Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

Every once in a while, while grocery shopping, I'll see something that catches my eye. A few weeks ago it was cauliflower. Ok, the sign caught my eye not so much the produce, but who can resist a good sale.

After I brought my unintended prize home for the store I researched a few recipes in my Joy of Cooking and debated. Mashed Cauliflower? Scalloped or Souffle? I settled on the Cream of Cauliflower soup recipe; simple and delicious.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

4 T butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 c minced celery
1 c chopped onions
1 1/2 pounds cauliflower (about 1 head), trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 c AP flour
4 c chicken stock or broth (boxed is fine)
1/2 - 1 c heavy cream, half and half, or milk (whatever you have on hand)
pinch of grated or ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese for garnish.

Melt the butter in the bottom of your soup pot. Add and cook the celery and onion until tender and translucent, but not browned. Stir in the chopped cauliflower. An easy way to break down the cauliflower head is to cut the whole thing into quarters. Remove any extra leaves remaining on the outside. Remove the core by slicing into the bottom of each quarter at an angle. Then just cut the florets away from each other and cut those into bite size pieces.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour (making a roux around all those veggies) Turn the heat to high. Slowly stir in the chicken stock.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, partially covered, until the cauliflower is very tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using a food processor or blender, process half the soup until smooth. Return to pot and stir in cream or milk. Heat through but do not boil.
Add nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve garnished with grated cheese such as Cheddar or Swiss.