Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup

There are very, very few recipes I don't tweak. I usually add a little, subtract a little, and change it up to fit what my family likes to eat. This recipe is absolutely, positively perfect just the way it is. It seems impossible that only 3 ingredients -- Cauliflower, Onion and Water -- could yield such a flavorful soup. It's creamy and velvety smooth without adding any cream, and it just goes to show that the purest and simplest ingredients can result in a perfect dish.

Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup

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Serves: 8 Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound, 6 ounces very fresh cauliflower, broken into florets
  • Salt
  • 5 ½ cups hot water (I heat up the water in my tea kettle)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Thick, flaked sea salt (Maldon is the best!)



In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sweat them over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, and be sure not to let them brown. You want them translucent and a bit softened.


Add the cauliflower, a pinch of salt and ½ cup of the hot water. Raise the heat slightly, and cover the pot tightly. Stew the cauliflower until fork tender, for about 15-18 minutes. Add another 4 ½ cups of hot water, bring to a low simmer, and cook an additional 20 minutes.


Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender to a very smooth creamy consistency. I love using my immersion blender for this step because 1: it’s so easy and 2: less dirty dishes to clean.


Let the soup stand, heat off, for 20 minutes. It will thicken slightly (this is the magic of cauliflower). Thin the soup with the remaining ½ cup of hot water. Reheat the soup and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil, freshly ground pepper and sprinkling of flaked sea salt.


Serve immediately.


Recipe from Food 52, Genius Recipes

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