Basil Pesto Cauliflower Soup

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Basil Pesto Cauliflower Soup is so easy to make, you’d expect it to taste bland, yet it is a rich, satisfying soup full of nutritional goodies and flavour. People who don’t like cauliflower will often eat this tasty meal, especially if you go a bit overboard and fry some bread in good quality olive oil to go with it.

Easy to Make, Easy to Freeze Soup

It provides surprising bulk so you feel satisfied afterwards, and it cooks in much less time than a standard vegetable soup which relies on hours of cooking for a good blend of flavours. It freezes well and can be heated from frozen in the microwave, or thawed and heated in a pot to make it look as though you just made it.

Basil Pesto Cauliflower Soup


  • 4-5 cups of chopped cauliflower
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 1/4 of a large leek
  • 2 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 2 good-sized cloves of garlic
  • large handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Tsp Himalayan rock salt (or your favourite salt)
  • white pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp of basil pesto
  • 2 tsp of coarse rice flour
  • 1 rounded tsp of veggie stock (I use Vegeta Gourmet stock)
  • water
  • cream (optional)


Use a cast-iron pot with a tight-fitting lid if you have one, otherwise any good-sized pot with a lid that fits well. Chop the bacon finely and fry in the pot with chopped onions. Chop the cauliflower into reasonably small pieces (the smaller the pieces, the more you can get in the pot) and throw them in with the bacon and onions. Chop your leek and add that to the pot along with very finely chopped garlic.

With a wooden spoon keep stirring the vegetables until they begin to get a hint of colour, have begun to wilt a bit and are covered with a sheen of oil. Sprinkle half the rice flour over the vegetables and stir them all up and then do the same with the rest of the rice flour. The rice flour will thicken with cooking and give your soup more body. Now cover the vegetables with water and put the lid on the pot and bring everything just to the boil.

While you’re waiting for the pot to come to the boil, chop the parsley very finely, as fine as possible and add it to the pot, along with the veggie stock, and salt and pepper. As soon as the soup begins to boil, turn it right down to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and can be mashed. Add the pesto, and a couple of tablespoons of cream and stir through. I use homemade pesto which I keep frozen in my fridge but any good quality basil pesto will be fine.

I like quite coarse soup, so I rough mash most of the cauliflower against the side of the pot with a fork, but if you like a creamier finish, then whizz it up.

Serving Basil Pesto Cauliflower Soup

Because I’m naughty, I usually fry some good bread in olive oil to eat with my soups. I’ve found that people who aren’t soup nuts are usually quite keen when presented with hot fried bread as an accompaniment.

Leftovers can be frozen, but Basil Pesto Cauliflower Soup will keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 days without spoiling.


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