Quick Cauliflower Soup or Quick Broccoli Soup

One Recipe, Two Soups!

A quick weeknight or lunch-time soup, made with either broccoli or cauliflower and only four more pantry ingredients. The two soups are "plain" – plain as in unadorned, uncomplicated, unfussy – but not the least bit plain, taste-wise. This recipe is a dieter's staple, something to make again and again because it's so filling and satisfying yet adds up to just a few calories.

Fresh & Flexible. Weeknight Easy, Just Five Ingredients. Low Carb & Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. Great for Meal Prep. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.
Quick Broccoli Soup (or Cauliflower Soup) ♥ KitchenParade.com, quick delicious soup made with just five ingredients, starring either broccoli or cauliflower or a combination! Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

And snows shall fly, the big flakes fat and furry.
– Donald Justice, poet

Taking Stock in This, The New Year

With a few post-holiday pounds settling all too comfortably around our waists, it’s time for a few weeks of more judicious intake. Start with this pair of fast, healthful soups, cooked the same but tasting so different.

Conventional diet wisdom says to avoid snacks between meals. Instead, I leave snacks on the counter for the taking – a measured amount of healthful foods, that is. In winter, you’d find carrot sticks or almonds, in summer blueberries or chunks of cantaloupe.

Lately, however, I’ve fallen for crunchy, spicy croutons, a slice’s worth in a small bowl, ready for the grabbing.

The "Convenience" of Canned Soup vs the Wonder of Homemade Soup

Sure, you can heat up a can of soup in 10 minutes. But why would you when you can eat something THIS good in 25 minutes?

This recipe spent too much time in my "short stack" of recipes to make soon (vs the "tall stack" of those to make some time far in the future). But once made, the sheer speed and deliciousness of this simple soup took me entirely by surprise.

That's even despite the first pot being ill-advised. After all, what sane cook makes hot soup when outside it's 97F and 99H? (You recognize the familiar F for Fahrenheit, the unfamiliar H is for Missouri humidity.)

But oh the wonder that is homemade soup some times, even during the heat of summer.

And besides, how could just plain ol' broccoli cook so quickly and taste so good?

And the cauliflower version? Even better.

Cauliflower, Broccoli or Even a Combination

Quick Cauliflower Soup (or Broccoli Soup) ♥ KitchenParade.com, quick delicious soup made with just five ingredients, starring either broccoli or cauliflower or a combination! Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

This is such a versatile recipe, all broccoli, all cauliflower or, from a tip from a reader, a combination of broccoli and cauliflower! The soup doesn't taste plain but it does look plain so if aesthetics are important, be sure to plan ahead for something to garnish the top. I happen to love the look of flat layers of cauliflower, cooked until just soft and then removed before puréeing the soup.

  • "It was fabulous!" ~ Adrienne on A Veggie Venture
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  • "I ... like or LOVE [your recipes]. This was no exception." ~ Anonymous
  • "This was great! ... Delicious ...!" ~ Anonymous
  • "WOW! Talk about a homerun!" ~ Cathy on A Veggie Venture
  • "This is awesome." ~ Anonymous on A Veggie Venture

Just updated! First published way back in 2006!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time-to-table: 25 minutes
Makes 6 cups
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 dried bay leaves, optional
  • 1 pound cauliflower or 1 pound of broccoli crowns and stems, chopped into small pieces (or frozen cauliflower or broccoli)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the broth or stock to a boil in microwave.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot on medium high. Heat the olive oil until shimmery, then add the onion and bay leaves, stirring to coat with fat. Cook until onions begin to soften and turn gold, stirring often.

Add the cauliflower or broccoli, stirring to coat with oil and onion flavor. Let cook, turning occasionally for 1 - 2 minutes. Stir in the hot broth or stock. Cover and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves.

Transfer a third of the hot mixture (see ALANNA’s TIPS) to a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth while continuing to cook the rest. Repeat with another third, then the final third.

Season to taste and serve topped with a small spoon of low-fat sour cream or croutons. Or both!

ALANNA's TIPS This soup is so simple and yet it's full of flavor and texture. It's filling and satisfying. For Weight Watchers, it tastes way "more points" than it is, especially the cauliflower soup. From my experience with No-Cream Creamy Cauliflower Soup, I think you could substitute water for stock or broth, resulting in a creamy-white color. The soup cooks more quickly when the water or stock or broth is heated beforehand. But if you’re in no hurry, skip this step. Do be careful when puréeing the hot mixture. If you put too much into the blender or food processor at once, it’ll blow sky high. Watch for subtly flavored Turkish bay leaves the next time you’re out. With the cauliflower version, sometimes, I skip the blender step and just roughly mash the cooked cauliflower with a fork. For a little more zip, try the Spicy Cauliflower Soup from A Veggie Venture. I often use Homemade Vegetable Bouillon for the liquid portion of this soup.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 72 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 645mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1


Cut whole-grain bread into cubes and toss with salt and spices such as oregano, thyme, sage or whatever smells good. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350F/180C for 30 minutes, longer if needed, turning once or twice. Transfer to freezer bags for storage.

More Broccoli Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Power Food Broccoli Salad Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli Casserole Grilled Vegetables in Foil
~ more broccoli recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli ~
~ Broccoli & Tomato Thai Curry ~
~ Broccoli, Potato & Cheddar Soup ~
~ more broccoli recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

More Cauliflower Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs Cauliflower Risotto Spiced Chicken with Cauliflower Tagine
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Cauliflower Spanish 'Rice' ~
~ Roasted Cauliflower ~
~ Creamy Cauliflower Gratin ~
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 & 2019 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. As my New Years resolution I am trying to eat healthy and add more veggies to my diet. I stumbled accross your blog and this is the first recipe I have tried. Great, easy recipe, amazing site! Thank you for helping me make my New Years resolution a little easier.

  2. Anonymous1/16/2011

    Like lots of people, my Mom and I have decided to lose weight this year. The first place I turned was your blog to get recipes - I've only made one of them I didn't like or LOVE. This was no exception. I put the onion in the blender with half of a shallot I had left over from making your Bouillon today. I used 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups of homemade veg broth from the trimmings from making the bouillon. It was tasty. I added 1 tablespoon of Kraft 3 Cheese Blend to about 1 cup of soup to make it a little richer. I would like to add that, unlike you, I am not a huge vegetable person, so finding SO MANY veg-rich recipes that I like is awesome.

  3. Anonymous1/26/2011

    This was great! I changed it up a little: shook my bag of frozen cauliflower with turmeric, nigella seeds, cumin and coriander seed. Roasted at 375 in a parchment lined casserole for an hour (so no oil, yay!), then went ahead as directed. Delicious, thanks for the recipe!

  4. I love everyone of these soups. I've lost weight and unlike the earlier versions of this diet, I have found there is absolutly no reason to feel hungry. These recipies are really great, and my family likes them too!! Thanks for sharring. Kip Franks


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna