Monday, December 3

Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

We've had rain for five consecutive days now and I'm actually enjoying it. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I hate anything but blue skies, but after so many months of above-average heat it feels good to get some winter weather. I have a long list of soups I've been wanting to try, but this cheddar cauliflower recipe (taken from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day) was at the top of my list. I was able to track down  orange cauliflower at my farmer's market in between the storms - hence the color of the final product - but regular white cauliflower works too. Make sure to be generous with the garnishes; I think they really make the dish sing.

Cheddar Cauliflower Soup:
For Croutons
  • Whisk together 1 tbsp. melted butter, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 3/4 tbsp. Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt.
  • Toss butter mixture with 1 1/2 c. baguette, torn into bite-size chunks.
  • Cook croutons in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once with a spatula.*
For Soup
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large dutch oven and add in 2 chopped shallots and 1 chopped yellow onion.
  • Cook onions for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, and season well with salt.
  • Add in 1 peeled and diced Russet potato, cover the pot, and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add in 2 chopped garlic cloves and give the mixture a stir.
  • Pour in 4 c. low-sodium vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until potatoes are almost tender, then add in 1 large head of cauliflower that has been cut into very small florets.
  • Cover the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
  • Let mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree til smooth.
  • Return back to the pot at low heat and whisk in 1/2 c. grated aged cheddar cheese** and 2 tsp. Dijon mustard.
  • If necessary, thin soup out with some more stock or water.
  • Check soup for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  • To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with more grated cheddar and a handful of croutons.

Serves four-six (main course)
Serves eight-ten (appetizer)
*Optional, you can omit or use store-bought croutons. Leftover croutons can be cooled, then stored room-temperature in a jar or bag for up to a week.
**Use the sharpest, most aged cheddar you can find - it will add a lot of flavor to the dish.