Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chicken and Quinoa

I have always liked to eat cauliflower.  My gramma, since I was little, or probably before that, has always had bite size pieces of fresh cauliflower in a bowl in the fridge.  And when I discovered roasted cauliflower it was love at first bite.

I find it really amazing how the flavor of certain foods can change so drastically when cooked.  Cauliflower is this way.  Roasted cauliflower is almost... nutty and it adds a fantastic flavor to this soup.  Absolutely do not skip the roasting step!

I love that a lot of soups allow you to make them as chunky or as smooth as you'd like at the end.  It leaves some room for a little creativity and variation.

For example, when I make this soup for dinner, I only puree about one quarter of the soup.  This leaves it nice and thick with chunks of cauliflower.  I've also made this soup as a miniature 'tasting' portion.  I pureed the whole soup which resulted in a smooth, creamy consistency that I loaded with shredded chicken and quinoa and topped with bacon and a cauliflower floret.

I got great feedback on this soup.  According to my husband's friend, "This soup is the truth".  He was asking for more four days later.  Can't get a better compliment than that!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chicken and Quinoa "The Truth"

Serves 8
  • olive oil
  • 1 large head of cauliflower - cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery (including leafy tops) - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • sriracha
  • 1 box of red quinoa - prepared as per package
  • roasted chicken - shredded
  • bacon - cooked (optional garnish)
  • parsley - chopped (optional garnish)
  • cheddar cheese - chopped (optional garnish)
Place the cauliflower in a pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, flip and roast another 20 minutes.  Eat a few florets, it's delicious!

In a large pot, heat 1.5 tablespoons of the butter and cook the onion and celery for 4 minutes over medium heat.  Reserve 8 cauliflower florets for a garnish then add the thyme and remaining cauliflower and cook 3 more minutes.

Push all the vegetables to one side of the pot and melt the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of butter.  Stir the flour into the melted butter and let it cook for 1-2 minutes letting it start to brown.  Add the chicken stock and half and half.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

If you have an immersion blender, blend the soup leaving your desired amount of chunkiness.  If you're using a regular blender or food processor, puree whatever portion of the soup you'd like, leaving the rest to add texture.

Add a few dashes of hot sauce, the quinoa and chicken.

Top each bowl of soup with a floret, bacon, parsley, cheddar cheese, sriracha or any combination of these!

I served this soup at the Pasta, Passion and Pistols party with Turkey Sandwiches.


  1. Looks fantastic! Found it interesting that you puree part, but leave some chuncky. I like that. Also, the change in flavor between roasted and raw reminds me of how I cook onions -- some caramelized, some nearly raw.