Old-fashioned Silky Cauliflower Soup Recipe

Silky Cauliflower Soup

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose a few pounds. I’m trying to eat healthy (and January is the perfect time for soup), so I looked through my hundred year-old cookbooks for a soup that was light yet rich and tasty. I wasn’t sure it was possible to find a soup that met my criteria, but I think that I came up with a soup that fits the bill.

I found a recipe for Cauliflower Soup in Lowney’s Cook Book (1912). This milk-based soup is a very smooth, strained soup—and not very thick; so I think that today it would be considered a “silky” soup.

This Silky Cauliflower Soup is lovely, and has a surprisingly subtle cauliflower taste. The soup will warm you up on a cold winter day–plus, it’s light enough that you don’t need to feel guilty.

Here’s my updated version of the recipe for modern cooks:

Silky Cauliflower Soup

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1 medium head cauliflower, coarsely chopped


4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup chopped onion

4 tablespoons flour

4 cups water

1 egg yolk, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Put chopped cauliflower in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain cooked cauliflower and puree in a blender or food processor.

In the meantime, melt butter in a large saucepan; then add the chopped onions and saute until tender. Stir in the flour, and slowly add 3 cups water while stirring constantly. Stir the egg yolk into the remaining 1 cup water; and then add the egg and water mixture to contents of the large sauce pan while continuing to stir constantly. Add the pureed cauliflower, salt, and pepper to the mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain. Return the liquid to the pan and stir in the milk. Heat until hot, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

34 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Silky Cauliflower Soup Recipe

  1. sounds delish but you threw me with food processor or blender. I take it that’s what you did Sheryl, seems the original says to press cauliflower through a sieve – thank God for modern kitchen tools! ❤
    Diana xo

    1. Yes, you figured it out. The updated recipe described what I did. When it comes to things like pressing cauliflower through sieves, I don’t feel like I need to replicate original process exactly. As you said, thank goodness for modern kitchen tools. 🙂

  2. I have s “ricer” that would have been used like a sieve. It’s just messy. I remember my mom using it to mash potatoes. I am grateful for modern appliances but like to look at the old mechanical ones.

    1. A ricer is a good idea. I never thought about using one, but it would work well. That said, I totally agree that it’s nice to have modern appliances that we can use with recipes like this one.

  3. You and I have the same New Year’s Resolution! I love cauliflower, but I’ve never had cauliflower soup…. sounds like something I just may try! Good luck with your endeavor….

  4. This sounds wonderful!! This would be a great soup to make for Leona,(who is handicapped with swallowing difficulties, also our youngest daughter) Thanks for this recipe!!

    1. This recipe would be perfect for her. It is smooth and easy to swallow. Your comment makes me think about how many hundred-year-old cookbooks have a chapter with recipes for individuals who have various health issues. These chapters typically contain recipes for various broths and other nutritious drinks, as well as purees. I’ve never delved very deeply into these chapters, but think that an idea for a future post might be starting to gel. 🙂

    1. The egg yolk helps thicken the soup a bit; and, of course, the egg makes the soup a little more nutritious. I wasn’t quite sure about the egg yolk when I saw it in the old recipe. I was concerned that the beaten egg yolk could coagulate when I put it in the hot liquid; but it worked really well to stir the egg yolk into some of the water before it was added to the soup–and then stir while adding the water/egg yolk mixture to the hot ingredients already in the saucepan.

  5. The process is much like traditional Greek Avgolemono. It makes me wonder if the original recipe started out life as an adaptation of an old world recipe. I don’t dislike cauliflower, but always have considered it fairly tasteless, so it would be interesting to at least give this one a try.

    1. There definitely are some similarities in the way both call for the use of egg. It makes sense that this recipe might be an adaptation of a recipe that someone brought with them when they immigrated to the U.S. I find it really interesting to think about the history of recipes–and how over time recipes change to address new technology, changing food fads, personal tastes, etc.

  6. This sounds like a lovely comforting soup but I am not fond of the egg yolk in here. I know that it is a classic recipe but I think I will leave it out. 😉

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