Red Pepper and Cauliflower Chowder

October 24, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I decided to call this a chowder for no reason other than that I like saying the word. With a bit of an accent maybe. CHOW-dah. CHOWDAH! Chowdah. A chowder is a milk-based soup, if you're wondering. Which this is, and which is the only kind of soup worth souping. Please, read on.Kendra Vaculin

Serves: 3
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min


For the soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (a GLOVE, I’m trying so hard to make that happen)
  • 1 red pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk (you should probably have some fat in there; I'm a staunch skim milker and even I sprung for 2%)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

For serving:

  • 1 handful grated Parmesan
  • 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper, cooking down until the pepper is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add potato, cauliflower, stock, milk, bay leaf, salt, and spices. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potato and cauliflower are softened. Stir occasionally, and mash the chunks a little with the back of your wooden spoon.
  3. Ladle about 2/3 of the vegetable chunks and a little bit of broth into a blender and blend until smooth. Be careful! This is hot! Duh. Return the blended soup to the pot and stir into the mix until combined, heating through again if it needs it.
  4. Serve the soup with a hit of black pepper and a pinch of Parmesan on top.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Chowder|Cheese|Milk/Cream|Pepper|Vegetable|Cauliflower|One-Pot Wonders|Fall|Winter|Vegetarian|Appetizer

Reviews (35) Questions (0)

35 Reviews

Annie W. September 13, 2018
So grateful for this recipe - I returned home from a two week road trip to a couple nearly dead peppers and a head of cauliflower. I scrounged for some of the other ingredients; subbing a big spoonful of greek yogurt for the dairy, adding an onion, swapping out some of the spices (adding turmeric, chili powder and cumin) and unintentionally forgetting about the garlic - but this turned out to be a winner, nonetheless. Will definitely be on my "what to do with this head of cauliflower" list in the future!
CristyLeeNYC November 28, 2017
Tossed the cauliflower with the oil, salt, and spices, along with a handful of garlic cloves in foil and a quartered onion, and roasted them at 425 before throwing in the pot. Even with the oven add (and no parm), this was a tasty, easy soup.
Jimmy N. November 1, 2017
I'm going to use coconut milk, add red curry paste and chicken and have it over rice
Synky September 17, 2017
I changed it up a little bit (actually a lot) and came out with great results! First off I added an onion, b/c they're tasty in soups and another comment suggested to add one as well. Instead of milk and vegetable brooth I used chicken stock. Came out great, and popular with the children! Thank you for the recipe!
ghainskom November 17, 2015
The flavors was much more complex than I expected from such a simple recipe. And the kids liked it.
Rachael S. February 22, 2015
I followed this recipe exactly and found the soup quite bland. If I were going to make it again I might roast the cauliflower first and add in some onions or mirepoix.
Gina P. February 18, 2015
I wanted to prep everything for when I came home from the gym, but it was so simple, I found myself making (and eating) it before even leaving. I felt one potato was too much, and was picking out some chunks before blending it. It could be a personal preference, but next time I'm going to use half a potato and maybe some more bell pepper. All around, solid addition to my recipe index.
Ashley W. January 12, 2015
Has anyone tried with Almond Milk?
Gina P. February 18, 2015
I did! It came out great, used 1 cup
Molly L. January 11, 2015
I just made this for 2 lunches this week. I could have eaten the entire thing with a spoon right from the pot!! I used a sweet potato and did 1/4 tsp smoked paprika and 1/4 tsp reg paprika because I didn't have a bay leaf or coriander. This is SO, SO, SO good!!!
kkathrine January 10, 2015
great recipe, thanks! I threw in some red pepper flakes and they made the other flavors pop.
Brooke J. January 6, 2015
Very filling and delicious. Even my nine and seven year olds loved it! Also used the immersion blender and it was great! Some cayenne would be great addition for the grown-ups. Bravo!
kitchencat December 31, 2014
Used immersion blender to make this clever recipe with coconut milk & sweet potato: big hit!
Leslie A. December 25, 2014
Ohmygosh this recipe is AMAZING. Thank you!! Added a little more of the spices + some cayenne pepper b/c we like a little kick. Perfection.
shoestringmama December 9, 2014
Wondering if anyone has tried this with roasted cauliflower?
Megan S. December 5, 2014
I am so surprised how wonderful this soup was. I subbed sweet potato for potato but followed all the other ingredients. Question, do you think it would turn out with Almond Milk instead of regular milk? The soup really does remind me of Chowder!
Dea H. November 17, 2014
We really liked this. I did use an immersion blender instead of lugging out the huge blender. It probably wasn't as smooth as it would have been in the blender, but we actually liked a few chunks in the soup. I also added a bit of pan-crisped Spanish chorizo with the Parmesan garnish. It added a nice smoky taste.
Grace A. November 17, 2014
This turned out amazing! It would be helpful to include some more specifics in the recipe, like what size pot to use (I think I used an 8 quart pot), and tell everyone to take the bay leaf out before blending (the pieces would be too sharp to eat).
ronn November 15, 2014
what kind of red pepper
Dea H. November 15, 2014
Bell pepper.
Margaret M. November 13, 2014
Easy, delicious and beautiful. This recipe is a keeper! Will triple it for a winter party (and credit the source, of course)...
JanetFL November 3, 2014
Kendra, thanks for this wonderful recipe. I guess now is a good time to tell you that I've saved a few other recipes that you've posted! Thanks for all of them!