This Slow Cooker Cauliflower-Cheese Soup is so delicious and comforting! Serve it with toppings such as bacon and chives for a loaded cauliflower soup that'll knock your socks off! Plus, it's gluten free and has just 15 grams of carbs per serving.
Peel and chop the onion and add it to your slow cooker.
Rinse and peel your carrots. Dice the carrots. (Cut them in half the short way, then in half the long way, and in half the long way again if needed. Cut them into small pieces.) Add the carrots to the slow cooker.
Rinse the celery and scrub off any dirt. Trim off the ends. Dice the celery and add it to the slow cooker.
Add the frozen cauliflower, chicken stock, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the vegetables are tender.
While the soup is cooking (or just before it's ready,) shred the cheddar and grate the Parmesan, if needed. (I use a box grater for the cheddar and my blender for the Parmesan.) Store the cheese covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
When the soup is done cooking, keep the slow cooker on low and use a potato masher to mash up the veggies a bit. (If you prefer, you can blend the soup with an immersion blender or transfer it in batches to a regular blender for a smoother consistency.)
Add the half and half and Parmesan to the slow cooker with the soup and stir to combine.
Add 2 1/4 cups of shredded cheddar to the soup a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted and blended. Cover and let the soup stay on low for another 5-10 minutes, until the soup is heated through.
If using bacon, heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the bacon strips and cook each side for about two minutes, or until crispy and cooked through. Place the bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the grease and carefully pat the bacon dry. Use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into pieces (or tear it with your hands).
To serve, ladle the soup into each bowl and top with some of the remaining shredded cheddar, bacon and snipped green onions/chives, if desired. Add additional salt and red pepper flakes if needed.
Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze it for up to three months.
Nutrition info includes the bacon. There will be less sodium and fat without it.
A yellow onion provides stronger flavor than a white onion, and works better with cauliflower, in my opinion. You could substitute a red onion if needed.
For best melting results, use 12 ounces of block cheddar and shred it yourself. (I use a box grater.) Packaged shredded cheese contains an anti-caking agent that doesn't allow the cheese to melt smoothly.