Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cauliflower and White Bean Bisque

We bought an enormous head of organic cauliflower this morning at the farmers market. One head of cauliflower weighed 4 pounds and 12.8 ounces. It may have been the biggest head of cauliflower I have ever seen. With the temperature at 48 this morning I immediately thought of soup. I added the white beans to give the soup a more velvety body and it worked well. The texture was very creamy, but you couldn’t taste the beans.

My parents thought I made cream of potato soup not cauliflower until I corrected their misconception. They both enjoyed it and told me that they wouldn’t mind having this again. So, I would say this recipe is omnivore approved. My folks are definitely your traditional meat and potatoes omnivores.

I added a few garnishes to the soup since it was rather dull looking without them. They added to the flavor, but honestly they were more for appearances so you could leave them out.

Cauliflower and White Bean Bisque
Serves 8

Base Soup Ingredients:

1 cup great northern beans, picked through and rinsed
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 leek, white and light green part only, thoroughly rinsed and chopped
½ cup water to sauté aromatics
4 ¾ pounds cauliflower, broken into chunks
water or light vegetable stock to cover
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Soup Garnish Ingredients:

2 merguez flavored seitan sausages, cut into quarters lengthwise and then into ¼ inch pieces
water or dry white wine to reheat sausages (about a ½ cup)
¼ cup cilantro, finely minced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested


Cook the white beans in the water with a bay leaf until completely tender.

Cook the onion, leek and garlic in a little water until soft. Add the cauliflower, enough water to just cover the cauliflower and the salt and cook until the cauliflower is very tender.

Puree the soup in batches in your blender and pour into another pot to keep it warm until the garnish is ready.

Reheat the merguez sausage in a little water or wine.

To serve, pour the soup into a bowl, top with cilantro, merguez bits, radish slices and lemon zest. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 204.27
Calories From Fat (7%) - 14.82

Total Fat - 1.71g
Saturated Fat - 0.24g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 476.95mg
Potassium - 1213.56mg
Total Carbohydrates - 34.19g
Fiber - 12.22g
Sugar - 8.06g
Protein - 17.6g


This soup tastes like a potato soup. The texture is very smooth and creamy without any milk.

You can use garnish to change this soup in any number of ways. I choose merguez seitan because that is what I had in the freezer but any vegan sausage would work. Parsley could be substituted for the cilantro. The sharp bite of the radishes was very nice against the rich soup. A little salad of baby arugula would also be a nice garnish if you prefer that to the radish.

If you want to forgo the garnish add some nutritional yeast and vegan bacon bits and you would have a healthy version of potato, cheddar and bacon soup.


  1. It looks wonderful. it is so cold tonight.. should have made this!

  2. Debra,

    Thanks. This is a quick soup too which is another bonus.



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