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Recipe: Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chorizo, Lime & Cilantro

Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chorizo, Lime & Cilantro

Vegetarian friends: Skip the chorizo call it Cauliflower Soup!

As foodies, travelers, and frequent *National Public Radio (NPR) listeners it might not come as a surprise that we sometimes listen to, and find kitchen inspiration, from shows such as the Splendid Table.  Seeing that we’ve had Spain on the brain a lot lately, and you can never go wrong with soup in the winter, this month we thought we’d share the Splendid Table’s recipe for a cauliflower soup with a Spanish flair.

There are hundreds of varietals of Spanish chorizo. Each one varies depending on the region you’re in, but generally speaking, it is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with pimentón – a smoked paprika – and salt. You will generally find either picante (spicy) or dulce (sweet), the sweet or spicy twist depends on what kind of pimentón is used.  Just as you can find multiple varieties of chorizo it can be served in a host of ways:  tapas, for cooking, sliced in a sandwich, or grilled, fried, or in a soup!

* Northern Colorado friends, we’ve donated a bicycle tour to KUNC’s fundraiser this month. Support your local station and you’ll automatically be entered to win a free bicycle tour on us!


1 tbs olive oil
6-oz chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch dice (use Spanish-style chorizo in casing – you can typically find this is stores such as Whole Foods)
2 cups (2 – 3 medium) chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
2 tsp chopped garlic
8 cups (about 1 1/2 lb or use packaged florets) cauliflower florets
5 cups chicken broth or stock
Kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp grated lime zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Toasted breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


1. In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until slightly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks to the drippings in the pan. Cook, stirring often until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the cauliflower, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Purée the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill. (Or use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot.)

3. Whisk together the sour cream and the lime zest and stir half the mixture into the soup. Season the soup with more salt if needed and with 1/4 teaspoon or more black pepper. (Soup can be prepared two days ahead. Cook to this stage, then cool, cover, and refrigerate the sautéed chorizo and the sour cream separately. Reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring often.)

4. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of the remaining sour cream. Serve with small bowls of chorizo, toasted breadcrumbs, and cilantro for sprinkling.

Thanks for the recipe, Splendid Table!