Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Paprika

This Cauliflower Cheese Soup is thick and gently-flavoured. It is the perfect comfort food on colder days. The mild taste of the cauliflower is given a lift from the addition of warm spicy paprika and tangy cheese. If you like eating cauliflower cheese, this has the same comforting and sustaining flavour but in the form of a soup.

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I learned to love cauliflower in a cheese sauce fairly late in life. Overcooked and soggy versions, in a watery sauce, were a regular feature of lunches at my school. At home, my mother cooked cauliflower Sicilian-style – al dente with onions and tomatoes. I was about eight before I realised it was the same vegetable as the mushy white stuff I got at school.

Now I cook cauliflower both ways. I still cook it Sicilian-style, lightly cooked in a rich onion and tomato sauce, sometimes with the addition of pine nuts and raisins. (My mum struggled to get hold of pine nuts in England in the 1970s…) However, Cauliflower Cheese is a regular supper staple and cauliflower in white sauce (same recipe but without the cheese) often accompanies a Sunday roast. For me, the key that runs through all these recipes is not to overcook the cauliflower!

What you need to know about making this Cauliflower Cheese Soup recipe

  • First off, it is a very quick and simple recipe. You can go from raw ingredients to a bowl of comforting soup in 20 minutes. Unlike many of my soups, it doesn’t involve roasting or slow frying the vegetables in order to bring out their flavour.
  • It is really important not to overcook the cauliflower (step 1) as it will be cooked again when the soup is warmed up.
  • The basis of this soup is a basic white sauce. If you have never made one before this can seem a bit daunting but it is really simple as you will see from step 2 in the recipe. Being able to make a white sauce is a really useful cooking skill and can be used in all sorts of recipes such as Macaroni Cheese and Lasagne.
  • I add paprika to my recipe as I think this adds just the right amount of warm spiciness to the soup. Smoked paprika would also be a good option. If you really want to spice things up a bit, you could add half a teaspoon of cayenne. Alternatively, if you are not a big fan of spice, you can just leave it out.
  • Use a good flavoured cheese (step 3). I use an extra-mature cheddar but any strong, hard cheese will do. You need to have that tangy cheese taste to highlight the flavour of the cauliflower.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

How can I use this soup?

I make a batch of this soup and eat it for lunches during the week. It is quite filling and, although you could have some bread or a roll with it, it really doesn’t need it. It is a great soup to take in a flask if you are going for a long walk or doing any strenuous outdoor activity because it is so thick and sustaining.

If you are feeding a crowd, Cauliflower Cheese Soup is a good option as most people seem to like it. You can make it in advance and then quickly re-heat.

You could have this soup as a starter for a more formal meal. However, I would only use it if you were having a light main course.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Onion Soup you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Onion Soup with Sage, Leek and Potato SoupNettle Soup, Fennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable.

Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Beetroot Soup with Coconut or Butternut and Peanut Butter Soup. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea and Tomato.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Recipe for Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Paprika

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Cauliflower Cheese Soup

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Cauliflower Cheese Soup is thick and gently-flavoured with the mild taste of the cauliflower being lifted by the addition of warm spicy paprika and tangy cheese.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized cauliflower
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 50 g (2 oz) flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 750 ml (1.5 pint) milk plus up to 350 ml (12 fl oz) to thin the soup if required
  • 100 g strong  hard cheese (eg Cheddar)

Instructions

  1. Break the cauliflower into florets.  Heat a large pan of water to boiling point.  Add the florets together with a pinch of salt and simmer for approximately 7 minutes.   Drain and set the florets aside.
  2. In a separate pan, melt the butter and then add the flour and paprika.  Stir to combine and then cook for 3 minutes.    Remove from the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk.   Return the pan to the stove and heat gently until the sauce thickens.   
  3. Grate the cheese and add it to the sauce together with the cooked cauliflower florets.
  4. Blend the soup until smooth using a hand blender or food processor.
  5. Add up to  250 ml of milk to thin the soup to your desired consistency. 

Keywords: cauliflower, cheese

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Recipes Made Easy and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday 

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Onion Soup

Creamy Onion Soup with Sage

This velvety, smooth and mild Onion Soup is the perfect autumn or winter comfort food. It is very different from a traditional French Onion Soup which consists of pieces of onion in a thin, strongly-flavoured broth. I add a gentle hint of sage to my soup which adds an extra dimension to the flavour.

The idea for this soup came to me when I was making an onion sauce. I made a white sauce, containing soft pieces of onion, to serve with some Chestnut and Mushroom Pies. It occurred to me that the mild-but-tasty sauce would make a brilliant soup. I thinned it out a bit and blended it smooth and found out that it did!

I now make this soup regularly. It is one of those brilliant, simple recipes where very basic ingredients produce something wonderful with very little effort.

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What you need to know about this Onion Soup recipe

  • The key to this recipe is to cook the onions on a low heat for twenty minutes to ensure that they become soft and sweet. This process (step 2) is transformational and gives the finished soup a real depth of flavour and sweetness.
  • Try and use a good quality stock (step 4) as this will also make a big difference to the flavour. If you have home-made stock, so much the better. However, I generally use good quality vegetable bouillon powder.
  • My version of this soup is vegetarian. However, it is very easy to make the recipe vegan by using vegetable oil instead of butter (step 1) and by using a non-dairy milk (coconut milk or a nut milk such as almond or cashew) (step 6).
  • This soup can be made in advance and then reheated. It also freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for at least 6 months.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Onion Soup you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Leek and Potato Soup, Nettle Soup, Fennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable.

Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Beetroot Soup with Coconut or Butternut and Peanut Butter Soup. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea and Tomato.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Recipe for Creamy Onion Soup with Sage

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Onion Soup with Sage

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This mild and velvety Onion Soup, gently flavoured with sage, is easy to make and is the perfect comfort food.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 75 g (3 oz) butter or oil
  • 5 large onions
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  • 300 ml (Half a pint) of milk, vegetable stock or water

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter or oil in a heavy-based pan. 
  2. Peel and slice the onions.  Add to the pan with the sage, season with salt and pepper and cook slowly for twenty minutes until they are soft and sweet. 
  3. Add the flour and cook for a further two minutes. 
  4. Add the 500 ml of vegetable stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Blend the soup until smooth using a hand blender or food processor.
  6. Add up to 300 ml of milk, vegetable stock or water to thin the soup to your desired consistency. 

 


Keywords: soup, onion soup, onion, vegetarian

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Lost in Food and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and   [email protected], Spatulas & Spoons 

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Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives

Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives

This Leek and Potato Soup is a lovely, simple traditional soup. It is warming and hearty with a mild onion flavour. The potatoes thicken the soup without making it too heavy. It is filling enough to serve as a light lunch with some good bread but it can also be served as a starter for a more formal meal.

It is a truly versatile soup because it can be eaten either hot or cold. The cold version is similar to the French cold soup Vichyssoise which is generally made with chicken stock. This means that it is a soup for all seasons. It will warm you up in winter and cool you down in summer! If you are serving it cold, you need to allow it to cool down to room temperature after you have made it. Then put it in the fridge for at least two hours – ideally overnight – to ensure that it is properly chilled.

I like to stir a little cream into the finished soup and top it off with some fresh chives. Neither are essential. The soup will taste good without these additions if you do not wish to include them.

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Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

What you need to know about making Leek and Potato Soup
  • You must cook the leeks and onions slowly to allow them to sweeten and soften without burning.  Don’t try and rush this stage. This slow gentle cooking is what will give your soup its extra-special flavour.
  • A good quality stock is essential. This will give your soup depth of flavour. You can use either vegetarian stock or meat-based stock. If you have home-made stock, either vegetarian or meat-based, so much the better. I sometimes use home-made chicken stock or the cooking juices from a boiled ham. Both go well as a basis for this soup. You can use stock-cubes or powder to make the stock if you do not have any home-made stock to hand. If so, try and use a good quality brand.
  • This soup is vegetarian if you use a vegetable-based stock. You can make a vegan version by substituting the butter for an extra tablespoon of oil and omitting the cream.
  • This soup can be made in advance and then reheated. It also freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for at least 6 months.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Leek and Potato Soup you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Nettle Soup, Fennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable. Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Beetroot Soup with Coconut or Butternut and Peanut Butter Soup. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea and Tomato.

Leek and Potato Soup recipe

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Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This is a really easy soup which can be eaten either hot or cold.  Although it uses relatively cheap ingredients, the soup is elegant and flavourful and is not out of place as a first course at a dinner party.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 onions (I use white onions to keep the colour of the final soup pale)
  • 2 large potatoes (about 500 g or 1 lb)
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 litre (2 pints) good quality stock 
  • A bunch of fresh chives
  • A little double cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash the leeks, trim off the dark top parts of the leaves and chop the stalks roughly.  Peel and chop the onions.
  2.  Heat the butter and the oil in your saucepan.  Add the chopped leeks and onions, season them with salt and pepper,  and very gently fry them for around 20 minutes until they are soft and sweet.   It is really important to  add seasoning at this point and to cook gently to bring out the flavour of the vegetables – it will make a huge difference to the taste of your soup.
  3.  Next, peel and chop the potatoes and add them to the saucepan with the leeks and onions.  Cook gently for a few minutes.
  4. Add the stock to your saucepan and simmer the vegetables gently for about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly before blending.

Notes

This soup can be eaten either hot or cold.

Keywords: leek potato soup

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Curly’s Cooking and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and  Laurena @ Life Diet Health

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Beetroot Soup with Coconut

Beetroot Soup with Coconut

This easy Beetroot Soup highlights the earthy sweetness of roasted beetroot. It is enhanced with the gentle heat and lemony flavour of fresh ginger and the creamy richness of coconut.  Although it is easy to make and the ingredients are simple, it does taste quite subtle and sophisticated.    It is great for a simple autumn lunch or supper but is not out of place as a starter at a dinner party.

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Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

What you need to know about my Beetroot Soup
  • Roasting the beetroot (step 1) is important as it intensifies the flavour and earthy sweetness of the vegetables. If you wrap them in foil while they are roasting they will retain their juiciness and it will also mean that the skin is easy to remove.
  • You can use larger beetroot, up to the same weight of 350 g, if you do not have small beetroot. If so, cut them in half before roasting.
  • The natural starch and fibre of the beetroot thickens this soup rather than flour. This adds an additional element of nutrition and makes the soup perfect for anyone who is gluten intolerant.
  • Cooking the chopped onions slowly is really important (step 4). It caramelises the vegetables and gives the soup a real depth of flavour.
  • Using fresh ginger (step 5) is really important. I think this is one recipe where dried ginger will not do. Fresh ginger has a complex lemony flavour, in addition to its hit of ginger heat. It makes a huge difference to the flavour of this simple soup.
  • My recipe is vegetarian but it is easily converted into a vegan recipe. Just replace the butter with vegetable oil.
  • This soup freezes very well so  you can make a batch and keep it for when you need a quick beetroot fix!

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Beetroot Soup, you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Tomato Soup, Fennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable. Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Butternut and Peanut Butter SoupNettle Soup uses foraged ingredients. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea.

Other beetroot recipes

I love the sweet, earthy taste of roasted beetroot and the fantastic rich carmine pink colour that it brings to every dish.  The flavour is autumn on a  plate and the colour cheers me up as days are getting cooler and I know winter is on its way.

In addition to soup, I think beetroot is a brilliant ingredient in salad. I make a very quick and salad, Raw Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Citrus Dressing and also a Middle Eastern-inspired Roasted Beetroot Salad with Yogurt and Tahini. I also have a fantastic recipe for a Beetroot Tart which can be eaten either hot or cold.

Recipe for Beetroot Soup with Coconut

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Beetroot Soup with Coconut

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This autumnal vegan soup combines the earthy sweetness of beetroot with the gentle heat of fresh ginger and the the creaminess of creamed coconut.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 small beetroot (around 350 g or 1 lb in total)
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter and 1 teaspoon oil (or 2 teaspoons of oil if vegan)
  • 1 onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm of fresh ginger
  • 500 ml (1 pint) water
  • Half teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder
  • 50 g (2 oz) of creamed coconut

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 200 C/Gas Mark 6. Wash your beetroot and loosely wrap each one in kitchen foil.  Place the wrapped beetroot on an oven tray.   Roast the beetroot in the oven for around 40 minutes until soft.   Remove the beetroot from the oven and allow to cool.  When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins using a sharp knife.   Roughly chop the peeled beetroot.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan
  3. Peel and chop the onion, add it to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook very gently for around 30 minutes until the onion is soft and sweet. Slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the onion and greatly improves the flavour of the soup.
  5. When the onion is cooked, add the chopped beetroot together with the peeled and crushed garlic cloves. Peel the fresh ginger and finely grate it into the pan.
  6. Add the water and vegetable bouillon power to the pan. Gently cook the soup for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut cream to the soup.
  8. Blend the soup until it is smooth using a food processor or hand-held blender.
  9. You can add a final swirl of coconut cream to each portion for an added creamy richness if you wish.

Keywords: beetroot, soup, vegan

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Apply to Face Blog and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons

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Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup with Peanut Butter

This simple Butternut Squash Soup recipe is warming and savoury. It has a thick, velvety texture and is brilliant yellowy-orange colour which is guaranteed to cheer you up on a cold winter day! The squash is cooked slowly to bring out its natural sweetness.  This is then balanced by the addition of warming chilli flakes and peanut butter which adds a creamy, nutty richness of flavour.

It is a really healthy and nutritious soup. Butternut Squash is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A and potassium. It also contains a lot of fibre which makes it a filling and satisfying meal without being high in calories.

This recipe is vegan. However, whether you are vegan or not, I think this is a great soup. I love it when days are getting colder and you want something sustaining, warming and nutritious.   It is great if you are looking to introduce non-vegans to vegan food. Serve them this soup and see if they appreciate just how tasty plant-based food can be!

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Butternut Squash Soup

What you need to know about this recipe

  • If you haven’t got butternut squash, you can make this soup with other kinds of flavoursome squash or culinary pumpkins. Similarly, you can substitute other kinds of nut butter – such as almond butter or hazelnut butter – for the peanut butter.
  • It is really important to cook the squash and the onions very slowly so that they caramelise (step 3). This will make a big difference to the flavour of your soup.
  • If you don’t like chilli, or are making the soup for younger children, you can leave it out. The soup will still taste good.
  • This soup freezes very well so you can make a batch and keep it in the freezer for up to six months for when you need a quick lunch or supper.   It is is also good as an addition to autumn and winter packed lunches. 
  • This recipe is vegan. However, if you are not vegan you can use butter instead of vegetable oil (step 1) and dairy cream for coconut cream (step 8).

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Butternut Squash Soup
Other easy vegetarian soup recipes

I have lots of easy, vegetarian soup recipes. If you like this Butternut Squash Soup, you might like some of the others. All my soups are vegetarian and all can be made vegan by substituting animal fats, such as butter, for vegetable fats. Some of them are pretty simple such as Tomato SoupFennel SoupJerusalem Artichoke Soup  or Sweetcorn Chowder and showcase a single vegetable. Others combine vegetables which have complimentary flavours such as Curried Parsnip and Apple SoupMoroccan Spiced Sweet Potato SoupCeleriac and Apple SoupMushroom and Chestnut SoupPumpkin and Sweetcorn Soup or Leek and Potato Soup. A few have more unusual combinations of flavours such as Beetroot and Coconut SoupNettle Soup uses foraged ingredients. I also have a few chilled soup recipes, which are fantastic cold in the summer, but can also be served warm such as Asparagus and Pea.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Other butternut squash and pumpkin recipes

If you like the earthy sweetness of butternut squash and pumpkin, you might like some of my other recipes.

Butternut Squash Soup with Peanut Butter

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Butternut Squash Soup with Peanut Butter

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: English

Description

In this vegan soup, the sweetness of the Butternut Squash is balanced by warming chilli and rich peanut butter.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Half teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 litre (2 pints) water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • A little coconut cream and a few peanuts to decorate (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan
  2. Peel and chop the onion and the butternut squash. Add the vegetables to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook very gently for around 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and sweet. Slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the vegetables and greatly improves the flavour of the soup.
  4. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and add them to vegetables together with the chilli flakes. Cook for a further five minutes.
  5. Add the water and vegetable bouillon powder to the pan containing the squash and onion. Gently simmer for around 15 minutes.
  6. Blend the soup until it is smooth using a food processor or hand-held blender.
  7. Add the peanut butter to the soup and gently re-heat.
  8. If you wish, you can add a little coconut cream and a sprinkle of peanuts to each serving.

Keywords: vegan, butternut squash, peanut butter

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Feast Glorious Feast and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and Zeba @ Food For The Soul

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