Spiced Cauliflower Soup
Sometimes I end up with too many vegetables in my refrigerator. And when that happens, I make soup.
Case in point? I happened to have a lovely head of cauliflower that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I cooked it and made it into a creamy soup. Cauliflower has a lovely flavor that is so good on its own. But I couldn’t stop there with just a creamy cauliflower soup. I wanted it spicy.
So I reached for my handy dandy ancho chile paste. Every so often I make a large batch of it and store it in jars in the freezer. That way I always have some to use in recipes, like this soup. Immediately the soup became something altogether different – flavored with layers of chile peppers and lovely Southwestern spices. Fabulous. And so easy.
This is what I did, and you can do it, too!
Spicy Cream of Cauliflower Soup
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, broken into florets
1 leek, cleaned, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
Broth of choice, I used chicken broth
1 can evaporated milk, or any non-dairy substitute
3 tablespoons ancho chile paste, or to taste
2 teaspoon ground cumin
Place the cauliflower, leek, celery, and onion in a large stockpot, and cover with water or broth.
Bring everything to a boil, cover the pot, and then simmer until the cauliflower is fully cooked, about 20-30 minutes.
Place the cooked vegetables in a blender jar, and only add a little of the liquid. You can always add more later if you need to thin the soup.
Add the evaporated milk. Depending on the size of your blender jar, you might have to blend this soup in two batches, so use about half of the vegetables and half of the evaporated milk for each batch. At this point I also added my chicken broth powder.
Blend until smooth. Add the ancho chile paste and cumin powder, blend, and taste. You might want salt. If you do, start with just 1 /2 teaspoon. If you make the soup too salty, there’s no turning back!
I needed to add a little more ancho chile paste when I added the cumin, which is why you see more of it. It totaled about 3 tablespoons but if you’re unsure of how much to use, start out with just 1 tablespoon. Of course, it also depends how much soup you’re making. Just taste taste taste! It’s your soup, so make it according to your taste!
Serve the soup hot. I added just a little grated Parmesan for fun.
Some queso blanco or just plain goat cheese would also be fabulous with this soup.
Sure, it’s easy to make a cream of cauliflower soup. But go a little crazy for a change! Add some ancho chile paste and spice things up. When I tasted the soup I realized I’d made the chile paste with some chipotle peppers as well as ancho chile peppers. They really added something to this soup.
You really kicked the usual cauliflower soup to levels of deliciousness unheard of! Very nice, I can almost taste the heat, from the color of the soup
and leeks are also a wonderful addition…
I just happened to have them leftover from something… like you. I love to use what I already have and get creative with it.
This looks like a great use of your extra cauliflower, Mimi. You are right – goat cheese would also be an interesting twist on the beautiful dish. The colors really pop, too. Well-done, as always. Best wishes, Shanna
Thanks so much, Shanna.
Of course. The leeks are also a stand-out ingredient, Mimi! Love a leek! Warmly, Shanna
I love leeks, too. A pain to clean, of course.
Oh, yes – all that dirt. Worth it though, Mimi. Warmly, Shanna
I happen to love cauliflower & this is a wonderful way to prepare it! You given me a great idea on preparing ancho chili paste and then having it on hand. I’m certain my husband and I would love this!
Oh good! It helps if the person for whom you cook enjoys heat in dishes! I know people who have to season their own dishes! What a pain that would be!
Beautiful soup Mimi! Love the idea of spiced up cauliflower, afterall it makes a great curry. A vast variety of fresh chillis have just begun to appear in our shops, at long last I’ll be able to join the chilli fun. I’ll just have to get some understanding of their individual heat levels before I do anything foolish!
Oh good! They’re definitely worth playing with – and they’re not all hot.
Great soup Mimi. I love the addition of the ancho paste.
Thanks so much Conor!
Of course everyone knows about the classic combo of cauliflower and curry, but chilies and cauliflower sounds like a great idea. Nice. Ken
Thank you! The chipotle really added something. But traditional ancho chile paste would be good as well.
What a gorgeous soup! I would love to try this!
It was pretty fabulous, I must say!
I will show this to the chef in the canteen at work.. They serve Spiced Cauliflower Soup but it looks like dishwater – THIS is how it should look!
Thank you for the compliment!
Yum. I really mean it. Yum. :-)
hahaha! well, it was good!
Lovely looking soup!
Thank you so much!
This looks delicious. I am a huge fan of soup. My blender is in continual use between the months of Oct -Feb due to the cold damp British weather. Very excited as I have never made cauliflower soup of any kind. Cauliflower cheese is one of my favourite comfort foods in the winter months.
If you love cauliflower, you will certainly love cauliflower soup. It’s good plain, but I was in the mood to spice it up!