Real Women of Philadelphia: Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Bacon, Cheddar, and Chives

by Nicole on May 16, 2011

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kraft.

The more I eat this soup, the more I think I should have named it “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Loaded Baked Potato Soup!” If, like me, you are trying to cut back on your carbohydrate consumption but have occasional cravings for a hearty potato soup, this one will definitely satisfy your needs.

But this soup isn’t just for low-carbers. It’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made and I’m pretty sure that everyone will love it – even cauliflower-haters. It’s amazing what a little cream cheese and bacon can do to a vegetable soup!

I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese in this soup and it’s one of the products you can use to enter Kraft’s Real Women of Philadelphia recipe video contest. Want to meet Paula Deen? Think you have what it takes be a cooking star? Want a chance to win $25,000? Head over the Real Women of Philadelphia site to join the community, find inspiration, and learn how to enter.

It’s entrĂ©e week over at RWoP and I created this hearty soup to help inspire you to participate!

I’m always amazed when a soup that tastes as great as this one starts with such simple ingredients. I used onion, cauliflower, bacon, cream cheese, cream, chives, and chicken stock. The cheddar is for garnish.

Start by cooking the bacon in your soup pot – a large saucepan is perfect.

Cook over medium heat until the bacon is nice and crisp.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy bacon pieces to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Pour off some of the bacon drippings, but leave about 2 tablespoons in the pot along with all that brown stuff stuck to the bottom. If your bacon doesn’t leave you with 2 tablespoons of drippings, just supplement with some butter.

Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. It will smell amazing!

When the onions look like this, it’s time to add more ingredients!

Turn up the heat then add the cauliflower and chicken stock and stir, scraping up all those browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid come to a boil then cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender enough to mash.

Add the cubes of cream cheese…

then mash it all together with a potato masher.

Now it’s time to stir in the heavy cream.

The first time I made this soup, I left it a little chunky like this. If you like a smooth and creamy soup, then break out the immersion blender! Of course you can puree it in batches in a regular blender as well. If you want a chunky soup, then skip this step.

This time around, I made the soup very smooth. It’s delicious either way, so the choice is yours.

Now it’s time to add the bacon and chives. Be sure to reserve some of the bacon pieces and chives for garnish!

Stir everything together and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. That’s it!

Serve the bowls of soup with lots of shredded cheddar cheese, reserved bacon pieces, and chives.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Bacon, Cheddar, and Chives
Serves 4

1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium (2 1/2 pound) cauliflower, cored and chopped into florets
2 cups chicken stock or broth
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 6 pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off bacon drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan (if you end up with less than 2 tablespoons of drippings, add enough butter to bring the total amount up to 2 tablespoons).

Add chopped onion to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat, add cauliflower and chicken stock and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When liquid comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until cauliflower is tender enough to mash, 15-20 minutes.

Add the cream cheese and mash and stir the cauliflower and cream cheese with a potato masher. Stir in the heavy cream. If you would like a smooth soup, puree to desired consistency in the pot with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender (then return to pot).

Stir in 3/4 of the reserved bacon pieces (save the extra for garnish) and 1 tablespoon of chopped chives (save the extra for garnish). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot soup garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, and chopped chives.

Yield: 4 servings

Now that you see how easy it is to incorporate Philadelphia Cream Cheese into an entree, maybe you should create your own! Head over to Kraft’s Real Women of Philadelphia site to join the community, see what other are cooking up, and if inspiration strikes, enter the contest for a chance to win $25,000!

To see what other food bloggers are creating with Philadelphia products, check out the BlogHer roundup page!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

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2 chona July 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

Im soup lover , now this will be added to my list and I will try this tonight and im sure my husband will love this hmmn, looks very tasty. I will serve this with garlic bread. Perfect for my diet.. thanks

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5 Crystal March 23, 2013 at 12:47 am

I just got done making a pot of this wonderful stuff!! I started a low carb diet and have been living on sausage, cheese and cutie oranges! This was a wonderful change! I am glad I decided to double the recipe! I LOVE IT!

6 Arden December 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized it’s
new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking it
and checking back regularly!

7 Cheryl December 13, 2012 at 2:18 am

So delicious. I pinned it, with link to you, of course. :) So easy, instant gratification. Yummy winter fare. ?

8 Katie November 14, 2012 at 3:04 am

Can’t recommend this enough! Turned out perfect.

9 Linda November 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I really like that this soup does not require flour and making a cheese sauce type base. I will definately be trying this. Thank you.

10 Caeles September 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm

This was so good! I’ve made other cauliflower soups that have been less
Then spectacular but the cream cheese and bacon made this awesome! My 4 yesr old liked it too (my husband not so much. He’s challenging.) I’m watching my carbs too so thanks very much.

I see others are concerned about fat. Well I used light cream cheese and turkey bacon(not the cardboard kind; the Oscar Mayer) Turned out great!

11 Melissa June 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I make this soup dairy free. No cream cheese or cheese and just about 1/2 cup of almond milk blended in at the end instead of cream. My daughter even said…. “Wow, this tastes just like loaded baked potatoes!” She loved it and she’s very Anti-veggie. It’s a winner! Wish I could try your version, but the dairy would not work. At least it’s a flexible recipe.

12 Kelli February 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

I’m making it right now, and I’ve test tasted it and it’s delicious!

13 Krystyna January 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Insanely delicious! I’ve just made this soup today, and, by the way, you people sure do have big cauliflowers over there! (I put in two small ones and it was barely enough in terms of pounds/grams). The soup came out great-looking, hearty and very, *very* thick. I always skimp on the broth when I make creamy soups, because if I add the whole amount, the soup usually comes out watery and not creamy enough. And gues what… this time I had to go over the proposed amount! By half a cup at least – that’s how thick this soup is. Thanks for the recipe, it’s definitely a keeper.

14 Connie / Marinating Online January 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I am making this right now. I will let you know how it goes. very excited… I need to get a life.

15 DK September 3, 2011 at 4:05 am

Holy effing cow. I have been low-carbing for almost two years and have missed potatoes SO much. I made this soup today, put it in the blender and it was perfect! My tongue really does think it is potatoes! I am so happy to finally have a comfort food for cold weather and will be making this soup until I die! Thank you!!!

16 Poppy Richman June 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm

should i try this? can’t use bacon, am diabetic, but love cailiflower. can i use half’nhalf instead of the real stuff? cheddar and cream cheeses are right up my cooking alley. and i do have a wonderful immersion blender. is this a go or a faggetit?

17 Amy May 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

There is something very special about a soup that evokes great memories. Normally for me it’s clam chowder or elk chili. But this could very well be a new favorite! Going to try this one out for sure! My fav thing to do is present something and not tell whoever is eating it what “different” ingredient is in the mix. I just won’t show them the fabulous photos until AFTER the meal! Thanks!!

18 Diane May 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I am a big potatoe soup eater, but I use leeks instead of onions. ummm. I wonder. Sounds good to me.

19 Caviar girl May 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm

wow this looks super yummy!!
A great alternative, will definitely have to try it! might use lite cream though :P

20 LunaCafe May 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I love cauliflower soup and this one looks especially appealing. Love your step-by-step photos. …Susan

21 Jennifer May 17, 2011 at 12:03 am

I just made this, as I have been sorely missing the flavor of loaded potato soup since going vegetarian in September. I debated about buying some faux bacon to add, but in the end decided not to. I also didn’t get to blend it well but it still turned out excellent! I love chives so I added extra to make up for the missing bacon, and just realized I forgot to add the cheese, but it was still great!

22 Stacy May 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Helen… check out Calorie Count (http://caloriecount.about.com/)… under “Foods”, select “New Recipe”. You can just copy and paste the ingredients into the calculator (make sure you remember to adjust the serving size) and voila! it should give you a pretty good guesstimate. Looks to be about 41g of fat a bowl. I’m on a Kefir kick so I’ve been replacing anything that calls for heavy cream or whipping cream with Low-fat Kefir milk (it has the consistency of a slightly runny yogurt). It knocks it down to about 38g of fat. The bacon’s the killer in this one… no bacon= 15g of fat a bowl… but there is just NO substitution for bacon… great, now I’m drooling! … mmm … bacon …

23 Helen May 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Looks delicious! Do you have the nutritional information on this soup? I’d be interested in the fat and calorie counts.

24 Sara May 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

My mom’s homemade potato soup, of course with potatoes and not cauliflower, but this sounds like it would be wonderful!!! Such a comfort food kind of soup, which is one of my favs. :)

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