Cauliflower Cheese Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

Aromatics:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

For the roux:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free alternative)

Liquids:

  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk (any kind – adjust for richness)

The Main Event:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

The Cheese Factor:

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or a mix of your favorites)

Optional Add-Ins:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • A splash of Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:

Prep the Veggies:

  • Chop the onions, celery, carrots (if using), and mince the garlic. Cut your cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

Sauté Time:

  • Heat olive oil or butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, celery, carrots (if using), and a pinch of salt. Sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant.

Build the Roux:

  • Add the butter to the pot and let it melt.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth.

Flavor Base:

  • Gradually whisk in the broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Add the cauliflower, salt, pepper, and optional thyme or nutmeg.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Milk It:

  • Slowly stir in the milk and bring back to a gentle simmer.

Puree or Not? Here’s where you choose:

  • Creamy: Blend about half the soup using an immersion blender (or carefully in batches in a regular blender). This creates a luxuriously silky base while leaving some chunky texture.
  • Chunky: Skip blending if you love the rustic feel of the whole vegetables.

Cheese Please:

  • Remove the pot from the heat.
  • Stir in the grated cheddar cheese until it’s fully melted and the soup is creamy.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. You can also add a splash of Worcestershire sauce here for depth.

Serve and Enjoy:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional cheese, a sprinkle of paprika, a bit of chopped parsley, or some crumbled bacon for extra indulgence.

Tips:

  • Customize Your Cheese: Try different cheeses like Gruyere, Gouda, or a blend for unique flavors.
  • Flavor Boost: Add a dollop of Dijon mustard or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a kick.
  • Make it Vegan: Use vegan butter, a plant-based milk alternative, and nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste.

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