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French Cauliflower Soup with Bacon and Herb Garnish •The Domestic Front

French Cauliflower Soup with Bacon and Herb Garnish 11

Cauliflower Soup 2

I sometimes feel like I’m running perpetually behind. Is it 5:00 already? Is it February already? How am I suddenly six months pregnant? Remember that vacation we took to Paris last July? I never shared it with all of you because I just finished editing my photos in DECEMBER. Expect a post in about April.

The nice thing about being behind on things is that reminders can feel like discoveries. When editing my Paris photos, I found the pictures I took at a wonderful meal we ate in the Latin quarter at Bistro y Papilles. Located in a small wine store, with a different set menu every night, it was the kind of wonderful meals that makes you feel like you’re really in Paris. The menu that night started with a velvety cauliflower soup, served at the table in a big tureen. We were presented with shallow soup bowls that were garnished with a “salad” with lardons, croutons, cauliflower, herbs and creme fraiche, and the hot soup was ladled over the salad. All the garnishes brought a wonderful textural contrast to the soup, and it was one of the best things we ate that week.


I’ve been making this easy cauliflower soup from Dorie Greenspan all winter. It’s simple and relatively quick, and is creamy and smooth with no cream. But editing my pictures reminded me of that wonderful dish. It lacked the charming Parisian bistro date with my husband flavor, but certainly kicked the simple cauliflower soup up a notch. It makes the soup into a meal, accompanied by a green salad and some crusty bread, natch. (I should have called this blog “” since it’s the serving suggestion for just about everything!)

Cauliflower Soup 1

I figured I would try to share it with you before next July, when I figure nobody will be wanting cauliflower soup. Unless, of course, you’re in Paris.

French Cauliflower Soup with Bacon and Herb Garnish
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
For the soup
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 12 oz. cauliflower florets (I cheat and buy the prebroken florets at Trader Joe's)
  • 6 c. chicken broth
  • Salt and Pepper
For the garnish:
  • Pancetta or thick cut bacon, cut into cubes
  • Sturdy bread (I like the Pain Pascal from Trader Joe's), cut into small cubes
  • raw cauliflower, 1-2 florets, diced into tiny pieces (kitchen shears work admirably)
  • chives, minced
  • creme fraiche - 1-2 T per bowl
To make the soup:
  1. Finely chop the onions, garlic, celery and thyme.
  2. In a 4 qt. pot or dutch oven, melt the butter and the olive oil together. Add the chopped onions, garlic, celery and thyme, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Stir together to coat the vegetables in the butter, then cover and cook, stirring frequently, over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft.
  4. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Serve over garnish, with additional pepper.
To garnish:
  1. Fry the pancetta or bacon, then set aside and crisp the bread cubes into croutons in the bacon fat.Pile the croutons, bacon, cauliflower, and chives in a shallow soup bowl. Top with creme fraiche, and ladle hot soup over the whole.
Soup recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. I can't recommend this cookbook enough




11 thoughts on “French Cauliflower Soup with Bacon and Herb Garnish

  1. Reply AntoniaJames Feb 1,2012 9:25 pm

    I stumbled on this today, and made it for dinner! I had planned to make some kind of cauliflower soup to go with duck confit + Gruyere panini sandwiches and salad for dinner tonight. I didn’t have a favorite non-curry cauliflower soup this afternoon, but I do now. I used about a pound of cauliflower florets; I did not measure the thyme leaves, but stripped away the leaves from 3 healthy branches. And I added a touch of half and half at the end. Just because. Love this recipe! ;o)

  2. Reply The Rowdy Chowgirl Feb 2,2012 9:45 pm

    That really is a great photo, and Around My French Table really is that good. Don’t know how I’ve missed this soup recipe, but I think I need to make it this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Reply Rocky Mountain Woman Feb 3,2012 9:54 am

    Looks wonderful. I actually love soup all year round and make it a lot in the summer with all the fresh veggies..

    Love the idea of the “salad” in the bowl with soup on top!!!

  4. Reply parisbreakfast Feb 3,2012 12:51 pm

    Looks so delish!
    Funny they have a similar recipe up on the site using pumpkin/poitiron!
    Thanks for the resto & the recipe

  5. Reply sippitysup Feb 3,2012 4:37 pm

    It’s not February. Don’t tell me it’s February. I am still working on my Christmas cards… but dreams of Paris keep me from it. Thanks GREG

  6. Reply Cynthia Feb 7,2012 8:17 pm

    Looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try it this weekend.

  7. Reply Rachel @ Bakerita Feb 7,2012 9:46 pm

    This sounds amazing! Definitely make that soon…can’t wait. I’m a huge soup fan, and aren’t the croutons the best part of any soup or salad?

  8. Reply Joy (My Turkish Joys) Feb 15,2012 8:22 am

    Of course, I love anything with bacon added to it! The soup looks great! Now, I’ll just have to save my bacon for it.

  9. Reply Jill Mant~a SaucyCook Feb 15,2012 9:14 pm

    This sounds so great and I love the idea of presenting it with the “salad” in the bowl and then ladling the soup over it. Yum!! I also don’t believe that we are behind. It is just that THEY sped up the time!!

  10. Reply Sarah ( Feb 27,2012 9:55 pm

    Absolutely loved it! I think I could live on this stuff… thanks for sharing this, Kate, I need to get this cookbook!

  11. Reply Laura S. Apr 25,2013 7:14 pm

    Just made this tonight. I added a bit of chèvre instead of creme fraiche as that is what I had. Delicious all around!

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