Cauliflower Kale Soup with Crunchy Kale Topping

Cauliflower-Kale Soup topped off with crunchy kale chips is an easy, sensational, seasonal soup to make. Loaded with cauliflower, kale, onions, celery, garlic and chicken stock, this soup gets it's start by pureeing the ingredients into a creamy texture.

The result is a flavor that is luscious and delicious with every spoonful. Topped with some crispy kale chips adds a satisfying crunch. So tasty, this soup surprisingly proved to be a winner, even to my most reluctant eaters.

It's February! Always a good month to break out the Dutch oven or soup pot and get cooking! Our family loves to be able to come home from work and simply warm up some soup; even leftovers! !

Soups are good for you, especially the ones filled with nutrients to help boost the immune system. That fact alone makes this recipe a perfect dish to serve your family this time of year.  I must confess that when I came across this recipe in a magazine, I was a little skeptical at first to try it, but my instincts told me to go ahead and experiment.

Simply roast the cauliflower for about 20 minutes. While that's roasting in the oven, prepare the soup by sautéing the onions, garlic and celery together with some olive oil in a soup pot. Then add in the broth, cauliflower, and fresh baby kale. Simmer the soup on low heat for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender to puree.

The first time I made this soup was last week when I was visiting my daughter and 3 grandchildren in chilly New York, with all that snow.  My sister Liz was visiting for the weekend, and when I told her what I was attempting to make, she thought this soup "sounded disgusting!"

But the result took her by surprise; and actually, took us all by surprise!  So much so, that we all had 2 bowls of this delicious soup.  The added touch that made this soup so amazing was the topping of the crunchy kale chips. So easy to make; bake them with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. And, OMG! They turned out so well, I had to make a second batch immediately because my daughter and I couldn't stop eating the kale chips as soon as it came out of the oven - they were THAT good!

While the addition of the kale chips takes the soup to another level, the bonus to this cauliflower kale soup is that it's low in calories, low in fat and dairy-free!
What could be better than a bowl of soup on cold, winter nights.

Here's a Cauliflower tip:  Every time I mention cooking cauliflower, the most asked question arises; "Is there a way to prepare cauliflower to prevent that terrible smell?"  Yes, there are better options to cooking cauliflower.  First, don't steam or boil it.  Rather, roasting or sautéing cauliflower is the best way to go to prevent that stinky stench.  Also, when you add olive oil and fresh garlic to the cauliflower (even some herbs), the resulting aroma will make your house smell wonderful!

Cauliflower-Kale Soup with Crunchy Kale Chips

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil - divided
  • 5 ounce package of baby kale, divided 
  • 1 large yellow onion - diced
  • 3 to 4 stalks of celery- sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves - chopped
  • 6 to 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • optional- grated parmigiana cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a large baking sheet, spread cauliflower and drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper over them. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until tender.

Make Kale Chips: Reduce the heat to 300 degrees.  On a large baking sheet, scatter half the kale onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil over the kale.
Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until crispy, tossing the kale at least once. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven or a large soup pot, over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.
Add the onion and celery and sauté for about 8 minutes, until softened.
Add the cauliflower and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Stir in the remaining kale, simmer for another 10 minutes. Puree soup in a blender in batches, or use an immersion hand-held blender.

Ladle into bowls. Top with crispy kale chips; add a much as you like.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese at the table.

Serves 6 to 8
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen
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