A couple of weeks ago I made this Baked Ham with Apricot Cranberry Glaze and had a bunch of ham leftovers that I wanted to use up in some low carb recipes.
Using some of the ham leftovers in a soup recipe was a no-brainer, especially since I had a lovely ham bone ? to turn into a nice stock. I boiled the daylights out of that leftover ham bone until my broth was a hard block of gel when cooled, and then I used it in this delicious keto cauliflower & ham soup.
If you don’t have a ham bone (or any extra time) lying around, you could definitely make this keto cauliflower & ham soup with a store-bought chicken stock, but I’d toss in a couple of drops of liquid smoke to get a similar smoky flavor as a ham bone stock.
Even without the liquid smoke you’ll have nice flavor, but I’m a huge fan of liquid smoke ♨️ in low carb soup and sauce (mmm…BBQ) recipes, so you won’t go wrong if you pick some up. Just remember that a little goes a long way – one or two drops is usually all you need to get an authentic smoky flavor!
This keto cauliflower and ham soup couldn’t be easier to execute! All you need to do is simmer your cauliflower florets (I used frozen which was easy peasy) in the ham stock until tender, blend, then add the leftover ham and a few other ingredients!
I will say that an immersion blender is the easiest way to get the job done – you just plug it in, blend the soup right in the pot, and then wash the attachment. No muss, no fuss.
You can also transfer the contents to a large blender and blend it that way – it’s a little more work but will definitely get the job done!
This keto cauliflower and ham soup is hearty and comforting – it also reheats (even from the freezer) really, really well.
As a side note, I opted to make this low carb cauliflower soup recipe primarily dairy free as well – meaning it’s Whole 30 compliant in case you’re planning to detox in January like so many people do. Simply replace the butter with ghee, bacon fat or coconut oil if you’re avoiding dairy for any reason!
If you aren’t dairy free, then you can add a little heavy cream to this soup to make it even richer and more sumptuous – not that it needs it honestly!
This is the perfect keto cauliflower soup recipe to help whittle off some pounds in January if you overindulged a little – because it’s not only low carb, it also comes in at only 125 calories for a satisfying one and a half cup serving! That’s a win/win if I ever heard of one! ???
KETO CAULIFLOWER & HAM SOUP RECIPE VIDEO ??
Perfect for lunch or dinner, this keto cauliflower and ham soup would be even more amazeballs with one of my low carb Sundried Tomato & Asiago Zucchini Muffins! ????
Creamy Cauliflower & Ham Soup – Low Carb
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
This easy and delicious low carb cauliflower soup recipe is a great way to use up leftover ham! It’s also gluten free, dairy free, keto, Paleo, and even Whole 30 compliant!
- 6 cups cauliflower florets (frozen is fine – abut 24 oz)
- 6 cups ham stock or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 3 cups chopped ham
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 Tbsp butter (or ghee, bacon fat, or coconut oil)
- kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the cauliflower, stock, water, garlic powder, and onion powder in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Blend in the pot with an immersion blender (or remove to a large blender and blend in batches then return to the pan) until smooth. Stir in the ham, and thyme leaves and simmer another 10 minutes. Add the butter and apple cider vinegar. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot.
Approx nutrition info per 1.5 cups: 125 calories, 7g fat, 5g net carbs, 13g protein
- Category: Low Carb Soup Recipe
- Cuisine: American
Sheila Hudson says
Holy buckets this is awesome! I took the suggestions of other reviews and omitted the apple cider vinegar, added a splash of heavy cream and used 4 cups of chicken stock and 4 cups of vegetable stock. This will be a regular in the rotation. Happy and Healthy New Year!
I made this soup today with the leftover Christmas ham and it was a hit! I did not use the apple cider vinegar because I loved the taste beforehand and didn’t want to change it. I modified it by adding a dash of sage and cut way back on the thyme (only because I don’t like the taste of thyme) and I added 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. I also used a good amount of pepper to give it a little kick.
l p says
this is a wonderful soup – the whole family loved it. thanks
Carina G Slack says
An amazing soup reminiscent of my pre-diabetic ham & bean soup days The taste is perfection and who ever I feed this soup to never realizes it is cauliflower not beans. I puree the soup and put in some cauliflower rice to give some texture. This is a comfort soup for me and I make it all year around. The seasonings are perfect.
It is so difficult to choose just a couple of IBIH recipes because IBIH cookbooks and recipes are a real mainstay in my keto diet
Regina K. Rooney says
5/21/21, This was wonderful! Putting it in regular rotation. Loved it.
Loved this! The ingredients are similar to a recipe I have for navy bean soup, so I decided not to completely puree the cauliflower. This probably sounds weird, but after adding some sharp cheddar to my bowl, I felt like I was eating the bean soup which I totally miss! Will be making this a lot!
Mellissa Sevigny says
I love white bean soups so this is a great idea to try and mimic that texture. I’ll be trying it on my next batch, thanks for sharing!
Katherine Devereaux Beeman says
Does this freeze?
Mellissa Sevigny says
This is one of the most flavorful keto recipes!! I will always have some in my freezer ready to go! Thank you!
Amie Lawler says
This was delicious, hearty and so full of flavor! Hands down one of my favorite soup recipes. Thanks for sharing!
John Meyer says
One of the tastiest soups I have ever made! I did add the ham bone in and I added a brick of cream cheese to this recipe to make it more creamy. It was outstanding
As everyone else has said, this recipe was wonderful! Both my husband, who is doing Keto, and I, who am not, loved this soup. So satisfying! As others have done, I subbed dried thyme for fresh, and I ended up doing 8 cups of stock instead of 6 stock/2 water. I also added 4 Tblsp of butter rather than 2 to up the richness/fillingess quotient. I agree with other reviewers who say this would also be very tasty without the ham, but the ham adds a lovely smokiness to the blend. In any case, it’s a great, versatile soup that we’ll be coming back to again and again, no question!
Mellissa Sevigny says
Thanks Britt and thanks for sharing your tweaks too!
Cheri Dunbar says
Yum! I used dried thyme because I didn’t have any fresh, and served it with chives and shredded cheddar cheese. It was really good, thanks for the recipe.
I decided to make mine in the instant pot (manual 5 minutes with a 10 min natural release) and it turned out amazing. I added a little siracha cause I like my food spicy ;) other than that made as directed and loved it.
Wonderful, quick and easy. And as others have said, made with items typically on hand in low carb kitchen. Will be making a regular appearance in our menu!
Not sure about the vinegar comments, I think it’s everything a soup should be! I did add a little extra onion and garlic powder, and a smidge extra of thyme, but overall a fantastic, healthy recipe. Will definitely add to the repertoire!
Cherie Eastham says
So, I just made this soup after wanting to for months. It is not something I would make again. It is bland. I wanted to be wowed, but it’s just not great. I had to add lots more onion powder, garlic and thyme. It is a sweet soup, especially if you are using leftover ham and made ham stock from the leftover bone. To add a kick, I sprinkled my bowl with cayenne pepper. My additions made it palatable. I normally love all the recipes on this site though, so keep them coming!
Try w/o vinegar use ham hock or bacon fat in slow cooker add 1/2 – tsp of nutmeg. I have also subbed a smoked turkey leg and cooked in slow cooker for 4 hours.
Kristina Crupi says
Not sure what purpose the vinegar serves, I feel like the soup tasted better without, so next time I’d add less overall a pretty good and comforting soup
Outstanding! I did the cream and added some shredded cheddar. Who knew cauliflower could be so versatile?
Alan Sparks says
I have a request. whenever i use a head of cauliflower, I always collect as much of the stem pieces as possible. by removing the stringy bark they are a perfect sub for diced potatoes. I use them for potato salad and hash. My request is for you to develop a cauli-potato Clam chowder that fits with my Keto diet.
Ann Davis-Rowe says
Have made this every time we have leftover ham and just love how it feels so rich – but so much better for you!
5* rating is my sister’s call…I’m making it today. She lives in Japan and emailed the recipe to me last night. I’m laughing because yesterday I made your blueberry cheese danish & took the Double Dog Dare ??…another winner!!! So I told her to try THAT one! Love the addition of vinegar and she also added some fresh dill ( we are of Slavic descent, so right up our alley…on the docket for supper!! Thank you!
Mellissa Sevigny says
I love that you guys are both trying the recipes from opposite ends of the world! Glad you’re enjoying them!!!
Your recipes are great. I will definitely try this one. I made your devil ham salad it’s very good. I purchased your book it is great.
Sometimes I make a ham just so I can make this soup! I see some people confused about the use of vinegar in this recipe-it just brightens the flavors and is not an unusual ingredient. I can’t imagine this soup would be quite as good without the ham stock. In my opinion, the ham stock really makes this soup special. Thanks Melissa for a great recipe!
Tried the recipe exactly as posted…that vinegar ruined the taste of that soup! I had a feeling I should have left it out but I wanted to make it per recipe so it would be right. All I could taste was vinegar. My husband ate one bowl and he didn’t mind that strong vinegar taste but I totally couldn’t handle it. It was easy to make and if I make it again I will be leaving out the vinegar completely and only use a teaspoon of the tyme leaves. Thanks for the recipe as I am always looking for low carb dishes, but that soup is going down the chopper tonight!
Mellissa Sevigny says
The small amount of vinegar called for shouldn’t really have a flavor at all, just a slight tang to offset the creaminess of the soup – I’m guessing you used the wrong product or didn’t measure to get the results you are claiming. Or you are inordinately sensitive to the flavor of vinegar maybe. Sorry you had a bad experience with the recipe.
So, so, so good! You would never know there was cauliflower in the soup! Wished I had a ham bone but went with what I had – thick lean ham slices. Didn’t matter, just added them at the end after I removed from heat. Let the soup sit with lid on for a while for ham flavor to mingle. Delicious! Try this soup, you will love it!!!
Mellissa Sevigny says
Thanks so much Sherri, glad you liked it too!
Love this soup. I changed it up just a bit by using fresh onion and garlic with a little flour added for thickening. There was some fresh spinach in the fridge, so I added a few chopped up cups after turning the pot off. It is wilted but not over cooked. Will definitely make this again.
This is the third time I’ve made this soup – it is so good. When I serve ham it is always bone in, so I make ham stock with the bone, carrots celery and onion. Such an easy (and delicious) recipe.
I adapted this recipe to what I had in the house and changed it a bit. It was very good. Even my kids gobbled it up. Here’s what I changed:
I added 2 carrots and 3 small potatoes with the cauliflower
I used 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of vegetable stock
1 subbed dried thyme for fresh and added it at the beginning with the dried onion and garlic
Last. I didn’t have 2 full tablespoons of bacon fat, so I used what I had and added a little extra ghee. It was super rich and tasty.
Honestly, this recipe could have not had ham and it would have been great. Another idea would be to figure out how to get chunks of potato on with the chunks of ham for more texture. Not sure how you’d cook them. I think you’d have to pre cook and throw in to heat through wth the ham?
Nice versatile recipe.
Valerie Miller says
This is delicious! I like cauliflower, but I don’t think this tastes like cauliflower at all. I used fresh cauliflower and a homemade ham broth. It is so good! Winner, winner leftover ham dinner!
Made this tonight to use up leftover ham. While easy and pretty flavorful, I was expecting it to be a lot more creamy, or really creamy at all. The blended down cauliflower didn’t seem to thicken it up at all. Perhaps next time I will up the cauliflower or reduce the liquid a bit.
Why do you use cider vinegar in the recipe? What is it’s use, to add acidity? I’ve heard of adding vinegar to some chili’s but I was never sure why. I’d appreciate a comment, there are so many uses for cider vinegar, but never have I seen it in soup. Thank you, I look forward to making this soup tonight.
Take my advice and leave that vinegar out! It’s so gross with it in there!
Wonderful soup!!! DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE VINEGAR. I used garlic vinegar and it really added to the flavor.
This soup is AMAZING!! I’ve been on keto for about 7 months and have really missed soup. Especially now that it is winter, hot foods are all I want and this fulfilled all my hopes and dreams :) I ended up splitting into 6 larger portions with the same net carbs and only slightly higher calorie count (it didn’t need the cream, you were right). Paired it with a warm coconut flour cheddar biscuit YUM YUM YUM!
Excellent recipe. I didn’t want to have to deal with chopping up cauliflower and my grocer did not have plain bags of frozen cauliflower so I chose to go with 2 10oz boxes of frozen with a cheese sauce. I also did not have cider vinegar so I did white wine vinegar with a splash of apple cider left over from Thanksgiving. I threw everything (ham included) into the pot for 40mins. I used my immulsion blender on everything. I shouldn’t have, but I added another 2 tbsp of butter for the richness. :) so, so good and dreamy. I loved this easy low carb recipe. Delish.
Delicious soup, made according to recipe except used chicken broth. My husband even enjoyed and he normally doesn’t like cooked cauliflower. It’s also very quick and easy to make.
This was such an amazing recipe to find!! I used sweet italian pork sausage I had on hand and it was amazing!!! A little shredded mozzarella on top to give. A creamy swirl mixed in and it was delicious.
I’ve made this soup three weeks in a row.
Week one: Exactly as is. It was fantastic
Week two: I cooked 4 strips of bacon till crispy, crushed them into bits, and then added them to the soup at the end when I added the ham. I used the bacon grease rather than butter. I also added about 3 cups of Kale and blended it along with the cauliflower (I needed to use up some kale). Not as good as week one… the Kale wasn’t a good idea.
Week three: I cooked 12 strips of thick cut bacon till crispy and crushed them into bits. Then, as I was blending the cauliflower I decided to also blend the bacon bits. End result was incredible. I added the bacon grease rather than butter.
Reason for adding bacon was I wanted to bump up the fat content. The flavor from week one wasn’t lacking but I mean when you add bacon and its grease of course it will taste better.
WOW! This is so good. I live in the mountains of NM and it’s already cool here so this soup really hit the spot! I didn’t have apple cider vinegar so I used balsamic. I also added heavy cream, red pepper flakes and arrow root to thicken it up. Had leftover ham steak that I added in and it was wonderful. I would normally make this exactly as directed but needed to use up some things I had in the fridge but the flavor was heaven even before I added in the extras. To top it off it was incredibly easy. I normally have to drive 45 min down the mountain for just 1 or 2 ingredients but these items are in most all lowcarber’s kitchen. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
I just made this with my leftover Easter ham bone & it is AWESOME!
I think you might have cornered the market on low carb recipes using ham bone broth! I ended up with 9 cups of stock, to instead of saving it for some other use, I expanded the recipe by 1/2 and it still came out fantastic!
I made this soup from our leftover Easter ham. Cauliflower is not my most favorite but i eat a lot of it because, you know, low carb. I loved this soup! The ham is the star in this soup and is delicious! Will make again. Thank you!
This is a delicious soup!! Even my picky 13 year old son loved it. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Judy Warner says
Thanks, Carolyn! Think I might use a couple of bone in pork chops. I will add the liquid smoke too. I love cauliflower soup. Sounds so good after all the food during Christmas.
Mellissa Sevigny says
Hey Judy, I think you have me confused from Carolyn over at All Day I Dream About Food! Happens all the time! :) The bone in pork chops is a great idea as a sub for ham and to add a nice flavor to the broth! Enjoy!
Not a huge cauliflower fan but this actually sounds amazing especially for low carb eaters. Will be giving this one a try. Thanks.
Wonderful and whimsical says