Roast Your Veggies First For A More Flavorful Cauliflower Potato Soup

Building a sauteed aromatic foundation, adding plenty of spices, and using broth are all important steps to create a flavorful simmering liquid to cook your soup's main ingredients. However, roasting the main ingredients before adding them to your soup is the ultimate flavor upgrade. Our go-to cauliflower potato soup begins by roasting cauliflower florets and halved russet potatoes before simmering and blending them into a rich, creamy final product.

Roasting vegetables of any kind completely transforms them by concentrating their inherent flavors, caramelizing their natural sugars, and adding toasty, smoky notes as their outer skin crisps up. Plus, as a dry cooking method, roasting will rid cauliflower and potatoes of moisture, maximizing their absorption of the flavorful simmering liquid you'll add them to after removing them from the oven.

Versatile cauliflower makes one of the most delicious transformations when roasted, incurring a distinct nuttiness and toasty, slightly bitter finish that will pair perfectly with the concentrated earthiness of russet potatoes. This coupled with an aromatic, umami-rich chicken or vegetable broth makes for a well-rounded and utterly comforting profile of savory flavors. In other words, combining a flavorful foundation with flavorful main ingredients will result in a much more complex soup.

Roasting tips and more roasted soup ingredients

When roasting vegetables for soup, the main goal is flavor transformation because they'll most likely lose the crispy edges once you add them to the simmering liquid — and definitely will if it's a blended soup. Therefore, you can use a moderate temperature to roast the vegetables slower, effectively developing a richer caramelization. Plus, lowering the temperature of your oven opens up the opportunity to use more flavorful fats with lower smoke points. Olive and sesame oils are great choices to enhance the sweet and savory notes of roasted vegetables.

You'll still want to give your veggies plenty of space on the baking sheet so the hot air from the oven can hit every side, maximizing the concentration of their flavors and helping them to absorb the seasoning and oil you tossed them in. You can also take the opportunity to add even more depth of flavor to your soup by seasoning the roasted vegetables. In the case of cauliflower and potatoes, curry powder and smoky paprika would be delicious.

Cauliflower and potatoes aren't the only ingredients that will benefit from roasting. Most veggie-centric soups taste better with roasted ingredients. For example, roasted butternut squash soup has an amplified sweet nuttiness. Roasting bell peppers, jalapeños, potatoes, and corn will result in the tastiest corn chowder. Roasted tomatoes would result in an especially umami-rich tomato soup. Best of all, adding roasted garlic and onions to any soup recipe is the ultimate flavor upgrade.