Monday, July 6, 2015

Cheesy, Creamy Cauliflower Soup

When we go grocery shopping, we always go with a budget and a list which means we generally have the week's meals planned out.  Sometimes, things that weren't on the list sneak into the cart.  This time I grabbed a cauliflower with no ideas for it... if nothing else, I knew it'd get thrown into the roasted veggie mixes (we eat baked chicken and roasted veggies once or twice a week for dinner).

I don't know why, but I decided I wanted cream soup, and I've never actually made a cauliflower soup, so it seemed like the thing to do.  The cheese was a last minute idea since I remembered we had them in the fridge, and I'm glad I did!  This soup came out great... I really liked it.

I can't even tell you why, but I've had Billy Joel running through my brain... which then, instantly makes me think of the Gimmes.  So Me First and the Gimme Gimmes doing "Only The Good Die Young" (because they didn't eat their cauliflower).  -jen

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Makes:  11-12 cups
  • 6 tablespoons butter + 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, separated
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, diced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 poblano or green pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Cojack cheese
  • 2 teaspoons sherry
  • several dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper or Sriracha sauce (optional)
In a large stockpot, saute onion, carrots, celery and pepper in 6 tablespoons of butter over a medium-high heat until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower, garlic, thyme, marjoram and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.   Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, then simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.  (At this point, I like to use a stick blender or regular blender to blend about 2/3 of the soup, smoothing it out a little but I like to leave a few chunks.  You can leave everything whole, or blend the whole thing, whatever you prefer!)

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt remaining 1 stick of butter.  Stir in flour and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to make a roux.  Remove from heat.  When the cauliflower in the broth is tender (and blended, if you're blending any), add the roux and the heavy cream.  Bring back to a boil, then simmer, stirring frequently until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Add the cheese, one handful at a time, stir until completely melted before adding next handful.  Add sherry, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne or Sriracha, if desired.

I garnished mine with some of the shredded cojack and some diced scallions I had in the fridge.

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