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cauliflower and apple soup with olive oil-fried bread

Cauliflower and Apple Soup

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups, 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Source: Sally Schneider’s The Improvisational Cook

Schneider’s Notes: This soup lends itself to an endless number of garnishes such as crisp slivered or finely diced pancetta; diced olive oil-fried bread; a dusting of fennel pollen; crispy shallots; snipped fresh chives, chervil or flat-leafed parsley; a drizzle of roasted hazelnut oil. White truffle oil, used sparingly, adds an astonishing flavor note.


For the Purée:

  • 1 medium cauliflower (1.75 lbs – 2 lbs)
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 quart 2% or whole milk
  • 1/2 oz. angel hair pasta or other, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche or heavy cream, optional
  • freshly ground white or black pepper


Make the purée:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and roughly chop. You should have 7 to 8 cups.
  2. Transfer the cauliflower to a medium saucepan and add the apple and milk. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and stir in the pasta, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is purée-tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the solids to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth, at least one minute, adding a tablespoon or two of the reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Let the motor run for a minute or two, scraping down the sides several times until you have a fine purée. Add the butter and crème fraîche and season with a bit more salt if necessary, pepper, and another pinch of sugar (if necessary). Save the remaining cooking liquid for the soup.

To make the soup:

  1. Place cauliflower and apple purée in a medium saucepan, whisk in an equal amount of the reserved cooking liquid, and stir in a little cream. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and adjust the seasoning. Add any of the garnishes mentioned above to each serving.


  • You can prepare the purée several hours ahead of time and reheat it (or keep it warm for a shorter time), stirring occasionally, in a double boiler.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cauliflower and apple soup