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cauliflower leek cheddar soup

Cauliflower Leek & Cheddar Soup

This soup is creamy and luscious with cauliflower, leeks, onion, garlic and... some vibrant sharp cheddar. It's gluten-free and can be vegan if the stock and cheese are substituted accordingly.
5 from 4 votes
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free
Servings 4 people


  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 leeks throughly washed and sliced into half moons
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium white onion sliced
  • 5 cups chicken stock plus more if needed for consistency *see notes
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar plus more for topping
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon plus more to taste, if needed
  • Chopped parsley for topping
  • Chopped scallions for toppinng


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice the head of garlic in half, crosswise. Trim the leaves off of the head of cauliflower and chop it into even sized florets.
  • Toss the cauliflower florets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them evenly onto a sheet pan with half of the garlic. Feel free to roast the other half or reserve it for another recipe (you only need half for this recipe.)
  • Roast the caulfilower and garlic for about 25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and tender. The garlic should be golden brown and softened.
  • Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the butter. Once the butter melts, adjust the heat to medium high and add the leeks. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Let them cook and sweat for 2-3 minutes, until bright green, slightly caramelized and softened. Add the onion and another pinch of kosher salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the cauliflower and garlic from the oven. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb and into the pot. Add the cauliflower, reserving 5-7 small florets for topping.
  • Pour the chicken stock and lemon juice into the pot. Taste the stock and add another pinch of kosher salt, if necesary for your taste. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the soup to a blender (if it won't all fit in the blender, do this in two batches.) Blend until smooth. Add the cheddar to the soup and then blend again for about 40 seconds, until creamy.
  • Pour the soup into bowls and top with a swirl of olive oil, parsley, scallions, reserved cauliflower, fresh cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of shredded white cheddar. Enjoy!


Most boxes of chicken stock come with 4 cups. To avoid buying 2 boxes of chicken stock and not finishing the second one, I prefer to dissolve chicken bouillon into 5 cups of water! You can use vegetable bouillon or chicken. 
Keyword cauliflower, chicken stock, fresh parsley, garlic, leeks, onion, scallions, white cheddar