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Cream of Cauliflower Soup

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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To me, this soup is comfort in a bowl. Not long after my mom died, friends served this soup to me and my family. Though it was an appetizer, both my brother and I asked if we could have another bowl — and then another. It was so nourishing and delicious. I believe the original recipe comes from the Los Angeles Times. This soup freezes well, too (without the garnishes).


  1. 2 heads of cauliflower (about 2 pounds each)
  2. 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  3. 3 cups leeks, white and light-green parts only, chopped (about 3 medium-large leeks)
  4. 8 cups canned or homemade chicken broth
  5. ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  6. 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  7. ½ cup crème fraîche
  8. Salt, to taste
  9. 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  10. ¼ lb. prosciutto, thinly sliced
  11. ⅓ cup chopped Italian parsley
  12. Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Chop the cauliflower into chunks; you should have about 12 cups of cauliflower.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, until they are beginning to soften. Add the cauliflower, chicken broth, and cayenne pepper. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and cook, at a simmer, until the vegetables are completely soft, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  3. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot, until smooth. Whisk in half of the grated cheese and all of the crème fraîche, and stir until smooth. Taste for saltiness and season to taste. Keep warm over low heat while you prepare the garnishes.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. When hot, add the prosciutto slices and fry until crisp and browned, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl with a bit of the remaining Parmesan, the fried prosciutto, the chopped parsley, and some freshly ground black pepper.