Monday, March 22, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

I have been on a huge cauliflower kick lately, and it's actually kind of disappointing that I went without veggies for so long because I was positive I did not like them. I'm glad I got over that! And holy moly, this soup is good. I actually cannot believe I had forgotten how delicious cauliflower soup could be. And I know that winter is now officially over, but that shouldn't mean that soup season is over as well. This soup is light enough that it can be enjoyed all year long, and it's actually pretty healthy (you can make it even lighter by not adding the cheese, but I am a firm believer that cheese makes almost anything better.)

Cauliflower Soup
Adapted from Branny Boils Over, inspired by The Pioneer Woman

1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
1 1/2 heads of cauliflower, chopped into florets
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large dutch oven or stockpot. Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, just to sweat, not brown them. Add minced garlic, saute until fragrant. Add celery and carrots, continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Stir in salt, basil and cauliflower florets; cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.

Add chicken broth and bring soup to a simmer. Slightly warm milk in microwave and whisk in flour; add to soup. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

Using an immersion or standard blender, puree a small amount of soup (you can skip this step if you like your soup chunkier, but I wanted to thicken it up a little bit more.) Add parsley, cheddar cheese and sour cream; heat until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty bread (see below); Enjoy!

Toasted Ciabatta
Slice a loaf of ciabatta bread, drizzle slices with olive oil. Toast in broiler until crispy. Peel a garlic clove and lightly rub over toasted ciabatta slices. Serve with soup.

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