Loaded cauliflower soup is one part healthy, vegetable forward eating and one part comfort food indulgence. Grab a bowl and pile it high with fixings!
4 slices thick cut bacon, diced into small pieces
3 scallions, diced, plus extra for garnish
1 head cauliflower, core removed and cut into small pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Pinch baking soda
4 C bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated, plus extra for garnish
1/4 C heavy cream
Optional garnishes: diced tomato, sliced avocado, sour cream
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain and set aside, reserving bacon fat.
Add 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat to a medium pot set over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower, kosher salt, pepper, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Pour over just enough water to barely cover cauliflower (it’s ok if the the tops of the florets aren’t completely submerged). Bring to a boil and then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender.
While soup cooks, add 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat back to the large skillet you used to cook the bacon previously. Set pan over medium heat and add the bread cubes. Toss to coat bread in bacon fat and cook, tossing occasionally, until bread is golden brown and crunchy – about 12 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.
When cauliflower is tender, turn off heat and blend until smoothe (using a stick blender or a traditional jar blender in batches). Whisk cheddar cheese and heavy cream into hot soup until melted.
Serve soup hot with crumbled bacon, croutons, sliced scallions and extra grated cheddar cheese.
If you don’t have enough reserved bacon fat, feel free to make up the difference with unsalted butter or olive oil. You can also omit the bacon completely if you’d rather make this vegetarian.
Keep an eye on your croutons while cooking – they have a tendency to do very little for a long time and then burn as soon as you turn your head.
This soup reheats beautifully. Make the soup, croutons, and crumbled bacon ahead of time, then just set up some garnishes when it’s time to serve.
Make extra croutons – you’ll snack on a bunch of them and wish you had more.
Keywords: Low carb soup, cauliflower soup, loaded cauliflower soup, healthy comfort food