Cauliflower Stem Soup

by | Dec 22, 2023 | Uncategorized

Here at Farming Hope, we’re intentional about all the ingredients that go into our work, understanding that every lettuce leaf matters in our farm-to-table food system.
We believe that neither food nor human potential should go to waste. 

This year we’ve rescued over 23,000 pounds of produce that would otherwise go to waste and transformed it into delicious, healthy meals feeding families across San Francisco who are food insecure.

We’re not just making sure that perfectly good produce doesn’t get tossed out, we’re also making sure that the labor, water, and energy that went into its creation is valued. Americans waste on average 30-40% of our food supply, and during the holiday season the percentage is even higher. At Farming Hope, we’re working to change that at every level from rescuing waste to using root-to-stem cooking techniques.

Cauliflower Stem Soup
by Chef Michelle Minori

We’re excited to share one of our favorite food waste-busting recipes with you! Farming Hope Board Member, former Interim Culinary Director, and Top Chef Finalist Michelle Minori noticed how many cauliflower stems we ended up tossing and created this wonderful warming soup that turns cauliflower cores into a beautiful, silky smooth delicious soup. Perfect as a starter, or as a whole meal with  a salad and some big crispy croutons. 

Ingredients – Serves 6

6 cauliflower stems or 1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
8 cups of water or vegetable broth


1. Thinly slice the core and stem of the cauliflower. If using a whole cauliflower, coarsely chop the florets and thinly slice the core.

2. Heat ¼ of olive oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat.

3. Add the onions (and garlic, if using) and cook just until tender. Stir frequently to avoid coloring the onions.

4. Add the cauliflower and cook just until well coated with the onion mixture

5. Season with salt and add the water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender.

6. Add everything to a blender and puree until smooth.

7. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil and blend to incorporate. Adjust seasoning with salt if desired.

8. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of toasted nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts. Use up leftover bread as croutons for an added crunch!


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