Just a year ago, I made a quick trip to Southeastern Idaho (where I grew up) to visit family, and to help my mother-in-law, Nanette, who is more a second mother to me than any sort of in-law (or out-law for that matter), to help her get settled into her new home. I am so delighted that she has the opportunity to live nearby her daughters and that it is easier for them to spend time together. I just wish I was able to join them more often.
On that visit, my sister-in-law brought over a pot of this amazing cauliflower soup. I was in love. I took some home, all the way to Utah; and it was just as good warmed up. I made it again recently, and it is just the thing for the chilly November days we are experiencing. The soup warms me twice, first with fond memories of Nanette, and secondly as I enjoy a bowlful. I think I will make more tonight!
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 – 6
1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and florets chopped into small pieces
2 – 3 carrots peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
2 stalks of celery, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 ⅓ cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup butter (½ cube)
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups milk*
½ cup heavy cream*
4 – 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, minced
*May substitute 2 cups half and half or 2 cups whole milk for milk/cream. .
Melt butter in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add chopped cauliflower, carrots, celery, and onion; season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute until veggies are slightly tender, about six minutes stirring frequently. Add flour and garlic and cook mixture, stirring constantly, two minutes. While stirring slowly add chicken broth, then add bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer (medium low), cover pot with lid and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 – 15 minutes. Stir in milk and cream and cook until heated through. Remove bay leaf and discard.
Dish into serving bowls, top with crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, and minced green onions. Add crusty bread, crackers, or cornbread for a hearty meal.