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Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

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This belly warming Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup recipe brings home the familiar flavor of the Zupas soup. Chopped cauliflower is cooked and mixed with spices, chicken broth, and sprinkled with bacon for the perfect copycat recipe. 

Looking for more Zupas inspired dishes? We LOVE this Copycat Strawberry Harvest Salad and Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Perfect side to this soup.

This post was originally published December 17, 2014. It has since been updated to include fresh photos and helpful tips.

top down image of a white bowl filled with soup and toped with shredded cheese and bacon pieces

Recipe Features:

  • 30-Minute Recipe: From start to finish, this recipe is ready in half an hour. Ideal for busy weeknights or whipping up a savory treat.
  • Hide Your Veggies: Have a picky eater? This is the PERFECT way to sneak in veggies. I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower and LOVE this soup. Can’t even tell it’s in there.
  • Freezer Friendly: Double the recipe and stock up the freezer for a quick grab dinner later.

Have you ever been to Cafe Zupas? The chain has exploded in popularity here in Utah, and for good reason. They have a menu packed with dreamy soups, salads, and sandwiches. The perfect light lunch or dinner anytime of the year.

One of their most popular dishes is by far the Cafe Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower soup. I’m guilty of ordering it almost every time we go in, along with the rest of my family. It checks all of the flavor boxes. Loaded with blended cauliflower, creamy melted cheese, and topped with crispy bacon pieces. A winner all-around and super simple to make at home!

cauliflower soup recipe ingredients on a wooden table

Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup Ingredients

You know I love shortcuts, and this recipe has a list of them that will make prep a breeze! Here are a few key ingredients and substitution ideas. For a full list and measurements see the recipe card below.

  • Cauliflower: You can use fresh or frozen inside of this soup recipe. I opt for frozen. It is inexpensive and comes prepared and ready to toss in.
  • Half and Half: Inexpensive and adds a wonderful creaminess. You can also substitute this with half milk, 2% or higher, and half cream.
  • Chicken Broth: I love, and recommend on a regular basis, using Better Than Bouillon. It adds a bold flavor and has less sodium, which lets you be fully in charge of the seasoning.
  • Dijon Mustard: Ok, this is the secret ingredient. A splash of Dijon adds flavor and a slight tang.
  • Cheese: TWO cheese types go into this recipe; sharp cheddar and pepper jack.

Topping Ideas:

The toppings are one of my favorite parts of any soup recipe. Get creative and don’t be afraid to add anything you think sounds good. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Bacon: Cooked and crumbled bacon adds a nice crunch and salty bit to every bite.
  • Shredded Cheese: A little extra cheese goes a long way.
  • Croutons: If you need a little texture and added crunch, croutons are the item for you.
  • Green Onion: Sliced green onion is another way to add an elegant finish to the dish.
two bowls of cheese soup topped with shredded cheese and bacon on a wooden cutting board
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, about five minutes.
  3. Add 2 additional tablespoons of butter and allow it to melt. Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper until a paste is formed.
  4. Slowly stir in the half and half, water, and chicken broth. Whisk well to make sure the flour dissolves completely.
  5. Stir in the chopped cauliflower and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
  7. Using a hand blender, or transferring to a regular blender, blend until your soup is smooth.
  8. Return the soup to a boil.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and two cheeses.
  10. Serve topped with bacon pieces and additional cheese.
containers filled with frozen zoup

How to freeze soup

  1. Cool it quickly. Create an ice bath- a bowl filled with ice and water. Place your pan in the ice water making sure it does not come up over the edge. This cools the soup fast enough to keep it food safe. Be sure to stir it occasionally.
  2. Pick your container. We like to use gallon sized zip top bags. You can write the name of the recipe directly on the container which helps when you are digging through the freezer looking for dinner. However, you can also use mason jars, seal-able containers, or any other freezer safe option.
  3. Freeze it. Frozen soups will stay good up to 3 months according to foodsafety.gov
  4. To reheat – Place the soup in the refrigerator the NIGHT BEFORE. I always struggle with this, but it is the best way to thaw the meal. Reheat on the stove and enjoy!
close up of cauliflower soup in a white bowl topped with cooked bacon and cheese

More Soup Recipes:

More Copycat Recipes

Copycat Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

Copycat Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This belly warming Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup recipe brings home the familiar flavor of the Zupas soup. Chopped cauliflower is cooked and mixed with spices, chicken broth, and sprinkled with bacon for the perfect copycat recipe. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
  • 2.5 pounds cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, about five minutes.
  3. Add 2 additional tablespoons of butter and allow it to melt. Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper until a paste is formed.
  4. Slowly stir in the half and half, water, and chicken broth. Whisk well to make sure the flour dissolves completely.
  5. Stir in the chopped cauliflower and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
  7. Using a hand blender, or transferring to a regular blender, blend until your soup is smooth.
  8. Return the soup to a boil.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and two cheeses.
  10. Serve topped with bacon pieces and additional cheese.

Notes

Soup not thickening? Add1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a small dish. Whisk in 2 cups of the hot broth until a paste forms. Whisk into the soup and simmer until thickened.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1181mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 21g

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Pinterest graphic image of soup with text overlay reading "copycat Wisconsin cauliflower soup"

Linda

Sunday 19th of April 2015

I made this last night for dinner, and it was excellent. I used a cup and a half of beef broth instead of water, but that is the only change. Thank you for posting this recipe!!

Marilyn

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

This recipe looks so good! Also, I recently switched to WP and have the foodie theme. How did you set up your recipe index in your menu? I love it!

Jesseca

Monday 22nd of December 2014

I think it just came with the theme ;0)

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