For a hearty and savory soup this winter, make this creamy bacon cauliflower soup.
Is the weather starting to get cooler where you live?
This next week finally shows the weather cooling off for us, and it has me in the mood for soup!
So if you enjoyed the flavors of my recipe for bacon cauliflower “potato” salad, then it’s time to trade in the cold side salad for a bowl of warm soup!
Using similar ingredients, we can make a bowl of soup hearty enough to be a meal on its own, or the perfect side for pork loin or even a Thanksgiving turkey!
See below for more serving and garnish ideas!
And this is a great dish to make with friends and family since it fits a variety of diets such as keto, paleo, AIP, and even Whole30 (hint hint for anyone starting their Whole30 in January!).
How to Make Dairy-Free Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Soup
So how do we achieve a thick, creamy soup that’s paleo, AIP, and Whole30 complaint?
Pureed cauliflower and coconut milk!
Using either a blender cup or an immersion blender, we can turn cauliflower into a thickener for our soup.
And full-fat coconut milk makes this soup wonderfully creamy!
These two ingredients are the “secret sauce” of a creamy, yet dairy-free soup!
I know there are also options out there to use cashews in some plant based dairy replacements, but I am personally highly allergic to tree nuts which is why cauliflower and coconut milk are my go-to replacements.
If you don’t have a tree-nut allergy, you could also try using an almond milk or using cashews, but unfortunately I won’t be able to give you any advice on how to use those substitutes.
But if you do try one of those nut substitutes and it works well, leave me a comment below!
How to Make Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Soup With Milk (and Other Dairy Products!)
But what if you aren’t avoiding dairy?
Or what if you follow the keto diet and want to increase the protein and fats in this soup?
For anyone who isn’t trying to avoid dairy, there are so many great dairy products that you can add to this soup!
First, feel free to use heavy cream instead of the can of coconut milk.
Use 1.5 cups of heavy cream or even half-and-half instead of the coconut milk!
Second, feel free to add in some extra butter!
You can do this while you make the soup, or you can add butter to your bowl if you like “just starting to melt” butter.
Or instead of butter, break out some cream cheese!
And third, add the optional shredded cheese!
Like I said, there are so many options for add-in’s if you tolerate dairy!
Can Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Soup Be Frozen?
Whether you make this soup as the dairy or dairy-free version, both kinds can be frozen.
So this recipe can be doubled to make a large batch.
Then you can freeze some for a quick grab and go lunch for work or for a quick family meal after kids evening activities!
The easiest way to freeze soup is to use something like these “souper” cubes so that you can freeze the soup and then put the frozen chunks into a different storage container for longer storage.
I have also frozen soup in these silicone freezer bags with great success.
The advantage of the “souper” cubes is that you could pop them straight into a pan to reheat from frozen.
Soup frozen in a silicone bag, on the other hand, would have to be thawed first.
NOTE: You will just want to freeze it without the bacon in it, otherwise the bacon will be soft and soggy when you reheat it.
You can either store the bacon in a separate container or make new bacon to crumble when you are ready to eat the soup.
If you store the bacon separately, make it crispy again by heating it in a broiler for a few minutes!
What to Serve With Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Soup?
As I mentioned above, this soup can be enjoyed as your main dish or as a side dish.
There are also lots of different toppings that you can use to garnish this soup!
If you are looking for some ideas of what to serve with this soup, let me help!
So let’s first cover ideas for soup garnishes.
Then we will cover what sides you could serve with this soup as the star dish of your meal.
And finally we will cover other main dishes you could serve with this soup.
So now you have this rich flavored, blank white canvas of soup ready for some toppings!
This recipe calls for the soup to be topped with bacon crumbles (although you could choose to leave them off!).
Depending on what diet you follow, I have a variety of garnishes listed below.
Please keep in mind that not all of these toppings are suitable for every diet (like dairy options for paleo/AIP/Whole30).
But here are some ideas on what you can top your soup with:
- Bacon Crumbles (for color like I did in the pictures for this recipe)
- Diced ham
- Chopped green onion
- Parsley (for color like I did in the pictures for this recipe)
- Finely diced sweet onion
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream
- Plain Yogurt
- Crushed chips (we like Siete chips!)
- Homemade croutons
- Parmesan crisps
Side Dish Ideas
So now that you have your soup toppings chosen, what can you serve alongside this soup?
I tend to think of serving soup with bread or crackers.
You could also enjoy this soup with light an fluffy cheese souffles!
If you are looking for something besides bread-y things, try a vegetable side!
You could make garlic roasted beets, green beans, zucchini, or Brussels sprouts.
Or serve with a green salad, which leads me to other “main dish” ideas!
Main Dish Ideas
For more of a Panera style, serve this soup with your favorite sandwich or with a salad.
It’s like a make your own pick two!
Or for more of a classic “meat and potatoes” meal, serve with any of the following:
- Blueberry Turkey Meatballs
- Cranberry Orange Meatballs
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Grilled or Oven Baked Chicken
- BBQ Ribs
- Roast Beef
- Duck Legs
For a hearty and savory soup this winter, make this creamy bacon cauliflower soup which you can enjoy with dairy or keep dairy-free!
- 1 pound of bacon (keep the bacon fat!)
- 2 heads cauliflower (use already prepared florets or bags of frozen florets to make things easier!)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 small onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup parsley
- Optional: 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the bacon until crispy. Timing will depend on the size and thickness of your bacon but it should take between 10-16 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the heads of cauliflower into florets and steam them until very soft. Again, the size of your florets will change cook time, but it should take about 6-10 minutes.
- Place the steamed cauliflower, coconut milk, salt, onion, and garlic into a large blender pitcher. Pour in the bacon fat from the baking tray (pouring off the bacon fat will also help the bacon get crispy). Blend until smooth. Alternatively, add everything to a large pot and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
- Pour the pureed cauliflower mixture into a large pot (if you used the blender pitcher). Stir in the parsley and add the cheese (if using). Heat the soup until steaming hot.
- While the soup is heating, crumble the bacon (it should be cool enough to handle now).
- Serve the hot soup topped with bacon bits and any other desired toppings (see above for ideas!)
- Storage: Let the soup cool for 30 minutes on the counter. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: This soup is also great for storing in the freezer. See above for how to freeze creamy bacon cauliflower soup!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes