Food Snob Chronicles — A Cauliflower Soup for the (Cauliflower) Haters

Confession: I’ve always enjoyed munching on a cauliflower floret, or two on a vegetable tray. Raw cauliflower.  Then, I met the love of my life, who happens to prefer the steamed version. No, she’s not a 90-year-old who cannot stomach anything that must be chewed. Neither is she someone without taste buds. She just believes that steamed cauliflower deserves a respectable spot on the menu.

I’ve managed to successfully incorporate this snow-white (immature) flower head into a tasty hybrid-potato mash and a half-decent fake pizza crust (yet to be perfected).  Those attempts were mostly under protest, as was cauliflower soup. Then, a strange thing happened.  My first cauliflower soup attempt turned out … pretty good. Then I refined it, and it was even better. After several more attempts, the concoction truly proved itself to be something other than a substitute ingredient.

I still really enjoy the raw version with a side of bleu cheese dressing (or Italian dressing), but this soup really is divine. Dress it with a small handful of roasted cauliflower and you have yourself a bowl of restaurant-worthy goodness. Seriously.

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup w/ Roasted Cauliflower ‘Croutons’

Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Cauli 'Croutons.' A soup for Cauliflower haters. Seriously.

Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Cauliflower ‘Croutons.’ A soup for Cauliflower haters. Seriously.

Make the roasted cauliflower, starting the soup around halfway through the 45-minute baking time, so that both come out hot at the same time.

Top each bowl of soup with a small handful of roasted cauliflower.

Roasted Cauliflower ‘Croutons’
2 cups – Fresh cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 TB – Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Toss florets in olive oil; then season as desired with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake – turning at least once – until caulifower is browned around edges, about 45 minutes.

Soup
1 – Small to-medium head Cauliflower, cut into florets
1 – Small onion, diced
3 cups – Weak chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp – Dried Celery seed
1 tsp – Dried Thyme
Pinch – Cayenne pepper

1 cup – Half-and-half
1½ cups – Sharp Cheddar, shredded

In a large saucepan, add cauliflower, onion, celery seed, thyme and cayenne pepper to stock. Bring to a light boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Place in a blender or food processor and mix to desired consistency.

Add processed cauliflower mixture back to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, reducing the mixture slightly, then add half-and-half, stirring regularly. Once soup is warmed through, remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until combined.

Top with small handful (1/3 cup) of roasted cauliflower ‘croutons.’

Makes 6 servings.

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Comments

  1. I love raw cauliflower, though if I’m honest, I mainly use it as a utensil for shoveling ranch dressing into my mouth. Lol! I will begrudgingly eat a side of steamed cauliflower. But roasted or pureed cauliflower are the absolute tops for me. This looks right up my alley! 😀

  2. I love cauliflower raw – especially in that Furr’s Cafeteria kind of salad with raw broccoli, raisins, and nuts with a sweetish dressing – yep, memories of my childhood. This soup on the other hand looks like I could more than love it and the roasted cauliflower croutons are the crowning touch. Smooth, Crunchy, and cheesy all at once……….heaven!

  3. Just pass me those “croutons.” I love this stuff roasted. But, given enough ranch dressing, I can eat it raw, too.

    • adamjholland says:

      Ranch dressing seems to have a huge following. I remember when one had to buy the mix and add buttermilk. In our home, the container was an old pancake syrup bottle. My father and sister squirted that stuff on everything. (I’ve always been partial to Italian or Bleu Cheese.)

  4. Yes indeed I can see this being very tasty. I’ll just have to sneak off to the market myself to grab the cauliflower so my husband doesn’t know what’s in it. If he doesn’t like it though, that would be okay since I have no problem finishing off entire pots of soup all by myself.
    I have a friend who swears by the cauliflower pizza crust recipe but I haven’t tried it myself. I’d be interested in hearing if you ever perfect it.

    • adamjholland says:

      The cauliflower crust, in my opinion, is what it is. I only wish I’d been raised on it, versus the yeasty, crisp and chewy stuff that we’re all accustomed to. Switching from the classic to the cauli version is sort of like trading in a Nissan Armada for a Toyota Prius (which we did about a year ago.)

  5. Nice Cauliflower Soup recipe! I’d make this any day!

  6. I’m a cauliflower fan and I’ve yet to succumb to the mash or the pizza crust. I should try it sometime. Your soup is beautiful with those toasty little florets.

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