Recipe – Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

I love soup. For me it is the best thing you could possibly have to eat when it’s cold and nasty out. It is the ultimate food for lazy people, because there is not usually much chewing involved, and because there are some soups that while they are full of vegetables, are secretly just vehicles for cheese and cream. Today’s recipe is one of those.

For Christmas, I was gifted with a book of soups. And not just any book of soups – one that has a soup for every day of the year. 365 days of soup! I don’t think anyone should really try and make all these soups because that is a recipe for craziness – you would be eating soup every meal every day, and I think your teeth would long for something more substantial to munch on. But after I got it, I spent a lot of time going through it. I flipped through the pages for the first few months, which are mostly cold weather soups, and marked the ones I was most interested in trying. This was towards the beginning of the book, and seemed easy enough.

And it was. The directions say to dump it all in a blender, but that way is craziness. Get yourself a stick/immersion blender, and just blend the soup in situ. Then when it’s creamy and perfect, serve it up with some toasty bread. Once you’ve done all the prep, this recipe is quick to come together, but cutting the cauliflower into florets, shredding the white cheddar, and cutting up the onion takes a good chunk of prep time. I’ve made one other soup from this book so far, but I really need to pull it out again and figure out another soup to make. It’s that good.

Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
Yield: 6-8 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut to florets
5 cups of chicken broth (could substitute vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz White cheddar cheese, shredded
Bread for servings (best when toasted)

In a heavy pot, add the oil over medium-high heat, adding the onions when the oil begins to shimmer, then stir occasionally until onions are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until golden, an additional 5-7 minutes.

Add the broth, 2 tsp salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is tender, 10 minutes or so.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender in the pot. (Alternatively, can blend in batches in a blender or food processor.) Add cheese, stirring until melted and combined, then taste and add more salt and/or pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread!

Details: Cheddar Cauliflower Soup adapted from Soup of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year, by Kate McMillan for Williams Sonoma.

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