Velouté à la du Barry (Cauliflower Cream Soup)

Invented in the eighteenth century for Jeanne du Barry, King Louis XV of France’s last maîtresse en titre (his official mistress), this cauliflower cream soup is now a French classic.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 fresh cilantro leaves


  • Fill a large saucepan with cold water, add a tablespoon of kosher salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  • Add cauliflower to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. The cauliflower chunks should be soft after this process. Dry them well.
  • In another large saucepan, cook the onion with the olive oil over medium-low heat for 3–5 minutes. Then add the diced potatoes, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cooked cauliflower and pour in the chicken stock. Add the milk and the cream, stir well, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes. The vegetables must be very tender.
  • Transfer to a food processor or a blender, and process for at least 5 minutes. The velouté must be extremely smooth. Put back in the saucepan, and simmer very slowly until serving.
  • Add 2 cilantro leaves to each bowl of soup before serving.