Roasted Cauliflower and Pancetta Soup


If you're feeling the chill this Winter, we prescribe a bowl of this warming, hearty soup which combines the delicious flavours of roasted cauliflower and salty pancetta. Our blogger Helen from says this dish is: "Tasty, soothing, and definitely wholesome, plus it's a perfect option to get back on the healthy track after a hectic weekend. For a vegetarian version, leave out the pancetta and add a little tangy blue cheese instead."


Helen also told HIF: "I thought I would hop on the roasted cauliflower bandwagon by, well, roasting the cauliflower for the soup! Roasting cauliflower really intensifies the flavour and in fact almost caramelises it, and I thought it would go perfectly with some of the pancetta I had left over in my fridge from earlier in the week. Which it certainly did. I decided to blitz most of the cauliflower and half of the pancetta together in the food processor to give it a nice creamy quality but also left some of it a bit chunkier, too.  I was going to add a bit of crumbled blue cheese at the end (which you could of course if you wanted to), but I decided in the end that the soup was already rich and flavourful enough. Instead, to serve I just sprinkled a little extra roasted cauliflower, pancetta and thyme on the top. I also swirled in just a teaspoon or so of Greek yoghurt at the table which added just a hint of creamy tangy-ness." 


  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small cauliflower (about 500 grams/1 pound & 2 ounces), chopped into medium florets
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 100 grams (4 ounces) diced pancetta (or chopped bacon)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large potato (about 275 grams/10 ounces), peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A little Greek yoghurt or crème fraiche, to serve (optional)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F.
  • Toss the cauliflower in about a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes in a single layer until almost tender.
  • Meanwhile, fry the pancetta in a deep pan for a few minutes in the rest of the olive oil, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the butter to the pan, then add the potato, onion, the leaves from the thyme stalks and the bay leaf and cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic a couple of minutes before the end.
  • Add most of the cauliflower (save a little to garnish at the end) and stock, bring to the boil then simmer on a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Throw away the bay leaf, then add about half of the pancetta and blend the soup in batches until smooth. Leave some of it a bit chunkier if you like. Then return to the pan and reheat a little. Add the rest of the pancetta, reserving just a little for your garnish, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with the few reserved cauliflower sprigs and the rest of the thyme and pancetta.
  • Swirl in the Greek yoghurt just before serving if desired.



Tags: Dinner Lunch
Category: Recipes

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