It’s time to beat the winter chill, big-time! Three major low-carb staples — cauliflower, bacon, and cream cheese — combine in this simple, hearty soup. It’s sure to having you smiling all day long.
Tips for making the Cauliflower and Bacon Soup
This soup is wonderful for busy, chilly weekdays. You can even make it ahead and pack it in a thermos bottle for an easy lunch or for a warmer-upper on a wintery outing. Just remember to add the bacon right before serving: it loses its crispiness if it swims too long in the soup.
As you can see, this recipe is easy to make. You can make it basically effortless if you use frozen cauliflower florets like I do in the photos here. Also, using frozen, cubed onion means you don’t have to spend time and effort chopping (and crying your eyes out).
I often use homemade bone broth in my soups, which means they turn out pretty salty. Feel free to add salt if you want it saltier, though, or to use commercial stock. Black pepper won’t hurt either!
So, you’ll need only 5 ingredients for this stick-to-your-ribs soup. Let’s take a look at how to prepare it:
First, fry the bacon until crispy.
When it’s cool enough to handle, crumble it. Reserve the bacon fat.
Take a large saucepan.
Add the cauliflower chunks (or frozen florets, like I have here)…
…chopped onion (or frozen onion cubes, like I have here)…
…and the bone broth. (You can also use vegetable stock or chicken stock.) The cooking time will be shorter if you add boiling, not warm, stock.
Place the saucepan over high heat…
…and cover it.
When the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to a minimum. Let simmer, covered, until the veggies are soft. This might take some 15-20 minutes. My cauliflower chunks are pretty large here, so it took 25 minutes for them to soften. Just be sure that the cauliflower is cooked till it’s really soft; otherwise you won’t get a fabulously velvety result when you pureé the soup!
Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Add the cream cheese…
…and the reserved bacon fat.
Pureé the soup…
…until smooth and velvety.
Taste test and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Ladle or pour into serving bowls.
Sprinkle some crumbled bacon on top of each.
My Cauliflower Soup experiments
To be honest, this is not the first cauliflower soup recipe I’ve posted. This Curried Cream of Cauliflower Soup is one of my favorite soups. It’s simple, easy to make, yet satisfying and big on flavor.
Last week, the weather got cold and snowy here in Finland. Time for a rich, warming soup, I thought. For some reason I thought about a cauliflower soup made with ginger. That sounded like the ideal way to warm yourself up from the inside out.
I had clear plans for my cauliflower and ginger soup. I was going to use cauliflower, grated ginger, garlic (for some extra flavor!), chicken stock and… hmm… maybe cream cheese to make it rich and extra-satisfying.
So I grabbed my laptop and opened up the file where I write down all my soup recipes. (I have several files for different types of recipes.) This file was all about low-carb soups. I scrolled down to the place where my latest published recipes end and unpublished (and untested) recipes start. This might not sound that practical to you, but for me, it’s a really useful way of keeping track of all my notes for recipe ideas!
I was just about to start jotting down my cauliflower and ginger soup ingredients when I noticed that I had written a recipe for cauliflower and bacon soup. Now that sounded like heaven! That recipe called for onion, chicken stock and coconut cream in addition to cauliflower and bacon.
Coconut cream?! What had I been thinking? Cream cheese would be obviously a much better alternative: it would lend richness, thickness and flavor to the soup. (Besides, don’t we low-carbers just love cream cheese?! Any excuse!)
So, I started rewriting the bacon and cauliflower soup recipe. First, I had 8 slices of bacon, but then I thought that wouldn’t be enough. If the recipe were to yield 4 servings, it’d require 2 slices of bacon per serving. That’d be perfect if I were using the bacon for garnish alone, but I wanted to add plenty of bacony flavor as well. I upped the amount to 16 slices.
I took 2 lbs (900 g) frozen cauliflower florets and added them to a large saucepan. I also added one chopped large onion and 4 cups (950 ml) canned veal stock. I had made some really nice bone broth, but wanted to save that for the final recipe — this was just an experiment to see whether my idea would work. No point wasting valuable bone broth!
I cooked the veggies until they were really soft. Then, I added 8 oz (230 g) full-fat cream cheese and blended the soup with an immersion blender until smooth and velvety. I was prepared to add some salt and pepper, but the stock and cream cheese provided enough saltiness. Plus, I still had to add the bacon, so I needed to be careful not to make the soup too salty.
There was one thing I wasn’t very happy about: the soup was too runny. My aim was a thick and rich soup, not a watery concoction that ran off the spoon. (There’s a photo below of this experiment.) What now? Should I add more cream cheese, or should I reduce the amount of chicken stock? I was pretty sure reducing the chicken stock to 3 cups (700 ml) would do the trick, but since I had this runny soup in front of me, I thought I might as well try adding more cream cheese to see what would happen.
So, I took another 8 oz (230 g) cream cheese and blended it into the soup. Not bad, but the soup still wasn’t as thick as I had hoped. Plus, now the cream cheese flavor was too strong. And no wonder, since there was now a whopping 1 pound (450 g) cream cheese in the soup!
For my next experiment, I used the same ingredients, except I used 8 oz (230 g) cream cheese and 3 cups (700 ml) chicken stock. This time, the consistency looked just perfect.
I poured some soup into a deep plate and sprinkled lots of crumbled bacon on top. That 16 slices bacon (so, 4 slices per serving) seemed to be just the right amount. Less would have been pathetic!
Excitedly, I tasted the soup, and boy, were my taste buds singing! When my husband had a bowl of it, he raved about it and went for seconds.
All in all, I was super-happy with the final recipe. It’s really hard to go wrong with delicious, naturally low-carb ingredients like cauliflower, bacon and cream cheese! When I started the taking photos and the video for the recipe, I got the idea to add the bacon grease from the skillet to the soup for the extra fat (and flavor!) that’s essential when you’re following a keto diet. That was a great decision; now the soup was even tastier! Pure keto heaven.
Finally! Here’s the recipe:
|Nutrition Information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||107.0 g||26.7 g||17.8 g|
|Fat||216.5 g||54.1 g||36.1 g|
|Net carbs||32.4 g||8.1 g||5.4 g|
|kcal||2507 kcal||627 kcal||418 kcal|
Tips for variation
You can vary this simple recipe in many ways. For example, you can add your favorite herbs or other seasonings to the soup. Good old garlic takes the soup to a completely new level. Cook the garlic with the veggies for a mellower taste, or, if you’re a real garlic freak, mix freshly crushed garlic into the finished soup right before serving.
As for herbs, I would suggest chopped fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary or oregano. Sprinkle them on top of the finished soup so that they keep their flavor and don’t wilt. If you use dried herbs, cook them together with the veggies. Also, cilantro is worth trying — though you will never see it in my kitchen as I cannot stand the smell or the taste! (Well, never say never: I actually have one recipe in which I use cilantro. And I just got an important piece of equipment that’s essential for preparing it, so stay tuned for that recipe!)
Instead of plain cream cheese, try different flavored cream cheeses — as long as they don’t contain sugar or food additives.
Next time I make this soup, I might add a tablespoon or two of lemon or lime juice to cut its richness and to add some tang.
Not a fan of bacon? Omit it, and add a dab of butter to each bowl just before serving instead. (Personally, I love this variation, because I add butter to almost anything!)
A final tip: replace the cauliflower with broccoli and you’ve got a beautifully green soup that’s just as satisfying as the original!