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Preheat oven to 350°F.
Toss bread in a bowl with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and garlic powder. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until crispy, 14 to 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and barely starting to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add wine, increase heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
Add cauliflower and 3 1/2 cups broth, cover and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender and return to the pot). Combine the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir into the soup. Return to a simmer over medium heat; simmer, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and cream. Serve the soup topped with the croutons.