Cauliflower Soup

5 Nov

This is really a recipe for two separate soups, although I only pictured the creamy version.  I saw this recipe at The Pioneer Woman and was absolutely enchanted with the idea of a creamy, buttery cauliflower soup.  However, as I was creating the roux, Zak tasted the soup sans-cream and very adamantly insisted he eat his like that in order to cut down on calories or fat or some other crazy nonsense.  To be fair, this is a fairly healthy cream-based soup, since I substituted half of the butter with Brummel & Brown butter substitute and used 1% milk rather than heavy cream and half and half.  I noted in the recipe where you will stop adding ingredients and serve the soup to eat Zak’s non-cream version.

If you are making this, and the non-cream version in particular, please, for the love of all things good and decent about soup, use homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if that’s what you prefer).  The stock or broth is the backbone of a good soup.  It is from where a truly wonderful soup derives all of its flavor, its “home-cooked” goodness, and its smooth, perfect consistency.  Making homemade stock is easy.  Storing homemade stock is easy.  Using homemade stock is easy.  It is higher in nutrients … and why else make a warm, comforting bowl of soup than for nourishment of mind and body?  Okay, okay, I’ll lay off – but seriously, use homemade stock.

Cauliflower Soup

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Serves 2-3

1 small yellow onion, diced (roughly 1 cup)

1 stalk celery, diced (roughly 1/2 cup)

1 carrot, diced (roughly 1/2 cup)

3 tbs. butter, divided

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, divided

1 head cauliflower, cored and diced

3 tbs. fresh parsley, finely diced

4 cups homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if you want this to be lacto-ovo vegetarian)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

(If you’re making Zak’s version, stop here!)

1 cup 1% milk

3 tbs. all natural, whole wheat flour

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup homemade Parmesan croûtons, for garnish

Melt 1 tbs. butter and 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown in a medium stock pot over medium heat.  Add diced onion and sauté 8-10 minutes until onions are lightly caramelized.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.  Add celery and carrot and sauté another 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Add cauliflower and parsley and stir thoroughly to combine.  Add one more tablespoon of Brummel & Brown.  Reduce heat to low and cover stock pot.  Cook 15 minutes, checking often to make sure the vegetables are not burning or scorching.  If they are, add a few tablespoons of water to the pot.

Add homemade chicken stock to the stock pot and raise heat to medium-high.  Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat so soup is simmering.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so until cauliflower is fork-tender.  Taste and season again with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

If you are going to make the non-cream version, which is perfectly delicious (although not as delicious, in my humble opinion), stop here.  Check a piece of cauliflower and make sure that it is cooked through or to taste, and then serve the soup with some homemade Parmesan croûtons.

If you’re not a nutter (who doesn’t want the extra oomph! of some more buttery, creamy goodness?), at this point you will begin to make your roux.

In a small saucepan, melt remaining 2 tbs. of butter over medium heat.  Meanwhile, slowly whisk 3 tablespoons of all-natural, whole wheat flour into the milk.  Now, slowly pour that into the melted butter, continuously whisking.  While whisking, continue heating the butter, milk and flour mixture over medium heat until a paste-like roux has formed.

Slowly add roux to the soup, continuously whisking.  Stirring frequently, simmer 5 minutes or so until roux has dispersed throughout the soup and the soup has thickened.  Check the cauliflower for doneness (mine was perfect at this point).  If still not to taste, simmer over medium-low heat until cauliflower is cooked through.

Remove soup from heat.  Whisk in plain Greek yogurt and serve with some homemade Parmesan croûtons.

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