Thursday, April 5, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup

Have you ever roasted cauliflower?  If you haven't, you should try it because it transforms what can be a pretty boring vegetable into something that I can't help but eat straight from the pan.  So I was pretty excited when I came across a recipe for roasted cauliflower soup.   

I actually made this soup about a month ago on a day when our state was hit by some pretty hardcore tornadoes.  Tornadoes are not unheard of around here, but the hysteria surrounding the storm predictions on this day were unlike anything I have seen and included closing schools and businesses early.  We were incredibly lucky and most of the storms went around us but several communities in Kentucky and surrounding states were pretty much decimated.  

Severe storms freak me out a little.  Okay, a lot.  Cooking a pot of soup seemed like a good way to calm my nerves.  Side note here, I picked up a movie to watch as well.  The name of the movie - Take Shelter.  Probably not the wisest selection on this day but I really wanted to see it and it was excellent.  

The soup was excellent as well.  One of most flavorful soups I have ever made.  Cauliflower is cut into florets and roasted simply with olive oil and salt and pepper.  A few strips of bacon are crisped up and onions and garlic are lightly browned in the rendered fat creating a base for the soup.  I used homemade chicken stock and have to say there isn't any comparison between it and the boxed/canned/powdered stuff.    Aged white cheddar is used here and I love how it keeps the soup monochromatic.  Cream and the roasted cauliflower are the final touches.  Whir with an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender, to the desired consistency and you're done.  Next time I will hold back some of the roasted cauliflower and add it to the finished soup for more texture.

My mouth is watering a little as I write about it.  This soup was so delicious and exemplifies what I love about cooking; taking simple ingredients and creating something that nourishes not only the body, but the soul.

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup
adapted from Closet Cooking

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
3 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place cauliflower on baking sheet.  Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast cauliflower in oven and cook until lightly browned, about 20 - 30 minutes.

Place bacon in Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.  Place onion in pan and cook in bacon fat until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add thyme, chicken stock and cauliflower.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered, for about 20 minutes.  

Puree the soup with an immersion blender to desired consistency.  Mix in the cheese and cook until melted.  Stir in cream.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with bacon as garnish.
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  1. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, I'm always craving a comforting soup. This cauliflower soup looks really rustic and flavorful.

  2. This soup sound delicious. I love the roasted cauliflower with the white cheddar cheese and bacon. This is on my "To cook "list. Thanks for the great post:)

  3. I think I'll make this this week!

  4. Made this for Easter dinner yesterday - it was a hit, even with my vegetable phobic husband. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I've been meaning to try cauliflower in soup for a while, but it keeps getting pushed off. This recipe looks great, definitely bookmarking it :)

    Glad you guys made it through the storms!

  6. Tried this tonight and even my husband, not a cauliflower lover, had seconds!


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