Cheesy Cauliflower Potato Soup with creamy white beans, a garlicky white cheddar broth, and fresh chives. Simple and incredibly cozy, this healthier cauliflower cheese soup is the most delicious way to slip in extra veggies.
Why You'll Love this Cauliflower Potato Soup
This soup is the definition of nutritious comfort food at its FINEST. The coziest combo of cauliflower florets, russet potatoes, and aromatics make up the bulk of the broth. And to double down on its creamy character, blended white beans add a one-two punch of plant protein and fiber.
Also in the mix is sharp white cheddar, which adds salty, nutty notes of umami. If you're making this soup vegan or dairy free, you can swap the cheese for your favorite "cheesy shreds", such as Miyoko's brand.
Both kids and adults will love this lightened up, yet supremely hearty cauliflower cheese soup. It's perfect for make-ahead lunches, yet simple enough for speedy weeknight dinners. I love serving it with a crisp green salad on the side for a good dose of freshness and crunch.
And, if you're NOT concerned with making this soup vegetarian, crumbled bacon bits make a mighty fine topping.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Cauliflower: You need 6 heaping cups of cauliflower florets, which amounts to roughly 1 medium head of cauliflower. You can also purchase the bags of pre-chopped florets for convenience.
- Russet Potatoes: You need 1 lb of peeled and chopped russet potatoes, which amounts to ~2 medium potatoes. You want to chop them small enough so they're bite-sized.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and garlic create the aromatic backbone of this soup. If you don't have yellow onion on hand, you can use white or sweet onion, or even shallots. Alternatively, I absolutely LOVE leeks in this soup.
- Cheese: Freshly grated sharp white cheddar adds salty, nutty dimension to the broth. If you're making this soup vegan or dairy free, you can swap the cheese for your favorite "cheesy shreds", such as Miyoko's brand.
- Beans: Small white beans get blended with half of the broth to add supreme creaminess. They also add a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, making this soup super satiating.
- Broth: If you're making the soup vegetarian, use vegetable broth. Otherwise, chicken or even bone broth work great here.
- Milk: I prefer using whole milk for its mild flavor and richness, however if you're making this soup dairy free, cashew milk is a great alternative.
Step 1: Sauté the Aromatics
Heat a good glug of olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 to 60 seconds, stirring often, until aromatic.
Step 2: Add Potatoes and Cauliflower
Add the potatoes and cauliflower; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often so the potatoes don't stick. Add broth and bring mixture to a boil.
Step 3: Simmer Soup
Once soup reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes and cauliflower are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 4: Blend Soup with Beans
Place beans in a high power blender. Use a ladle to carefully transfer 3 cups of the soup to the blender with beans, making sure to transfer sufficient broth. Blend mixture on HIGH until smooth and creamy. Pour blended mixture back into pot, and stir well to combine.
Step 5: Stir in Milk and Cheese
Stir in milk, salt, and black pepper, and increase heat to medium. Gradually sprinkle in grated cheese, stirring continuously, to avoid clumping. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often, until cheese melts into the broth. Garnish cauliflower cheese soup with fresh chives.
What to Serve with Cauliflower Chowder:
While this soup is super hearty, you may desire a little something on the side. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:
- Salad: This Autumn Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is a light, simple side. Readers also love this Chopped Greek Pasta Salad!
- Sandwich: For a non-veg option, this Green Goddess Chicken Salad Sandwich will make for a mighty fine lunch. Or for the vegetarians, I can’t recommend these Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches enough.
- Protein: For a plant-based option that’s super satiating, try my Moroccan Lentil Meatballs or Chickpea Meatballs.
- Bread: Garlic bread, fresh sourdough, or a baguette are perfect for dunking into this soup and sopping up the remains.
How to Make-Ahead, Store, and Reheat:
- Make-Ahead: Chop the potatoes and cauliflower and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in advance.
- Store: Let soup cool until close to room temperature before spooning it into airtight storage containers. Refrigerate soup for up to 4 days,
- Reheat: Gently rewarm soup in a small soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 to 45 seconds, until evenly heated.
- Freeze: Transfer cooled soup to an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make Cauliflower Chowder:
- Blender: I love my Kitchenaid K400 blender, and use it very often. Some say it’s comparable to the Vitamix, just much more affordable.
- Dutch Oven: I use my Lodge Enameled 6-qt Dutch Oven for every single homemade soup recipe. It’s a staple piece on my stovetop, and has endless functionality. Lodge is also quite a bit cheaper than Cuisinart, yet just as good quality, in my opinion.
- Ladle: For transferring the soup from the pot to the blender to your bowl, you need a sturdy ladle. This one is dishwasher safe.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board: For the slicing and dicing in this recipe, you need a reliable cutting board. This one is easier and safer than cutting boards without the non-slip feature, and it’s dishwasher safe.
More Healthy Soup Recipes to Try:
Nourishing White Bean and Lemon Soup -- reader favorite!
If you give this cauliflower potato soup a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Cheddar Cauliflower Potato Soup
- Large Dutch oven or stock pot
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes
- 6 heaping cups small cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head of cauliflower)
- 4 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15.5-oz.) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- Fresh chopped chives for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 to 60 seconds, stirring often, until aromatic.
- Add potatoes and cauliflower to pot; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often so the potatoes don't stick. Add broth and bring mixture to a boil.Once soup reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes and cauliflower are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Place navy beans in a high power blender. Carefully transfer 3 cups of the soup to the blender with beans, making sure to add sufficient broth to lubricate the blade. Blend mixture on HIGH until smooth and creamy, about 45 seconds. Pour blended mixture back into pot, and stir well to combine.
- Add milk, salt, and black pepper, and increase heat to medium. Gradually sprinkle in grated cheese, stirring continuously, to avoid clumping. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often, until cheese melts into broth. Garnish with fresh chives.