Low-Carb Cauliflower Cheese Soup Recipe

cauliflower cheese soup in a black bowl
Philippe Desnerck/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Servings: 8 (1 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

209 calories
16g fat
9g carbs
10g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 (1 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 209
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 734mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 10g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 252mg 19%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 443mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

I've tried making this soup (and broccoli cheese soup) off and on over the years, but I was never totally satisfied with the result. Most recipes have cornstarch or flour, which, of course, I wanted to avoid. It seemed that if I put in enough cheese for the soup to really taste cheesy, it was kind of gloppy and tending to separate upon reheating.

With experimenting, I found that only one tablespoon of cornstarch can stabilize a whole half-pound of cheese, and adds just a little less than a gram of carb per cup. (If you don't want to use even this much ​cornstarch, see the tips at the end of the recipe.)


  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 7 inches in diameter, broken or chopped up into roughly equal florets)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (pressed, grated, or minced fine)
  • 4 cups (chicken stock or broth or 4 cups water with chicken base such as Better Than Bouillon)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (dried or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
  • 1 pinch cayenne (or other hot pepper)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon paprika (adds a nice rosy color)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese (white preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or brown)


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven (it's best if it holds about 3 quarts), heat the oil and cook the onion until it begins to soften about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook another 30 seconds or so.

  2. Add the cauliflower, and stir. Then add the chicken broth, herbs, and spices. Cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

  3. While the vegetables are cooking, grate the cheese, and toss it with the cornstarch.

  4. When the cauliflower is soft, puree the soup with an immersion (stick) blender if you have one. If not, puree in batches in a regular stand blender, but be careful not to blend too much at a time—hot liquids can "explode" when blended, spewing hot liquid all over the place.

  5. Add the cream and the cheese. Stir as the cheese melts, and then add the mustard. Taste and adjust salt and spices. Garnish with chives, parsley, or bacon crumbles.

Additional Serving Suggestions

This soup is also great with ham or greens.

To Make Without Cornstarch

To be clear, it's not bad without the cornstarch, it's just less good, especially on reheating. Other things you can do are to use about half the amount of cheese or no cheese—the soup is actually quite good as a creamy cauliflower soup. You might want to add a touch more cream in that case. Also, you can try adding some cream cheese as this tends to have a stabilizing effect in some sauces.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!
Was this page helpful?