Last week I decided to make dinner for Lindsay and me. This semester Lindsay’s classes fall on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so I wanted to have dinner ready for her when she got home (jealous ladies? I’m good looking, caring, I cook and I’m humble. OMG!). I decided to make a cauliflower soup since Lindsay and I are currently on a vegetarian diet. This was a snap decision that I put zero thought into. I saw a huge head of cauliflower and my brain yelled, “SOUP!”
Here is how I think I did it.
- 1 Large Cauliflower
- One Onion
- 2 Celery Stalks
- ½ Fennel Bulb & frilly things that look like dill
- 2 Carrots
- Parsley (dried or fresh)
- Half & Half
- Chicken Stock (I know, I know…it’s not vegetarian)
- Hot sauce
- Parmesan cheese
- Monterrey Jack cheese
First, chop your onion, celery, fennel and carrots up to your desired chunkiness.
I diced mine up fairly small and then with a small pat of butter I tossed the onions and celery into a soup pot over medium high heat. I let them cook down a bit and get some good color, and then I tossed in the carrots and fennel. I salted and peppered the veggies too, and let the veggies cook for about 10 minutes.
While the veggies were cooking down, I began to breakdown the cauliflower. I decided to keep the cauliflower in big chunks. I wanted the soup to have a hearty, stew bite to it, but you could chop it finely for a more smooth soup.
After the veggies got nice and brown I tossed the cauliflower in. I let the cauliflower cook for about 2 minutes and then I started pouring in the chicken stock. I’m not sure how much I used because I was using homemade stock that Lindsay made. Liquid that comes to about 1/2 inch above the vegetables will be the right amount no matter what pot you're using. I also put in a tablespoon of dried parsley.
I put the lid on the pot and reduced the heat to a healthy simmer. I let this simmer for about 15 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Cheese is nice, so I dumped in some parmesan and hot sauce too!
Then, I started to work on making the soup thick and creamy. I took about a ½ cup of cream and a ½ cup of half and half and whisked in 2 tablespoons of flour until it became thick and velvety. I believe I also poured myself a glass of wine.
After 15 minuets passed, I began to work in the white sauce with a whisk. This immediately thickens the soup up and brings a new rich flavor from the cream.
This is also where I started tampering with flavor. I salted and peppered the soup again, but taste yours and see what it needs! I also tossed in a nice slab of butter, because why wouldn’t you? I also added in some extra chicken stock because I got the soup too thick with the flour mixture, but other than a few tweaks it was good to go. I put the lid back on and reduced the burner to low.
When Lindsay got home she was VERY happy. I mean, it’s a real treat just to see my face but when she smelled that amazing soup she knew she was in for a real treat.
Note: Jay left the soup chunky, but you could use an immersion blender if you'd like a smoother soup - just puree it in batches and return it to the pan! Vegetable stock would work great here as a substitute, and you could swap any of the veggies out as you'd like - as long as there is cauliflower, stock, and cream you're good to go!