Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup

Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup
A hearty, winter-friendly way to use leftover chicken or turkey

We see leftover poultry in your future. Chilly weather too.

So why not take them both on with this warming soup? Add some roast cauliflower to the mix and you’ll increase the comfort quotient even more.

Who knew you’d be giving thanks for leftovers?

Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup

Recipe: Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup

If you don’t have leftover poultry on hand, you can pick up a supermarket rotisserie chicken and use that. And if you don’t have leftover roast cauliflower? You can roast some at high heat in about 30 minutes – or just simmer raw cauliflower in the soup (see Notes for both variations).

Prep time for this soup is about 10 to 15 minutes (assuming you use leftovers). Cooking time adds another 25 minutes.

This recipe makes about 4 main-course servings, or at least 6 first-course servings.

Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or you can freeze them for up to 2 months.

Ingredients

  • ~½ large head of roast cauliflower (or an entire small head; can use leftover roast cauliflower or roast some for this soup)
  • ~10 ounces leftover chicken or turkey (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 1 to 2 ribs celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or other cooking oil
  • salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or other herb of choice; see Notes)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (see Notes)
  • ~1 cup frozen green peas

Procedure 

  1. If using leftover roast cauliflower, cut it into bite-size chunks and set aside. (If you need to roast the cauliflower, or prefer to simmer it in the soup, see Notes). 
  2. Cut the leftover chicken or turkey into bite-size chunks and set aside.
  3. Peel the onion and cut it into dice of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
  4. Wash and dry the carrots. Peel them, then cut off their tips. Cut the carrots into dice of about ¼ inch, or into thin rounds. Set aside.
  5. Wash and dry the celery, then remove the strings. Cut the tips off the celery, then cut it into diagonal slices of about ¼ inch (or into dice of about ¼ inch). Set aside.
  6. Place a 4-quart saucepan or soup pot over medium stovetop heat. When the cooking pot is hot, add the cooking oil. When the oil is heated (it’ll shimmer; about 15 seconds), add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Season to taste with salt. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the dried thyme. Stir to combine. Then add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cook for about 3 minutes to combine the flavors.
  8. Add the roast cauliflower. Cook for 10 minutes (longer if you want the cauliflower to become extra tender). Then add the frozen green peas and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the peas are done to your liking. Taste the soup and add seasoning if necessary.
  9. Ladle into serving bowls and enjoy.
Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup

Notes

  • To roast cauliflower, you can follow the instructions on our Roast Cauliflower post:  Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and dry the cauliflower, core it, separate it into florets, then cut the florets into bite-size chunks. Toss the cauliflower pieces with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, then spread them out in a foil- or parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle on salt and black pepper to taste, then roast the cauliflower for 25 minutes. While the cauliflower is roasting, proceed with the rest of the soup recipe.   
  • If you don’t have leftover roast cauliflower on hand and don’t want to roast it just for this soup, you can cut raw cauliflower into florets and cook it in the soup. Add the cauliflower pieces when you add the chicken in Step 7, then cook until the cauliflower is tender (about 20 minutes) before adding the peas (Step 8).
  • This soup tastes good when made with raw cauliflower, but it won’t have the depth of flavor that roast cauliflower provides. Roast cauliflower also looks particularly nice in this dish.
  • We like to use dried thyme in this soup (though if you have fresh thyme on hand, that would work even better). But any herb of choice will probably taste good in this dish. You could also add some chopped fresh parsley right at the end of cooking.
  • If you want a brothier soup, you can increase the amount of chicken stock to 8 cups. 
  • BTW, instead of using chicken stock, you can substitute stock base mixed with water. If you go this route, just add water to the cooking pot, then stir in the appropriate amount of chicken stock base (or turkey stock base if you’re using leftover turkey instead of chicken in this dish).
  • Stock/soup bases often have very good flavor (though you may have to experiment with brands to find one you like). They do tend to be rather salty, however. 
  • Speaking of salt: We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always salt to your taste, not ours.  

Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup
Talk is Cheep

“Perfect soup to light up a dreary day,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “It’s floret-scent!”

“Glad I didn’t chicken out on making this,” I said. “Though I winged it with the recipe.”

“A comedi-hen you’re not,” said Mrs K R. “But you did hatch a nice recipe.”

Good thing. Otherwise Mrs K R might use fowl language.

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60 comments:

  1. What beautiful colours and wonderful flavours! A great winter warmer, John.

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    1. Hi Angie, we're definitely getting into winter warmer weather! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Sounds like a winner! Doing keto, I use cauliflower in soups as a potato substitute. My non-Keto husband has not yet noticed I am intentionally leaving out the potatoes and eats soups with vigor. I will definitely be making this, most likely this weekend.

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    1. Hi Anne, this is actually chicken noodle soup with roast cauliflower instead of the noodles! The flavor of the cauliflower in this is wonderful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Since we've got a scaled-down Thanksgiving this year (4 people instead of 12), we're only serving a roast chicken instead of a huge turkey. But we'll probably still have some leftovers. I like the idea of the roast cauliflower. At this time of the year, I often have the saying in my head that goes, "Who cut the toikey!" (from the movie 'Diner').

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    1. Hi Fran, I haven't thought about that movie in years! We're doing a big turkey just for the two of us just because. :-) So we'll have plenty of leftovers! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Even with only a roast chicken, one can make lots of stock to become soup later on. When we have big family dinners the soup contains lots of other leftovers too -- pumpkin or squash, for example.

    be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving!... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, we usually do make stock and freeze it. But not always. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Comfort food for chilly days. Love the idea!

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    1. Hi Denise, we're all about comfort food at this time of the year! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. This is lovely. And this is what I should be making tomorrow, instead of a whole damn turkey for just the two of us!

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    1. Hi Mimi, we're making a whole turkey for the two of us, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. May I wish you and yours as happy and contented day tomorrow as you can possibly achieve. And may there be leftovers enough to create a few warming bowls of this tasty soup. It seems that instead of Thanksgiving most of us will be blessed with three days of 45-50 C temperatures during which I daresay noone will prepare soup :) ! And for me it will be a rare occurrence I would not mind air conditioning :) !!!

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    1. Hi Eha, wow, 45 to 50 degrees C? That's insane! And dangerous. Stay cool. And thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes, and of course the comment.

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  8. We got an 18 pound turkey for 4 of us. This is exactly what I needed---a new recipe for leftovers!! Happy Thanksgiving, John!

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    1. Hi Liz, that's a big turkey! Good thing leftovers are the best part. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. hi KR
    well, we are expecting a massive 4500 kilometre stretch of heatwave over australia next week so ... soup? maybe not. but i do adore chicken and cauli, so this sounds superb. maybe in 6 months?:)

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    1. Hi Sherry, that's going to be SO miserable. Time to stock up on ice cream. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. This looks great. I love soup and I'm especially looking forward to the soups I will make with leftover turkey.

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    1. Hi Pat and Dahn, we love soup. And leftover turkey. :-) So of course we combine them! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Quelle belle soupe et quelle jolie photo bravo!

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    1. Hi Assia, it's a nice soup -- lovely flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Natalia, we like colorful food! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I adore a good remake of leftovers, particularly soup. I love how flavour-packed this dish is. The roasted cauliflower definitely ups the anti.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hi Eva, roast cauliflower is terrific all by itself, of course, but is wonderful as an ingredient in another dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. A great version of cauliflower soup! Usually, the ones you see are all pureed. I like how this makes for a chunkier and heartier soup. Happy holidays!

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    1. Hi Carolyn, we like food with texture. And color. And flavor, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I knew you's have some help for my LO turkey. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, we aim to please. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. What a colorful and healthy soup! I should make some it is getting really cold here.

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    1. Hi Muna, we like this sort of soup no matter what the temperature, but of course it always seems better when the weather is chilly. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. What a simple lovely soup :) Perfect for winter

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    1. Hi FT, simple kinda suits us. We're funny that way. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Just what we are craving on this chilly winter morning. We have plenty of leftover turkey, so soup is on tonights dinner menu. Thanks for the inspiration John. Take Care

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    1. Hi Bobbi, soup is often on our menu at this time of the year! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. This looks like a delicious soup KR, I love roasted cauliflower in anything. It is quite warm here, not quite the heat wave they are experiencing down south, but too warm for soup unless the aircon is on. I'll save this one for a rainy day or next Autumn. Thanks for the lovely idea though. Take care, Pauline

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    1. Hi Pauline, you guys are having a real heat wave -- definitely not soup weather. Well, maybe a cold soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. What a terrific idea to add roasted cauliflower to this soup!

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    1. Hi Amy, we're always looking for ways to add roasted cauliflower to almost anything. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. I am always on the lookout for heartwarming soup recipes this time of year and you've have created a real masterpiece. The flavors are perfect!

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    1. Hi Heidi, we usually have soup once or twice a week during this time of the year. Love the stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. The roast cauliflower looks so good in this! And, it's cold here tonight. I need a bowl of this.

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    1. Hi Lisa, really cold here, so we definitely need a bowl. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. This looks like a really yummy recipe, very comforting. I love the addition of carrots and peas in it, too.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, peas and carrots are always so good in a soup like this! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. John, we're certainly having soup weather over this way. I love the idea of adding the roasted cauliflower. I've got a smoked chicken setting in the freezer that I think will be mighty tasty in this here soup...

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    1. Hi Ron, the smoked chicken sounds delish! Bet it'd be wonderful in this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Healthy, hearty, and so delicious.

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    1. Hi Pam, yup, to all three! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Roasting those cauliflower would give so much flavours on that soup

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    1. Hi Raymund, we can never resist roast cauliflower! It's SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. John – I actually got to make this before getting a chance to comment! Which works well, because I can tell you (and everyone else) how wonderful the soup is. We used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and it was so flavorful. I almost didn’t roast the cauliflower first… But I’m glad I did, as it had so much more flavor.

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    1. Hi David, this is a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers! And roast cauliflower in soup is, well, super. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Soup looks totally addictive, fully loaded bowl is just perfect dinner idea! I love how you have used many veggies and roasted cauliflowers is great idea too, I'll bookmark this recipe and try this out!

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    1. Hi Aarthi, roast cauliflower is awesome stuff! And great in soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. I love meals that cleverly use up all of your leftovers and this one sounds particularly delightful - I am loving cauliflower in anything now. Merry Christmas John!

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    1. Hi Katerina, we love meals that use up leftovers, too. Merry Christmas!

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