We’re all familiar with cauliflower cheese, and the comfort it brings on a chilly day. It was one of the dishes I would revert to making in my twenties after a long, hard day at work – simple and familiar, a kind of hug on a plate.

The Kettlewell Hostel recipe here is that comfort in soup form. Rather than blitzing the cheese in with the soup and risking making something that would have been perhaps too rich or overpowering, this soup keeps the cauliflower and cheese flavours separate. You don’t bite into a floret doused in cheesy sauce: instead the experience is reversed so you bite into a cube of sharp cheddar in a velvety smooth cauliflower soup.

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Cauliflower cheese soup in a bowl, garnished with cheese cubes and a sprig of basil
Yield: 6

The Kettlewell Hostel Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Notes from Saul, at Kettlewell Hostel:
"If you are in the supermarket and you see that cauliflowers are cheap, buy a couple and try this recipe, it is so easy and delicious. It freezes well! It doesn’t yield loads, so maybe double up, or triple...

A little fact that I always enjoy when making cauliflower soup is that it is called Creme du Barry in France."


  • 1 large cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 stick celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped/crushed
  • 6 tbs olive oil for roasting
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 500ml vegetable bouillon
  • 60ml double cream
  • Nob of butter
  • 140g strong cheddar, finely diced, to serve


  1. Lay your cauliflower florets on a baking sheet (non-stick if you have them, use baking parchment otherwise). Cauliflower florets laid on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, with a bowl containing olive oil, cumin and coriander
  2. Mix the cumin, coriander and the olive oil in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the olive oil, cumin, cardamom mix over the cauliflower and roast for 40 minutes or so turning halfway through. The cauliflower on the baking sheet has been sprinkled with the spice and olive oil mixture
  4. Fry the onions, carrot and celery in a deep pan with a bit of olive oil until translucent. Onions, carrot and celery all sweating in a stainless steel saucepan
  5. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. The finely chopped garlic has been added to the other vegetables in the saucepan: the onion is now translucent
  6. Add the stock and then the cauliflower when it comes out of the oven. The stock has been added and the cauliflower is fresh from the oven and being added to the pot
  7. Cook for 5 minutes until all the ingredients are soft, then add a nob of butter whilst it is warm (which adds a creaminess to it all). Adding the nob of butter after simmering the vegetables together for five minutes
  8. Blend in a jug/stand blender if you have one (use an immersion blender if you don’t). Put everything into the jug blender for the smoothest result
  9. Sprinkle with small cubes of strong cheddar to serve. Garnish the finished soup with small cubes of strong cheddar


We love the strong cheddar combined with this soup, because the contrasting flavours are really clear. The soup also works very well with a good Wensleydale cheese - the special reserve or Kit Calvert from the Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes would be excellent accompaniments.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 10g

Nutritional data provided is a guideline and will vary according to precise ingredients used and how large your home-made portions are.