Last weekend, I scored a great deal on a piece of pork shoulder. Since I hadn’t planned on taking home a big slab of pork, I decided the easiest thing to do was to cook it up slowly to make pulled pork so that we had plenty of emergency protein to hand throughout the week. Once we had worked our way through a lot of it, I decided to make soup with the leftovers, which is how this Creamy Pulled Pork Soup came to be!
You might expect this soup to taste overly of cauliflower, but it doesn’t, thanks to the broth, garlic and dried oregano added to it — once the pulled pork is simmered into the broth, it really takes on a delicious, meaty flavor and the soup has a beautifully silky texture. You can make a one pot meal out of this Creamy Pulled Pork Soup by throwing in several handfuls of greens to wilt just before serving. We like baby kale, spinach, arugula or even some baby chard – all of those greens will wilt quickly and not require more than a minute or two extra time at the stove.
I gussied up the presentation here by piling the warmed pulled pork on top of the soup, then swirling the bowls with a little quality extra virgin olive oil and a few snips of fresh chives. But, rest assured! If you choose to make everything in one pot, you’ll have a lovely thick and creamy soup that almost borders on a rich stew-like texture — we enjoy eating this one for breakfast!
No pulled pork? No Problem! A 3lb (1.36 kg) pork shoulder or butt is easy to make in the slow cooker (this is mine): just set it for 8 hours on low and it will be tender and ready to shred with some forks. Even better: set your slow cooker to run overnight and your pulled pork will be ready when you wake up! For a larger piece of pork, cut it into 2lb (900 g) pieces and cook in the slow cooker the same way.
- SOFTEN: Heat a saucepan or dutch oven over low-medium heat. Dice the onion, then smash and peel the whole garlic cloves. Add the oil, diced onion and smashed garlic to the pan, stirring through the oil to coat. Allow the onion and garlic to soften, stirring occasionally to avoid any burning or coloring. Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower into evenly sized florets and add to the pan along with the salt and broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the broth to a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- BLEND: Remove the pan from the heat (turn off the burner) and carefully transfer it to a trivet and use an immersion blender to blend everything together until you have a smooth, creamy soup base. Add the oregano leaves and return the pan to the heat.
- SIMMER: Turn the heat to medium and bring the soup back up to a simmer. If the soup is thicker than you prefer, add a little extra broth until the soup is the texture that you like. Add the pulled pork and cook until the pork is hot all the way through before serving.
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