Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Cheddar and Cauliflower Soup

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 8 cups.

Servings: six to eight.

This creamy soup gets its body from pureed cauliflower, though some tender whole florets are added just at the end of cooking to add texture. Sharp cheddar and cayenne give the mellow flavor a little lift.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 lb.), cored and cut into 1-1/2-inch florets
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. packed, freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 14 oz.)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 340
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 28
  • Saturated Fat (g): 17
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 90
  • Sodium (mg): 540
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 17


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the cauliflower until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Trim the stems from 18 of the cauliflower pieces and cut the crowns into mini florets about 1/2 inch wide; set aside. Reserve the trimmed stems with the remaining larger pieces.

    Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Add the garlic and cook until the aroma subsides, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the flour, nutmeg, and cayenne and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the broth, cream, and 2 cups water. Add the thyme and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese until melted and simmer for 5 minutes to develop the flavors.

    Remove and discard the thyme stems and stir in the larger cauliflower pieces and reserved stems. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the mini cauliflower florets and reheat gently before serving.

Pair the soup with an assertive Arugula Salad with Grapefruit and Olives. The tangy acidity of the salad cuts through the richness of the soup.

To dress up this rustic soup for a special occasion, garnish with a combination of 3 Tbs. toasted chopped walnuts, 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, and 1-1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest.


Rate or Review

Reviews (17 reviews)

  • CSolar | 02/20/2021

    Unfortunately the cheese flavor (and saltiness) was overwhelming...and I only added about 2/3 of what was called for. It felt a bit like I was eating a bowl of straight cheese sauce.

  • Krispie | 12/05/2020

    This was good but not excellent. It had an unusual aftertaste that we couldn’t place and didn’t love.

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial