Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Kale Pesto and Rye Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Maggie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



For the soup:
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig each thyme and rosemary
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2lb whole), cored and cut into 1 inch florets
  • 4 medium yukon gold potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup half and half or cashew cream — see note
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Kale Pesto
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3 large handfuls of kale (about 3 large stalks, stems removed)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Rye Breadcrumbs
  • 4 slices rye bread, roughly torn and crumbled into pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add garlic and cook for a minute more, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add potatoes, cauliflower, thyme and rosemary sprigs, another pinch of salt and pepper and the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and cook until cauliflower and potatoes are tender — about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon zest, juice and half and half (or cashew cream). To puree the soup, use an immersion blender straight in the pot or transfer the mixture to a blender, taking care to vent the lid to allow steam to escape. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Place toasted walnuts, kale, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parmesan in a food processor or blender. Pulse until a coarse mixture forms. With the processor/blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until smooth.
  4. Toast the breadcrumbs. Place torn bread onto a baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil and toast for approximately 15 minutes, until nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and toss with freshly grated parmesan (optional) and a small pinch of salt.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with a dollop of pesto (gently swirling it with a spoon for a pretty effect) and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Some fresh parsley and more lemon zest is a nice touch, too. Serve with extra breadcrumbs and pesto. Enjoy!


For a dairy-free option, replace the half and half with cashew cream. Cashew cream was a revelation when I had to go dairy-free for a year, and I still like to use it for its ultra-creamy consistency. To make, soak 1/2 cup raw cashews in boiling water for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Drain and place in a high-speed blender with 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency.