Make Ahead

Curried Cauliflower Soup

May 15, 2011
12 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

What better way to stretch your dollar than by cooking up some cheap ingredients and making them taste delicious? This soup has become my husband's favorite and since it's basically cauliflower, onions, broth, and spices it's definitely dirt cheap. You can use store bought curry powder instead of the spices listed, but I love the flavor that the homemade spice mix brings.

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Kmartinelli is the New York correspondent for Afar Magazine.
WHAT: A plain-simple, just-good Indian-inspired cauliflower soup.
HOW: Bring water and broth to a boil with roasted cauliflower, sautéed onions, and spices. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Garnish with additional cauliflower and labne; rejoice in fall produce.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Not only is this soup dead-simple and quick (and affordable), but it's also easy to adjust—cut the butter for a vegan soup, toss in the other vegetables lurking in your refrigerator, or use the spices your heart desires. Or eat it as is—you'll be happy either way. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 pounds), cut into florets, or about 6 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 onions, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup yogurt or labnne (optional; adjust to suit tastes)
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower with vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread out and roast until the florets turn brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crispiest florets for garnish.
  2. Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices, cauliflower, water, and broth; cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until a desired consistency is reached. Stir in yogurt or labne if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls, garnishing with the reserved cauliflower florets.
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    Lindsey Raisa
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.

45 Reviews

Sarah November 28, 2023
Heavenly soup. Add the yogurt before serving-- and add a dollop on serving. And don't be shy to add A LOT of salt. It needs it. And then... comfort and joy.
Mary July 23, 2021
Had already steamed the cauliflower before deciding to use this recipe so only needed to slowly cook the onion and simmer florets until slightly mushy. I used some chicken broth that was sitting in the freezer as well as some water for liquid. I love Indian food and this base was perfect for adding coriander and cumin in addition to a curry/masala blend. Made a thick and aromatic gravy for veggies, legumes, rice or any combination of those. My diet is mostly plant based and this is a useful addition.
Pkkell May 13, 2022
I like the idea of using steamed cauliflower. Living in an equatorial climate, I look for ways to avoid heating up my kitchen. Steaming in an Instant Pot set on 0:00 minutes worked nicely, and the soup tasted great.
Ruth January 21, 2021
Delicious. One caveat: I'm not sure I'd substitute hot pepper for hot paprika; they really are completely different flavors.

I added a potato for body and used chicken stock, for the record. I think it would be great with veggie stock, though, maybe with a parmesan rind.
don November 20, 2019
So I really liked this recipe but I found it a bit under seasoned. However, the next day I had it cold and not only had the flavors really bloomed from a night in the fridge but the cold temperature gave it a whole different quality. I really think I preferred it that way. Definitely a keeper either way
Sarah September 12, 2019
I love this recipe! I've made it several times now, and it's great every time. My preference is to put Greek yogurt on top rather than mixing it in, and sometimes I add some lentils to the soup for added protein.
Kate October 24, 2018
So simple, so inexpensive, so adaptable, so healthy...what else? I love roasting veggies and pureeing into a soup. How I ended up not learning about this earlier in my life - boy, did I miss out! I bought a 3 pound head of cauliflower for .98 cents! I used almost the entire thing for this soup, roasted the garlic cloves and onion along with the cauliflower (I think that was in one of the comments). I used mostly turmeric and garam masala as my spices. Lots of nutmeg flavor which I enjoy. A big dollop of plain greek yogurt and an extra sprinkle of garam masala - Yum! I ate it for breakfast and am thinking this can certainly serve for any meal of the day. My daughter took it for school lunch. I just looked again at the recipe and realized I probably used about half the liquid called for as I made it. I did add more when heating it up. I kind of prefer that method as the part of me related to my depression-era parents probably taught me how to sstttrrreeettttccchhh soup to make it last a little longer. Anyway, good recipe that stands well in its original format or can be adapted to suit your tastes. Thanks!
flora F. May 20, 2018
what am i missing? i don't see curry in the recipe.....
ghainskom May 20, 2018
Curry is a spice blend
There are several possible recipes for curry one of which could be curcuma-coriander-paprika-cumin. So yes, this deserves to be named "curried" soup. You're basically your curry for the soup. It's delicious, try it.
flora F. May 20, 2018
Thanks for clarifying. I’m in the process of making it but I actually added some curry. Smells delicious.
Helen B. January 22, 2018
Dried coriander = dried, ground coriander seeds, correct? (I also have dried cilantro leaves which also = dried coriander.)
Fred F. November 2, 2017
too much liquid! but tasty!
Rochelle September 12, 2016
Good golly!! Stop whatever you are doing and make this soup asap. I added some grated ginger and garam masala in addition to the other spices. Used the last of my yogurt in my muesli, but I can say it was outstanding without it. Plenty of ways to tweak this very adaptable recipe. Thank you kmartinelli!

Mendy N. June 10, 2016
terrific recipe, for the unlovable vegetable.
have made it several times and always a hit with cauli hating family.
I tend to add 1 cup less water for a thicker soup.
dvivari January 24, 2016
Just made this, in honor of the blizzard - soup was called for. Followed the recipe as given, except that my husband is NOT a yogurt fan, so I used a little heavy cream. I didn't puree it completely, but left a few little bits for texture. We really enjoyed it, and I'll make it again.
Lindsey R. January 15, 2016
What's the texture and taste like without the yogurt/cheese? I would like to omit if possible but am not sure.
Mendy N. June 10, 2016
i've eaten it with and without, full fat and unsweetened yoghurt seems to give it balance for me, but still good without. I have it on the table to add if you want :)
cakeexpectations January 8, 2016
Love this soup, especially with a spoon of yogurt in it! First time made it as per instructions; second time, roasted the onions with the cauliflower (with an extra tbsp of oil in the tray) to save frying separately in butter. Also chucked in a whole red chilli and some toasted cumin seeds right at the end, after blending. Added some warmth and extra texture. Yum!
Taylor S. November 29, 2015
Fantastic. Very light as I ate it without the yogurt stirred in but with some goat cheese on the side.
ghainskom November 24, 2015
Tested and approved by my kids (8 and 4 yo) and that says a lot.
Angela T. September 21, 2014
I loved this soup! I omitted the broth but added a sauteed green bell pepper and three med sized carrots that were not sauteed and blended into the rest of the ingredients and it was thick like porridge and I tried crumbled turkey bacon along with the left over cauliflower but didn't care for the bacon . gave it a unclean flavor and a bit over powering!! Also the chicken broth diluted the savory flavors of the spices.
vsmith March 15, 2014
Great flavor. I had used the florets in a cauliflower rice dish, so I made the soup with just the stalks. It was still delicious. Also added ginger because it was in the house.
AlohaHoya March 3, 2014
Delicious! Made this last night with these few changes: I mixed the spices in some Macadamia Nut oil and added mashed garlic, smoked paprika, Vindaloo Curry Paste (Patak)and tossed the cauliflower and some carrot chunks in it before roasting. I used a leek instead of onions. When I 'whizzed' the mixture, I added some Sour Cream cut with milk. NEXT TIME I am going to add Coconut Milk instead of regular milk. I also garnished with thinly sliced mildly hot red pepper and toasted almonds. This is going to be a regular in our house now!
Joy T. March 2, 2014