Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cauliflower Soup

Prep time: Easy (about the same as most soups)
Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Mahon is not a fan of cauliflower and gives me MAJOR grief for making this soup, but even he likes it once it's done! It's especially delicious with a little cheddar cheese mixed in. However, I have been having major problems with large amounts of dairy—especially cheese—lately, and so I ate it without any garnishes and it was still quite yummy. (Because of my dairy issues, I served the soup with the sour cream as a garnish rather than as part of the body of the soup, like the original recipe indicates.) I streamlined the original recipe a bit because I thought it came together in a really odd way, and tweaked a few of the proportions. I also decided after the last time that I made it that it needed a longer simmering time so that the cauliflower was softer and less grainy after the soup was puréed.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 whole carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 cup flour
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 T fresh parsley (or about 1 tsp dried), chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half-and-half (or 1/4 cup each cream and milk)
1-2 tsp salt (or more) to taste
Shake of pepper

In medium saucepan, melt butter and saute onions, carrot, garlic, and celery for a few minutes or until onions begin to look translucent. Add flour and cook until the flour/butter mixture is golden and bubbly. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring as you go until everything is integrated. Add cauliflower, parsley, and salt (err on the lower side for now) and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-40 minutes or until cauliflower is fairly tender. Add milk and half-and-half and simmer for another 10-20 minutes (don't allow the soup to boil), until cauliflower is very tender and all ingredients are heated through. Purée soup using a stick blender, or in batches in a regular blender. Add more salt if needed and a shake of black pepper. Serve garnished with sour cream and cheddar cheese, if desired.

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