You just found the absolute best lentil soup recipe on the internet! This Lentil Cauliflower Soup is easy and quick to make, and uses pantry staples! The Parmesan cheese in the broth takes it to a new level. This is the perfect recipe to make if you're new to cooking with lentils.
Can you see how the broth of this lentil cauliflower soup is the slightest bit cloudy and creamy? It's because we're melting Parmesan cheese into the broth. I promise this is one of the most delicious bowls of soup you'll have all winter!
If lentils are new to you, don't miss my Lentil Enchiladas for another way to enjoy them with cheese. My Lentil Tacos are also a hit, and they can use the rest of the bag!
How to Make Lentil Cauliflower Soup
This lentil cauliflower soup has a very traditional backbone of mirepoix, which is a blend of onions, carrots and celery. With some thyme from the pantry, chicken broth and Parmesan cheese, it will be ready in minutes!
This winter dish is so good with crusty bread served alongside. I also want you to make this even easier by buying pre-cut cauliflower. We need 3 cups of it, which is about one bag. You might have to chop it down a bit further for bite-size pieces, though!
- Butter. The base of this recipe is two tablespoons of butter, and you can use salted or unsalted.
- Onion. One medium onion, diced is about 1 cup.
- Celery. One stalk of celery, thinly sliced is about a ½ cup.
- Carrot. One medium carrot finely chopped is about a ½ cup of carrots.
- Thyme. You can use ½ teaspoon of dried thyme leaves or 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme. If you're using fresh thyme, you can add it whole to the soup, but then be sure to remove the stems at the end of cooking.
- Lentils. One cup of dry brown or green lentils. Give them a quick rinse and pick over them to make sure they're clean.
- Chicken Broth. If you're vegetarian, you can replace the 4 cups of chicken broth with vegetable broth.
- Salt. Start with ¾ teaspoon of salt, and then taste before serving to see if it needs more. Salt is always to-taste, but I like to give you a starting point.
- Cauliflower. Three cups of chopped cauliflower florets, which is about ½ a head of fresh cauliflower. You can absolutely use frozen, but stir it in the last 4 minutes of cooking so that it doesn't become overly soft or mushy.
- Parmesan Cheese. One full cup of fresh Parmesan cheese at the end of cooking brings so much depth of flavor and creaminess to the broth. Please, I beg you not to use the shelf-stable dry Parmesan cheese--fresh is best for this lentil cauliflower soup!
In a large soup pot, turn the heat to medium and melt the butter. Then, add the onion, celery, carrot and thyme. Cook the vegetables in the butter until soft, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes. Lower the heat if the onions threaten to burn around the edges.
Next, add the lentils, chicken broth and salt. I know it looks like the lentils are canned in the photos, but these are dry lentils that have been rinsed before adding to the pot. Bring this mixture to a boil, lower the heat and then cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
After 25 minutes, taste-test at least 5 lentils to ensure they're all tender. Then, stir in the cauliflower. Simmer this mixture for about 7 minutes, just until the cauliflower and barely tender, but not mushy.
Just before serving, stir in the Parmesan cheese, reserving a small amount for serving the lentil cauliflower soup at the table.
How to Store Lentil Cauliflower Soup:
Like most soup recipes, it's even better on the second day! To store leftovers, move the soup to air-tight storage containers, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, use a microwave or heat on low in a small saucepan. For freezing, portion out individual servings into plastic bags, freezer-safe storage containers (or use these Souper Cubes like I do) and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, use the defrost setting on the microwave or place in soup pot with an extra splash of broth.
This recipe has a butter base and calls for chicken broth. However, it's so easy to swap in olive oil and vegetable broth if that suits your diet more.
Yes, use the SAUTE function to cook the vegetables through step 3. Then, add the lentils, broth and salt; then, pressure cook for 10 minutes using the HIGH pressure function through step 5. After a forced pressure release, open the lid to stir in the cauliflower and cook until tender using the SAUTE function. Finally, stir in the Parmesan cheese just before serving.
While, they're technically different, but they can be used interchangeably.
This question is tricky, because some lentils fall apart while cooking and others hold their shape. Red lentils are notorious for falling apart and making soups creamy, like my Red Lentil Chili. However, other lentils, like du Puy, black lentils and French lentils hold their shape. This lentil cauliflower soup recipe uses the most common type of lentil: the brown or green lentil. These lentils will turn mushy if they're over-cooked, so be sure to follow the times in this recipe.
Lentil Cauliflower Soup
This lentil cauliflower soup is so simple to make, and it's delicious with the Parmesan broth.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion finely chopped (1 cup)
- 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup dry brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets (about ½ a head)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large soup pot, turn the heat to medium and add the butter.
- When the butter melts and sizzles, add the onion, celery, carrot and thyme.
- Cook the vegetables until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add lentils, broth, and salt. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Taste-test at least 5 lentils to ensure they’re tender throughout.
- Finally, add the chopped cauliflower and simmer for another 7 minutes or so, just until tender but not overly soft and mushy.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese just before serving, reserving a small amount for garnishing on top at the table.
To veganize this recipe, use olive oil instead of butter, and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 1803mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g
Can I use canned lentils, proceed with step 5 and still retain great flavours?
I think so, as long as you saute the vegetables to soften before adding the canned lentils.