Cauliflower and Belle River Crawfish Soup Recipe

Louisiana crawfish is the star of this creamy soup.


During spring in Louisiana, cooks around the state are focused on one ingredient: crawfish. From crawfish boils to étouffée, crawfish are served up all kinds of ways. After all, it’s as important to the state’s identity, economy and cuisine as the people are.

When 19th-century Canadian settlers used crawfish in place of lobster in their recipes, Louisiana’s Cajun crawfish tradition was born. From there, Creole restaurateurs in New Orleans caught on, popularizing the crustacean.

Part of crawfish’s appeal is that it’s so seasonal. From December to June, crawfish are readily available, though most celebrated in spring. Sample a crawfish boil plate at Pat’s Seafood & Cajun Deli in Covington, or learn how to make your own crawfish-based dish below.

Here’s a recipe for a crawfish soup, courtesy of WYES-TV New Orleans.

Ingredients for Cauliflower and Crawfish Soup: 

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Half a head of cauliflower, cored and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, stem only, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups basic chicken stock 
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper 
  • 1/2 pound crawfish tail meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Method of preparation: 

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over moderate heat. Add cauliflower, onions, leeks, bay leaf, potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the cauliflower softens slightly and the onions are translucent, about 20 minutes. 
  2. Add chicken stock, cream, red pepper flakes and thyme to the pot. Increase heat to high; bring soup to a boil. 
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer until potatoes are fully cooked, 15–20 minutes. 
  4. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender and strain through a fine sieve. If the consistency of your soup is too thick, add more stock.
  6. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Return to the pot, cover and keep warm.
  7. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat; add the crawfish tails and sauté for one minute. Add chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  8. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, add crawfish tails and sprinkle with chives.

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