. The Old Man went in for thirds.
Really, the thought of cauliflower soup is not likely to elicit sparks of joy in anyone. Poor cauliflower, it doesn’t have flashy colors or interesting patterns or textures. People use it for filler and a healthy substitute for other more “offending” foods. But why shouldn’t it get to be the star of a meal?
The flavor of cauliflower is not at all bad, and it doesn’t take much to jazz it up even more. When I was making this soup, I briefly considered pureeing it like so many other soups recipes instruct, but I actually wanted something with some bite to it. So I opted for chopping the cauliflower finely and leaving it at that. I didn’t regret it, and neither did my family apparently!
I also chose to not to make this a cream based soup. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me a good creamy soup, but I was looking for something a little lighter with the option of being dressed up with a sprinkle of cheese or sour cream (oh heck, just use both!). It really doesn’t need it, but need isn’t really the issue!
Thyme & White Wine Cauliflower Soup Recipe
This recipe makes a rather large pot of soup, so feel free to cut it down as needed. It also freezes very well for serving later on.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin preferred
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 3/4 lb. onion, about one really large or two smaller ones
- 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, about 5 to 6 large cloves
- 2 1/2 lb. cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
- 8 cups chicken broth, preferably hot (vegetable broth can also be used)
- 1 cup white wine (I use cheap Chablis for most of my cooking)
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, or 1 Tbsp. dried (see the pictures above for an approximate idea of how much I used)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Shredded sharp cheddar and/or sour cream for topping
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and butter on high until the butter is just beginning to brown. Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium, and saute until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown a little. Both the browning of the butter and onions will add flavor to the overall soup, but can also burn quickly so be sure to watch carefully.
Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds, just until the garlic is heated through and becoming fragrant. Add the cauliflower and stir to combine. Cook for just a minute to heat the cauliflower, then add the broth and wine and combine.
Add in the thyme. If you are using fresh thyme, add it in whole. There is no need to try to strip off the leaves as they will fall off during cooking and the stems can be removed then. Also put in any salt or pepper desired. Keep in mind that if you plan to serve with a sprinkling of cheese that it also has salt.
Simmer the soup on low heat for about 20 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is tender and soft. The soup can be served immediately, but like so many other things, allowing it to sit even for a few hours will greatly improve its flavor. This is the perfect soup to serve with a chunk of bread, in addition to the cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!