Cauliflower-Corn Soup

As we are about to go out of town soon and about to turn our kitchen over to the people who will be living in our house while we are gone, I have been engaged for the last week in cooking to clear space in the fridge and cupboards for them. This, it turns out, is a pretty useful exercise. I’ve used up lots of vegetables that I would normally have probably forgotten about and allowed to rot; and I’ve also managed to use up some canned stuff I might have been embarrassed to have people see in my pantry. In the process I’ve actually come up with some recipes that we’ve really liked and which will enter my normal rotation when we’re back. This cauliflower-corn soup fits all those descriptions. It’s also easy, delicious and healthy: rich and creamy without the presence of cream. And if you’re the enterprising sort you can also replace the one potentially embarrassing ingredient with a more virtuous freshly made version.

  • 1-1.5 lbs of cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 quart chicken stock (or substitute veg stock)
  • Salt to taste
  • A few grindings of pepper
  • 2 tblspns olive oil
  • 1/2 tblspn good vinegar



  1. Set the oven to heat to 400ºf.
  2. While the oven is heating toss the cauliflower with the oil and some salt and pepper and place in a cast iron skillet or some other oven safe dish that is large enough to hold the florets in one layer. Put the unpeeled garlic cloves on top.
  3. Once the oven is at temperature, roast the cauliflower and garlic for 40-60 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower to a saucepan and add the stock and the cream corn. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its peel and into the pot.
  5. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and then simmer for 15 minutes or so.
  6. Take the pot off the heat and once it has cooled somewhat, puree it in batches in a blender, getting it as smooth as possible.
  7. Return the blended soup to the pot, bring back to a simmer and taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  8. Add the vinegar and mix in. Take off heat and serve with crusty bread.


  1. At this ratio of cauliflower-cream corn the cauliflower flavour is not dominant. That might be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view. I used as much cauliflower I had but next time I’ll probably up it to two pounds (and up the stock a bit accordingly).
  2. You might also want to roast the cauliflower a little less in the first step if you want it less nutty and more cauliflowery.
  3. You might also want to reduce the amount of garlic.
  4. I used Rancho Gordo’s excellent pineapple vinegar. You could use any nice vinegar. You could also leave out the vinegar, though I thought the bit of acid made the rest less cloying.
  5. I originally served this with seared scallops floating in it. It’s a nice combination; also good probably would be a garnish of roasted pine nuts. I might also try a version with roasted pine nuts added at the first simmer stage and then blended with the rest.
  6. If you want it richer, you could add a cup of cream or coconut milk after blending the cauliflower and corn and simmer it a little longer. If you use coconut milk I’d again recommend the Aroy-D tetrapaks. You should probably leave out the vinegar if you use regular cream.

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