Zombie Brains Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Who says you’re too old to play with your food? Not me. Liven up a Halloween pot luck or murder mystery dinner party with some zombie brains (roasted cauliflower).
This roasted cauliflower soup is a guaranteed crowd pleaser with its variety of textures, crunchy toasted pecans, melt in your mouth Chanterelles, and creamy cauliflower puree. The nuttiness of the pecans, Chanterelles, and cauliflower pair nicely with La Crema Monterey Chardonnay emphasizing its vanilla notes.

{Recipe Follows Images}

Who says entertaining has to be hard? Grab a board game who done it from your childhood, have guests dress as their favorite character and voila instant good time.

No who done it is complete without a little blood. Guests will love this tasty Beet and Cauliflower soup.

Choose a mix of eclectic items with neutral colors to give your event a sense of place.

To give your course a visual pop, choose a bowl in a bold color.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Californian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8


  • 1 large head cauliflower, about 1 1/2to 2 pounds, halved, cored, and cut into 1 1/2 inch florets
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, mined
  • 5 medium Fingerling potatoes, about 12 ounces, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1/4 cup Pecans
  • 3 Tablespoons butter**
  • 6 to 12 ounces Chanterelle mushrooms, sliced**
  • 1 cup Coconut milk (optional)


  1. Place top rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets into a plastic storage bag. Add three Tablespoons olive oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, and pinch of sea salt. Close the top of the bag and shake to coat.
  3. Spread cauliflower florets on a large rimmed baking sheet or large cake pan. Place in the oven and roast until just tender, about 25 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower roasts, warm a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the pan is warm, add a Tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell the garlic.
  6. Add potato slices and vegetable broth to your sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potato and onion are completely soft and easily crushable against the side of the pan with a fork.
  7. Add the roasted cauliflower and bay leaves to the pan. Simmer over medium heat until the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  8. While the soup simmers, in a medium saute pan, toast the pecans, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, roughly chop, and set aside.
  9. In the same medium saute pan you toasted the pecans, melt three Tablespoons butter. When the butter has melted add the chanterelles, cook until the chanterelles are soft and brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. **To make this dish vegan, replace the Chanterelle mushrooms with shiitake or crimini mushrooms and cook in olive oil. Chanterelles need butter to release their flavor.
  10. When the cauliflower is very tender, remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. To surprise your guests with zombie brains, remove a few of the cauliflower florets and put aside until serving. If your sauce pan is not non-stick and you own an immersion blender, puree the soup in the sauce pan until smooth, about 5 minutes, If you do not have an immersion blender, let the soup cool slightly and then transfer the soup to a blender, working in small batches, and blend until all of the soup is smooth.
  11. Rewarm the pureed soup over medium heat, slowly adding coconut milk until you reach the consistency you want.
  12. To serve, garnish with fried chanterelles, pecans, and optionally a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Tired of the same old Halloween dishes? Try serving up roasted cauliflower with zombie brains and vampire blood (beet and tomato soup).

Tired of the same old Halloween dishes? Try serving up roasted cauliflower with zombie brains and vampire blood (beet and tomato soup).

Looking to do something a little different this Halloween? Before pureeing your soup, grab a handful or so of the roasted cauliflower florets. If serving your Roasted Cauliflower Soup buffet style at a pot luck or passing family style, gently place the florets around the top of the soup. If you’re plating the soup separately, break into smaller pieces and sprinkle on top of each bowl alongside the Chanterelles and toasted pecans.

Guests will be sure to smile when they see this playful presentation.

Guests will be sure to smile when they see this playful presentation.