Cauliflower and bacon soup is a nourishing and hearty one bowl meal. It's super easy to put together, is ready in less than an hour and all of the ingredients are simple and readily available.
Crispy bacon garnish, gated cheddar and a sprinkling of black pepper are the perfect garnish pairing for this delicious warming soup for winter days and nights. This soup is so hearty it's filling enough for dinner.
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Creamy or Textured Soup
You can make this soup as creamy as you wish. I always like a little extra texture in my soup, but create a creamy soup if that's what you prefer. The consistency created in this recipe is more of a chowder than a soup.
As we say in Ireland, "there's atin' and drinkin' in it."
Blitz the soup in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender to the consistency you desire. Cream cheese is the key to making this soup creamy, but you can use heavy whipping cream instead, which is the ingredient of choice in Ireland for creamy soups.
However, I love the extra cheesy flavor a little hit of cream cheese brings to this soup, and cauliflower always tastes great with cheese. Cauliflower is often served with a cheese sauce in Ireland, as a side for Sunday roast dinner.
Cauliflower soup is made extensively in Ireland. My recipe today is not truly a traditional Irish recipe, since that version of this soup calls for a potato or two to be added. I'm sharing this soup recipe without using potatoes, since I wanted a lower carb version of Irish cauliflower soup.
A teaspoon of oregano is also not a traditional Irish ingredient, but I love the combination of oregano and cauliflower in this bowl of comfort.
Reheating and Storage
Cauliflower soup with bacon reheats really well on the stovetop or in the microwave.
If you make a big pot of this soup, it can be stored as leftovers in the refrigerator. It should last for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.
Freezing this soup is trickier however. Cream cheese or heavy cream do not freeze well. If you're planning on freezing it, I recommend not adding the cream cheese until you're ready to serve the soup.
If you wish to freeze half the soup you make, remove half before adding half the required amount of cream cheese to the remaining soup in the pot. Freeze the non-creamed soup in airtight soup containers, or lay individual portions, in well sealed freezer bags, flat on a baking sheet for freezing. Once they've become hard you can stack them in the freezer without the supporting tray.
Cream cheese and heavy whipping cream do not freeze well. They tend to separate and change texture, so I advise to avoid adding them to this soup if freezing. Add a dash of cream or a knob of cream cheese to each bowl as you serve reheated frozen soup.
Ingredients For Cauliflower Soup With Bacon Bits
Here you’ll find a quick list of what you’ll need for this recipe. Check out the printable recipe at the bottom of this post for US and Metric equivalent versions of the recipe. There you can choose the measurement system that works best for you.
- bacon slices, cut into pieces
- onion, diced
- sliced carrots
- diced celery
- garlic, minced
- dried oregano leaves
- white pepper
- cauliflower, stem removed and coarsely chopped
- vegetable or chicken broth, depending on the consistency desired
- cream cheese
I use a yellow onion for this soup, but you can make it with a Vidalia onion or even a red onion, since the soup will be blitzed. A red onion will give a slightly pink tinge to the soup.
I use dried oregano leaves to add flavor to this soup, but you could substitute dried thyme or fresh thyme.
This soup is thickened by the caulifower so there's no need to add all purpose flour as a thickener. This keeps this recipe gluten-free.
A sprinkling of cayenne pepper is a nice addition as a garnish at the end, if you like a little extra spicy soup.
Directions For Cauliflower Soup with Bacon
Here you’ll find step-by-step photographic instructions to help you recreate this recipe successfully. There are plenty of tips included along the way.
Cook the bacon garnish
First, prepare the bacon lardons, by chopping the bacon slices or rashers into small pieces.
In a medium or large stock pot or soup pot heat a little oil and cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until crisp.
Remove the bacon and drain it on paper toweling. You can do this by placing the cooked bacon pieces on a paper towel-lined plate. Save the bacon pieces for the garnish.
Reserve the bacon cooking fat in the bottom of the pan. This fat will add lots of flavor to this soup.
Prepare and sweat the vegetables
Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to saute.
Cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened, scraping any browned pieces from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Stir in the garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt.
Simmer to cook
The cauliflower should be broken into florets or small pieces. Discard the thick stem.
Add the cauliflower and 3 cups of broth to a soup pot or dutch oven. You can use vegetable broth or chicken broth. I like vegetable broth, even though the bacon definitely rules out this soup from any vegetarian categorization.
If you like a thinner soup and plan to blitz it completely smooth, then add a little extra broth.
Heat to boiling point, then lower the temperature and simmer the soup for approximately 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.
Be sure to cook this soup on a simmer, rather than a rolling boil.
Blitz to desired consistency
Using an immersion blender, purée about half of the soup. The consistency is completely up to you. Blitz away if you want a smooth and creamy soup. For today's recipe I'm featuring a more textured version, which I would consider a chowder.
Add additional broth if desired to achieve the consistency you like. For a creamy cauliflower soup you will definitely need additional broth.
Add cream cheese to the soup and stir until melted and combined. If you prefer, you can add heavy whipping cream instead of the cream cheese. Pouring cream is used in many Irish soup recipes.
Make sure you heat the soup completely before serving, especially if you added additional cold broth.
Ladle into big soup bowls and serve topped with cooked bacon and a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese, and a little pepper if you wish.
This cauliflower chowder soup is perfect for cold winter days and evenings - a tasty lunch or dinner soup, and super quick and easy to make.
If you end up with leftovers, you can store this soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It may separate slightly in the fridge, so use a wooden spoon or whisk to stir it together again as you reheat it in a soup pot over medium heat.
This soup can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. However, the cauliflower will lose some of its texture, so this soup is really at its best when it is first made.
Recipe Card for Cauliflower Soup
Here's a short video summarizing the process for making this soup.
If you would like to print this recipe, please feel free to add it to your kitchen collection.
Cauliflower and Bacon Soup
- 6 slices bacon cut into lardons
- 1 large onion peeled and diced
- ½ cup carrots sliced
- ½ cup celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large cauliflower stem removed and coarsely chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese grated
- In a medium stock pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper toweling.
- To the pot add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened, scraping any browned pieces from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir in the garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt.
- Add the cauliflower and 2 cups of broth to the pot. Turn up the heat until the soup reaches boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
- Using an immersion blender, purée about half of the soup. Check the consistency and add additional broth if desired.
- Add cream cheese to the soup and stir until melted and combined. Serve topped with cooked bacon and/or cheese.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
If you're a Pinterest fan, here's an image sized for your boards.
I hope you enjoy this low carb soup and comfort food at its finest.
Stay safe and warm over the winter months, and happy soup making. Feel free to share my recipes on social media - I really appreciate your help when you share my work on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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