Monday, February 14, 2011

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

It's been cold here for a long, long time. I love a hot bowl of homemade soup for lunch or supper when the temps outside are in a perpetual state of freezing! This soup is creamy, but the creaminess comes from the pureed cauliflower and milk and not from cream or even 1/2 and 1/2; you'll be surprised how creamy and rich-tasting this is!

Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. They don't have to be perfectly even, much of it will get pureed eventually.

Saute the onion and butter in a Dutch oven.

Cook and stir until the onion is golden and tender; then add in the salt and flour.

Cook and stir for 1 minute, then add the chicken broth

water, and milk.

Add the cauliflower,

then bring to a boil;

reduce heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Turn off the heat. Now, very carefully, use your immersion blender to puree some of the soup.

Puree it as much as you like - I don't like it velvety smooth; I like some chunks and bits. If you don't have an immersion blender, puree the soup in a regular blender in batches. Be sure to leave the middle part of the cover off so the steam escapes.

When it's pureed to your liking, add the mustard

and the cheese

and stir until the cheese melts. I like to garnish bowls of this soup with a bit more cheese and some freeze dried chives (or "real" if you have them!).

Get more great recipes at Mouthwatering Mondays, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday , Delectable Tuesday, What's Cooking Wednesday and Fabulous Food Friday.

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (1 14 1/2 oz. can)
1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender and golden. Stir in flour and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Gradually stir in broth, milk and water. Add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10minutes. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until it is your desired texture. (Alternately, puree soup in batches in a standard blender.)

Add mustard and cheese; stir until melted and smooth. Garnish with additional cheese and chives, if you like.

Makes 8 first course servings or 5-6 main dish servings

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