Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Mins
Serves 4

Serve with a salad of parsley leaves and 6 ounces arugula, tossed with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 2

Place cauliflower in a large bowl; drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat. Arrange mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 40 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring once after 30 minutes.

Step 3

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ham; cook 3 minutes or until crisp. Remove ham; drain on paper towels. Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in pan. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cauliflower, stock, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half. Place half of cauliflower mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth; pour pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat with remaining cauliflower mixture. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Step 4

Place torn bread in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until coarsely chopped. Melt remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a skillet over medium heat; swirl. Add breadcrumbs; sauté 5 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Combine ham, breadcrumbs, parsley, and toasted almonds. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumb mixture.

Ratings & Reviews

Mallia's Review

May 04, 2013
I made this exactly as described. It was great. the topping makes it. Great flavor and filling.

Different and interesting

July 19, 2016
I used my immersion blender which made it much easier at the end.  Hubby liked this more than I did.  I agree that it is filling, I'm just not sure the flavors wowed me enough to make again.  So many better CL soup recipes out there - especially the Loaded Potato Soup.

Delicious, with a few modifications

March 27, 2016
I added salt, omitted the water, added a little more half and half and some white wine.  It has a lovely earthy taste - almost mushroomy.  Very good.

ElaineRuth's Review

November 11, 2014
This is an excellent recipe. I didn't have enough cauliflower so I used some carrots, added a tablespoon of curry powder, and used a can of coconut milk in lieu of the half and half. Turned out great.. love the topping!

ChefKiki's Review

March 04, 2014
We really liked this soup! I didn't add the bacon and other toppings to save on calories and it was still a wonderful soup.

Smelleck's Review

January 27, 2014
This soup is really good and filling. I agree that it is the topping is what sets it apart. I simmered too long and used the broth that I had on hand (not low sodium) so my soup was WAY too salty, but that was all my doing. I can't wait to make this again - I have already stocked up on the low sodium broth for this and look forward to trying the modifications mentioned by @dullmargirl42.

BarbPila's Review

November 03, 2013
This was a delicious, satisfying soup. I only had bacon on hand so I used it instead of prociutto. I roasted the cauliflower at 375 for 50 minutes and it was perfect. I skipped the topping due to lack of ingredients and sprinkled with the crisp bacon crumbles. Can't wait to try the toppings in the recipe though... I will definitely make this again.

sbeaumont's Review

February 19, 2013
I absolutely loved this soup!! Definitely on my favorite list!

LDombeck's Review

January 30, 2013
I only thought this was good, but nothing special. As another reviewer said, the cauliflower burned around the edges and made the soup a tan color. It still tasted good, but I don't think I will make again any time soon.

promogal's Review

January 30, 2013
One of the best soups I've ever made. Will make this forever. I used boiled sliced ham instead of prosciutto as I'm not a big prosciutto fan & it's expensive. Immersion blender worked great instead of messing with blender. Made double the topping. So good!