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Cafe Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup

2013 December 10
by Emily Hill

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). All thoughts, opinions, and leftover bowls of Wisconsin cauliflower soup are 100 percent honest, delicious and all mine.

‘Tis the season for all those holiday goings-on but let’s be honest, it’s really soup season. Last week I featured a homemade minestrone soup with pancetta (mmm…pancetta). This week I bring you something a heck of a lot creamier and one of my favorites from Café Zupas: Wisconsin cauliflower soup.

Wisconsin cauliflower and mushroom bisque are my two very most favorite soups at Zupas.

Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup

I found this copycat recipe for Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup thanks to Nikki from Chef in Training. I tried it using a low-sodium chicken broth and found I needed to add more salt at the end, so my suggestion is to stick with regular chicken broth on this one.

Though pepper isn’t in the original recipe, I found some freshly ground black pepper to be the perfect addition to this Wisconsin cauliflower soup. Of course, I add black pepper to a lot of dishes (and sometimes white pepper if it needs a bit of kick).

Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup recipe

If you’ll notice, a lot of the ingredients for this Wisconsin cauliflower soup came from the refrigerated dairy section of the grocery store. It’s one of the most popular sections of the grocery store if you were to rate popularity by how many gallons of yogurt and pounds of butter and cheese you’ll currently find in my refrigerator.

We love dairy—like, LOVE—and not just because cheese is an essential ingredient in our weekly quesadillas. For the most part, products in this section are made from real, simple, fresh, farm-grown ingredients and the meal possibilities are endless. You can add Greek Yogurt to your favorite green smoothie or try your hand at my family’s favorite Cajun chicken pasta with heavy cream and Parmesan.

The National Frozen and Refrigerated Products Assocation (NFRA) has a fabulous resource if you’re looking for easy holiday meals (and who isn’t?). features creative recipes and tips to make your party hostessing a little less crazy.

The aged provolone and salami omelette is going on my list of new recipes to try this holiday season.

If you need more ideas for making things a bit easier but just as delicious during the holidays, check out Easy Home Meals on Pinterest. Just look at some of their fun collection of recipes:

Easy Home Meals on Pinterest

I’m thinking I need to hit up the dairy section again and soon!

You can also find Easy Home Meals on Facebook, Twitter and at The Dish Diary (blog).

Printable recipe for Wisconsin cauliflower soup below.

Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Copycat recipe for Cafe Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup. This creamy, cheesy soup is sure to become your new favorite!
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • 3 T salted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can chicken broth
  • 2.5 lbs cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add chopped onion and saute until translucent and slightly golden, approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour and stir until thoroughly combined. Slowly add half and half and milk about 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
  3. Add the water and chicken broth slowly, stirring constantly.
  4. Add chopped cauliflower and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, approximately 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the chopped cauliflower.
  5. Place contents of sauce pan into a blender and blend until smooth. Vent center part of blender cover to allow for steam. (You can also use a hand blender directly in the pan. Just make sure and blend until smooth.)
  6. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add mustard and cheese. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve topped with extra cheese (optional).
Adapted from the original recipe by Nikki from Chef in Training.

Here are two other soups you might enjoy:

Chicken taco soup
Slow cooker chicken taco soup

Homemade minestrone soup
Homemade minestrone soup with pancetta & Parmesan

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23 Responses Post a comment
  1. December 10, 2013

    Mmmm, that soup looks delicious. Do you deliver? :)


    Emily Hill Reply:

    Normally I’d say yes but not with this nasty cough. Dang.
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  2. Jessica Westcott permalink
    December 10, 2013

    Cauliflower recipe looks divine and perhaps healthier than other creamy soups? I’m putting in votes for your Panini — it looks delicious too. If you get a chance, check out my contest essay at: My essay is #4. Cheers!


    Emily Hill Reply:

    It’s probably healthier than another cream soup with just as much cheese but I wouldn’t say it’s super healthy. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from eating it! Off to check out your essay. Thanks for stopping by!
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  3. December 10, 2013

    I’ve never tried this soup. Sounds like I’ve been missing out.


    Emily Hill Reply:

    You have! And you need to try the mushroom bisque if you haven’t already.
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  4. December 11, 2013

    That soups looks so good! Can’t wait to try it out.
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    Emily Hill Reply:

    Let me know what you think!
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  5. December 11, 2013

    The bit of dijon surprised me. I’ll have to try it. Now to get my family to believe that soup can be dinner.
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    Emily Hill Reply:

    Really?! They don’t think soup is an official dinner recipe? We have it quite often and love adding a side of grilled cheese. :)
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  6. January 2, 2014

    I’ve heard this is amazing!! I am always a little afraid to try soup recipes because I’ve messed a few up (the smooth creamy ones I mean). Pinned it!
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    Emily Hill Reply:

    I don’t think you’d mess up this one. Next time I am going to blend up the cauliflower even smoother. And maybe throw in some bacon. :)
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  7. September 8, 2014

    Absolutely delicious!


    Emily Hill Reply:

    Thank you, Sue!
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  8. January 13, 2016

    Not sure about bringing the roux to boil; that’s usually not a good call for milk and cream, and Zupa’s Wisconsin Cauliflower definitely does not have a scalded milk flavor. I’m wondering about cooking the cauliflower in the chicken broth in one saucepan, and making the roux and adding the cream and milk in another. Then the cauliflower can be pureed and added to the cream mixture.


    Emily Hill Reply:

    That sounds genius! I’ll have to try that next time!
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