Looks like the newest food to trend is cauliflower! This overlooked veggie finally has it’s moment! So happy to read about this because once I was out of the nest and on my own, I really started loving it! I didn’t care for it cooked very much when I was a kid, but who did? Maybe it was those “frozen pouches” they made in the ’70’s that my mom used to fix that turned me off? Or maybe it was just that my taste buds were so sharp when I was little that everything always tasted super strong? Whatever the reason we’ll probably never know. All I know now is that I LOVE it! I actually get terrible cravings for it even! But not those pouches or pre-made goop. Noooooo! Still gross. 😉 Fresh only! 😀
Sadly, “Mr. Picky Pants” doesn’t share my enthusiasm for this funny looking veggie. I do give that man all the credit in the world for always giving it at least “one taste” to confirm his pure hatred for this innocent vegetable, though. Some things you just plain can’t force your taste buds to like. 😉 I can completely respect that. If we all liked the same exact things, what a boring world it would be! Right? 😀
So I made this small pot special just for me. It’s only about 4-5 servings, but you can always easily double this if you want. But if you’re living in a household that only has a few takers, this should be plenty.
I pureed this a little at a time in the blender until smooth, but you can always just do half to three-fourths smooth, and then add the rest as is for a slightly chunky-style soup, too. But pureeing all of it makes for an incredibly, velvety smooth soup that you only find in fine-dining restaurants! It’s so very creamy rich, that it would make for a very impressive starter for a dinner party!
I had this with the last of my Three Cheese Focaccia and it was to DIE for good! I’m going to be very sad when my soup and bread is all gone! The focaccia was wonderful dipped in the soup and paired like they were twins! But you can serve any crusty or sturdy bread with this if you like. Fresh, toasted, or even garlic bread or breadsticks.
And lastly! The tiara on top was the mild, sweet, edible tiny cabbage leaves, along with some crumbled bacon and some finely grated white cheddar! Simply elegant. Especially the tiny little leaves that I saved from the base of the head of cauliflower! Not bitter at all with a delicate crunch! I’ll remember to save them from now on! 😉 They were delicious and fun to scoop the soup on to!
So if you’re wanting a very special soup to impress or spoil yourself with, this is it. Trust me, boy is this it! I would LOVE to serve this at a dinner party in fancy cups or martini glasses! I think guests would really enjoy this! So mark this one for yourself or for a special event and give it a try sometime! Would be lovely for a starter for a Valentine’s Day dinner, tint it green for a St. Paddy’s Day celebration, or hold off until spring and serve it as a first course to an Easter brunch! Would go beautifully with baked ham!
Hope you all enjoy and have a fantastic day! 😀
VELVETY WHITE CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER SOUP
Serves 4-5 (*more if serving in small cups or martini glasses)
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tbl. Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base, or your own favorite brand chicken bouillon
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
4 Tbl. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, halved lengthwise and chopped into small pieces
8 sweet baby carrots, quartered lengthwise and chopped into small pieces
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/8 tsp. dried thyme, crushed between your fingers and thumb
1/4 cup flour
1 head cauliflower, quartered, large stems cut out, and florets cut into small pieces, (*save little tiny cabbage leaves from base for extra garnish if desired) pitch or save/freeze large stems for another use
2 cups heavy cream
4 oz. block sharp white cheddar, grated
1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
1/8 tsp. sriracha sauce
dash – 1/16 tsp. garlic salt to taste
dash or two of coarse ground black pepper to taste
more grated white cheddar and/or asiago *for garnish
2-3 strips quality lean bacon cooked crisp and crumbled *for garnish
tiny cabbage leaves *for garnish
In microwave-safe pitcher, add water, chicken base/bouillon, mustard and bay leaves. Microwave on high until just to a boil. Remove, stir until chicken base has dissolved and set by stove to steep for upcoming use.
In large deep frying pan, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots, and toss to coat. Turn down heat to LOW, and sauté for 30-40 minutes until veggies are extremely soft, stirring now and then. *Add shallots, minced garlic and crushed thyme during last 15minutes.
Remove bay leaves from bouillon and slowly add bouillon mixture whisking in. Add cauliflower, return to a simmer, and simmer another 30 minutes over medium-low to low heat until cauliflower is VERY tender. *Stirring gently as needed checking bottom and scraping sides to prevent sticking. Stir in heavy cream, return to a simmer, and again simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring as needed to again prevent the cream from thickening on the bottom and sides too much.
Stir in cheeses, sriracha, garlic salt and pepper to taste until cheeses have fully melted. Remove from heat.
Ladle soup in small batches into blender only filling halfway full and no more than that at a time. Place on top and blend until smooth and pour into small pot or large saucepan. Continue until all of the soup has been pureed.
Rewarm in pot over LOW heat. Serve garnished with grated white cheddar and/or asiago, and crumbled bacon. *Can also garnish with tiny cabbage leaves cut from base if desired.