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.

cau4

Bring everything to a boil, cover the pot, and then simmer until the cauliflower is fully cooked, about 20-30 minutes.

cau3

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.

cau1

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.
cau2

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!

cau

Serve the soup hot. I added just a little grated Parmesan for fun.

ancho5

Some queso blanco or just plain goat cheese would also be fabulous with this soup.

ancho4

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.

By Published On: November 18th, 201329 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

29 Comments

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller November 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM - Reply

    Lovely soup!!

  2. sallybr November 18, 2013 at 10:04 AM - Reply

    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…

    • chef mimi November 18, 2013 at 11:34 AM - Reply

      I just happened to have them leftover from something… like you. I love to use what I already have and get creative with it.

  3. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward November 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi November 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM - Reply

      Thanks so much, Shanna.

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward November 18, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Of course. The leeks are also a stand-out ingredient, Mimi! Love a leek! Warmly, Shanna

      • chef mimi November 19, 2013 at 9:11 AM

        I love leeks, too. A pain to clean, of course.

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward November 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Oh, yes – all that dirt. Worth it though, Mimi. Warmly, Shanna

  4. {Main St. Cuisine} November 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi November 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM - Reply

      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!

  5. ladyredspecs November 18, 2013 at 3:45 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi November 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM - Reply

      Oh good! They’re definitely worth playing with – and they’re not all hot.

  6. Conor Bofin November 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM - Reply

    Great soup Mimi. I love the addition of the ancho paste.
    Best,
    Conor

  7. Jody and Ken November 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM - Reply

    Of course everyone knows about the classic combo of cauliflower and curry, but chilies and cauliflower sounds like a great idea. Nice. Ken

    • chef mimi November 19, 2013 at 9:11 AM - Reply

      Thank you! The chipotle really added something. But traditional ancho chile paste would be good as well.

  8. Three Well Beings November 18, 2013 at 10:39 PM - Reply

    What a gorgeous soup! I would love to try this!

  9. trixfred30 November 19, 2013 at 6:33 AM - Reply

    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!

  10. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs November 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM - Reply

    Yum. I really mean it. Yum. :-)

  11. yummychunklet November 19, 2013 at 9:02 PM - Reply

    Lovely looking soup!

  12. emmabarrett1508 November 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi November 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM - Reply

      If you love cauliflower, you will certainly love cauliflower soup. It’s good plain, but I was in the mood to spice it up!

  13. Liz November 23, 2013 at 1:20 AM - Reply

    so pretty!

Leave a Reply. I love 'em!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.