Slow Cooker Cauliflower Soup with Pepper Jack & Bacon is a creamy, silky, crock pot recipe that balances healthy, vitamin-packed cauliflower with zesty cheese and decadent bacon...and since it starts with frozen cauliflower, it couldn't be any simpler to make!
Place cauliflower florets in a large, oval slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Pour chicken broth over the top. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW (or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH), until cauliflower is very tender when pierced with a fork (but not brown and overdone).
Using an immersion blender, purée cauliflower pieces until smooth and creamy. Stir in half-and-half and shredded cheese (if soup is too thick for your preference at this point, you may add a bit more half-and-half or broth). Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 more minutes or until heated through. Serve warm, topped with bacon and, if desired, extra cheese and sliced fresh jalapeños.
You may use vegetable stock if you like. You may also replace the half-and-half with additional stock, if you prefer. The type of stock or broth you use is going to dictate if you need to add additional salt at the end or not.
For the dairy, you can use 2%, whole milk, half-and-half, heavy cream...it's up to you! But obviously, the fattier the milk product you use, the richer and creamier the final soup is going to be.
You may swap out the pepper jack cheese for Monterrey jack, sharp cheddar, or whatever your favorite may be.
If you don't have an immersion blender, you may purée this soup in batches using a food processor or blender. Just allow it to cool down a bit before doing so, work with small batches at a time (don't fill your blender more than half way!), and leave the top of the blender cracked (holding it in place with an oven mitt or folded kitchen towel) so that steam can escape and soup doesn't explode everywhere!