Usually, I am not a soup person. In fact, I am a very picky soup eater. I am also a flavor snob. Most everything I eat (or even drink) must be full of flavor. I even put 5 grains of sea salt in my coffee grounds in my French press! That explanation though, is best left for another time… Back to soups!
Growing up, soups were served at least once a week, all year round. Yep, even on hot, humid, New England days. I grew up in an immigrant, three generation, German household. We rarely ate out, and everything (soup included) was made from scratch. Many of those soups, suffice it to say, were… interesting. I grew up on potato soup (not what you are thinking), green bean soup, lima bean soup, carrot soup, cabbage soup, and so on. Let’s just say, I was a very skinny youngster. To me, these soups were not very flavorful, and just a little too weird for my taste.
Once I was on my own, soup and I parted ways. I hardly ate soup, nor was I even inspired to make it, except the occasional chicken soup when someone was sick. Suffice it to say, my chicken soup was even less than desirable.
Fast forward to Pinterest, and soup pins are passing through my feed on a regular basis. Some of these soups are now catching my attention. I’ve pinned tons of them, and have even now made a few of them. My family always gives me a strange look like, “You made soup?” Yep, I am now making soup, dare I say it, on a more regular basis, and liking it!
One in particular that has gotten my attention is roasted cauliflower soup. I’m a little short on time right now (I’m a tax accountant and it is tax season after all), so roasting cauliflower is not an extra step I want to add when making soup. I need to keep it simple. I wanted to start with a great base and Lindsay’s Creamy Cauliflower Sauce was my inspiration. Yes, I know it’s sauce, but I used the base ingredients and transformed them into a Cheddar Cheese Cauliflower Soup recipe. It’s creamy, garlicky, cheesy, and very, very yummy!
This soup is flavorful and interesting because it’s cauliflower (not the most popular vegetable), just a bit spicy (the kick is from the pepper jack cheese), and oh, so satisfying on a cold, dreary/snowy day. I could go on and on. This is not my mother’s or my grandmother’s soup, but I think they’d be quite proud!
Do you have any favorite, or maybe not so favorite, childhood soups? What’cha got cooking this weekend? Is it a dreary, snowy or rainy weekend that needs a good, hot soup? Let me know what you think of this one! 🙂
- 6-9 large cloves of Garlic, finely chopped (This is totally to taste - the amount depends on your love of garlic. I LOVE garlic, so I used 9.)
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 large head of Cauliflower or the equivalent of 5-6 cups chopped florets
- 6-7 cups Liquid (I used 4 cups water and 3 cups organic vegetable stock)
- ½ cup Milk (I used non-fat)
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 2 cups Cheddar Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded (If you don't like spice, shred 2 more cups of cheddar cheese)
- Salt and Pepper to taste (I used white pepper because I didn't want to have the black flecks of the fresh ground black pepper)
- Croutons and chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Chop the cauliflower into florets (approximately 2 inch size) and place in pot with water/stock. Bring to a boil and cook until tender with a fork. When done, do not drain right away.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, saute the garlic in the butter on low heat, until soft and fragrant. Do not overcook as browned garlic can be bitter. Transfer to a blender.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove florets with a slotted spoon, and place in the blender with the sauteed garlic. Add half the liquid (reserve the rest for a moment) from the cauliflower pot, plus the milk and blend until very smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in batches. I used my large Vitamix container.
- Next, transfer the cauliflower mixture into a large stock pot. Simmer on low and begin to add the shredded cheeses slowly, stirring to combine. If you find the soup is a little too thick, add a ladle of the reserved cauliflower stock until you've reached the consistency for your taste. Add salt and pepper a little at a time. Remember that there is salt in cheese and the pepper jack can be spicy enough for some.
- Sprinkle with croutons and chopped fresh parsley for garnish. (I've also used the crispy onions strands that you can find in the fresh produce aisle.)