Beer and Cheese Cauliflower Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 servings
This cheesy soup is rich and velvety with great depth of flavor.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 25.4 oz (725 ml) ale
  • 24 oz (710 ml) low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock (I used Swanson)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (use vegan Worcestershire to keep this dish vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon hickory-smoked sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ½ teaspoon hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 8 oz (225 g) smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch (see Note)
Optional Toppings:
  • Croutons (I used my Best Paleo Sandwich Bread to make homemade croutons)
  • Fresh scallions, thinly sliced
  • Black truffle oil
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Add the butter, onion, carrot, and celery to a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Cook (uncovered) until the vegetables are softened and starting to caramelize in spots, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in the cauliflower, ale, stock, bay leaf, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil; turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Carefully puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender.
  4. Toss the Gouda and tapioca starch together in a bowl.
  5. Turn the heat on low under the soup and stir in the cheese a handful at a time until melted (don’t let it come up to a boil). Taste and add regular salt (not more hickory-smoked sea salt) to taste.
  6. Serve.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe for Ale, Cheddar, and Cauliflower Soup.

Tapioca Starch: If you don’t have tapioca starch, you can use 2 tablespoons cornstarch instead.

To Reheat: Heat gently over low heat stirring frequently until steaming (don’t let it come up to a boil).
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at