Creamy Cauliflower White Bean Soup is a lusciously flavorful cozy bowl of goodness! It's made from basic ingredients, hearty and healthy with lots of veggies and white beans, and hints of fresh rosemary. But, it's really all about the toppings! This creamy soup is garnished with Parmesan cheese, crispy prosciutto and homemade croutons, baked quick and easy together in the oven!
Winter in Minnesota means soup soup soup! Along with chunky sweaters and fires in the fireplace, soup is a big reason to love winter, or at least tolerate it!
A few simple ingredients, high in protein, and amazing toppings, this cauliflower bean soup is sure to become a favorite!
- Butter and Olive Oil - Don't skimp here, you are sautéing a lot of veggies and you need the fat to soften and caramelize them.
- Onion - I used a basic yellow onion, small in size. Don't worry about perfect chopping, it will all get pureed.
- Cauliflower - The star ingredient, I used a large head of cauliflower and chopped it small so it can easily soften and cook through.
- Salt and Pepper - This soup is seasoned very simply with salt and pepper. The prosciutto and Parmesan cheese will provide a little extra salt for the dish. As always, taste the finished soup and see if a pinch more is needed.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor. Add them after sautéing the onion and cauliflower, they only need a minute to bring out their flavor before adding the stock.
- Vegetable or Chicken Stock - You can omit the crispy prosciutto and use vegetable stock to make this dish vegetarian. If you aren't worried about that, chicken stock or vegetable stock are both fine.
- White Beans - I used 2 cans of great northern beans, giving this soup a very hearty amount of plant based protein, and eliminating the need to thicken with flour. The soup itself is gluten-free, thickened only by pureeing the veggies and beans. The croutons, of course, are not gluten-free unless you use a gluten-free bread.
- Heavy Cream - Giving a pot of soup that luxurious texture, a cup of cream makes this soup rich, thick and ultra creamy. If you want to cut back on the richness, you could substitute half & half or whole milk. You could also use just a half cup, or even leave it out altogether.
- Fresh Rosemary - Fresh is best! Cauliflower and white beans alone could be considered pretty bland ingredients! The fresh rosemary really gives that punch of savory, earthy freshness. You could substitute sage or thyme, but use fresh herbs if you can!
- Topping - This cauliflower white bean soup is truly fantastic because of the toppings! And, they are super easy to make and cook together on 1 sheet pan while you make the soup.
- Prosciutto is often an expensive ingredient, but try buying it at the deli counter. You can get any amount you need, have them slice it very thin and not put paper between each slice. This way you are only paying for the weigh of prosciutto, not paper.
- I used half a baguette to make the croutons, but any crusty loaf of bread will work. You can make as much or as little as you think you'll eat.
- I like to buy a block of Parmesan cheese and make shavings using a vegetable peeler, then crumble them over the soup. A block of Parmesan stays fresher longer, and is often less expensive that a pre-shredded bag.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1 - Prepare your ingredients. Wash your cauliflower and cut it into quarters. This will then allow you to slice out the core at a diagonal and discard it, including any leaves.
Then chop the cauliflower fairly small so they can easily cook through. Chop your onion and garlic. This soup will be pureed, so no need to worry about perfect chopping!
Step 2 - Saute the onion and cauliflower in butter and olive oil until soft and beginning to caramelize. This should take 15 minutes or more. Give it an occasional stir but not too often, the vegetables contact with the hot pot will allow them to caramelize and get some golden brown color.
Keep the burner over medium to medium high heat and adjust as you go. You want the veggies to cook through and caramelize, but not burn.
Step 3 - Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Then add the stock and beans, drained and rinsed. Simmer the soup over medium low heat for about 10 minutes.
Step 4 - Make the Topping. You can make the topping anytime as you are making the soup, as the veggies are sauteing or when the soup is simmering, whenever you have time. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto slices on half and the bread cubes on the other. Use your hands to toss the bread with the olive oil, salt and garlic power.
The crispy prosciutto and the croutons should take the same amount of time to cook, about 10 to 12 minutes. They can sit on the stovetop until ready to serve the soup.
Step 5 - Puree the soup. Add the heavy cream and fresh rosemary and then puree the soup. You can work in batches in a high speed blender, or use a hand-held immersion blender.
Either way, puree until the soup is very smooth. If using an immersion blender, tilt the pot by lifting the side with your left hand while blending with your right. This creates a little well, giving the soup more room to blend. An immersion blender will take a little longer, but it's totally possible to get your soup ultra smooth, just keep blending!
Step 6 - Garnish. Keep the soup on a very low burner until ready to serve. Give it a taste and decide if you need another pinch of salt and pepper or more rosemary.
Serve the soup garnished with broken up pieces of the crispy prosciutto, croutons, Parmesan shavings and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary.
Storage & Make Ahead Instructions
Fridge - This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Store extra crispy prosciutto in the fridge. You can re-crisp it by cooking just a few seconds in the microwave. Store extra croutons in an airtight container on the counter.
Freezer - This cauliflower bean soup can be frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. You will want to make fresh toppings for serving.
I like to freeze soup in pint size glass jars for individual servings. Only fill glass jars ¾'s full to allow room for expansion. Always cool completely in the fridge first before transferring to the freezer. Thaw jars overnight in the fridge, never run them under hot water, they will crack!
Make Ahead - This soup can be made ahead a day or two in advance and kept in the fridge.
What to Serve With Cauliflower Soup
This creamy cauliflower soup, complete with all the toppings, is a complete meal on its own! For a larger meal, you could make it a soup and sandwich night, or add a salad. Try adding these favorites:
- Italian Mixed Greens Salad with Crispy Prosciutto
- Blueberry Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans
- Kale Apple Slaw Salad
- Italian Subs with Giardiniera on Ciabatta
- Easy French Dip Sandwiches with Deli Roast Beef
- BLT's with Cheese and Avocado
Any kind of white beans will work in this recipe such as great northern, cannellini, or navy beans. Even chickpeas are probably fine although I have not tried them. I always drain and rinse beans to remove excess preservatives and salt.
If your soup becomes too thick, simply add a bit of water or stock until it reaches the right consistency.
If your soup is too thin, just continue to simmer it over a low burner. Stir it often, as the steam escapes, the remaining soup will have less water in it and therefor be thicker.
Yes! For some, heavy cream, croutons, prosciutto and Parmesan cheese can be a bit too rich. If this is you, try substituting the heavy cream for half and half, milk, use half the amount, or even leave it out. You may need to add a bit of water to reach the right thickness.
Yes, the main cauliflower soup is gluten-free. The croutons, of course, are not. This soup uses pureed beans and veggies to thicken it so there is no need for flour as a thickener. You could use store-bought or homemade gluten-free croutons.
More Favorite Soups!
If you made this recipe, I'd love to hear how you liked it! Be sure to leave a star rating and a comment below!
Creamy Cauliflower White Bean Soup
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 large head cauliflower core removed, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 grinds fresh black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 15 oz cans white beans such as great northern drained and rinsed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 3 cups baguette (about half) cut in cubes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese shaved with a vegetable peeler and crumbled
- Prepare and chop veggies. Cut the cauliflower in quarters, then cut out the core and discard.
- Preheat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium high heat and add olive oil and butter to melt. Saute onion and cauliflower, stirring occasionally, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and golden, about 15 to 18 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add stock and beans. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 10 minutes.
- Anytime while the soup is cooking, make the topping. Preheat the oven to 400° convection bake. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Lay the slices of prosciutto on one half and the cubed bread on the other. Toss the bread cubes with olive oil, salt and garlic powder and toss well with your hands to combine. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes until the prosciutto is shriveled and crisp, and the croutons are golden brown and crispy.
- Add heavy cream and fresh rosemary to the soup and blend using an immersion blender or transferring in batches to a high speed blender. Blend until very smooth, then return to a low burner until ready to serve.
- Taste and add a bit more salt, pepper, or fresh rosemary to taste. Serve the soup topped with the croutons, crumbles of the crispy prosciutto, Parmesan cheese shavings, and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary if you like.
- If your soup becomes too thick, add a bit of water or stock, this may be when reheating leftovers. If it becomes too thin, allow it to simmer on a low burner and stir often to reduce it.
- To make this soup less rich, substitute the heavy cream with half & half, milk, or use less.
- This soup is gluten-free if you substitute gluten-free store-bought or homemade croutons.