Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheese Soup

by Kelly on February 11, 2011

As when making any resolution or goal it’s not uncommon, after a little while to find yourself bumping up against obstacles. You know, one moment it’s smooth sailing and the next you hit the kind of road block that makes you want to give up or revert to your old ways. It usually comes just after that point where you start getting cocky, when you’re thinking your resolution is easy and wondering why other people don’t attempt it.

That was where I was at a little over a week ago with my winter resolution.  To recap, I had resolved to make the most out of winter, to not suffer through it, but to actually enjoy it.  Things had been going well.  And then Snowstorm 2011 hit Chicago.  Twenty plus inches of snow later I found myself questioning my resolution.

Lucky for me one of my good friends had planned a soup party that happened to coincide perfectly with the blizzard’s end.  An afternoon with a Dutch Oven and some raw ingredients was all I needed to make the most of a blustery weekend.  (That we got together to share our soups with copious amounts of wine certainly didn’t hurt either.

Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheese Soup-2

The fruits of my labor resulted in a large pot of Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheese Soup.  With its hearty mixture of cauliflower, potato, and cheese it has the stick to your ribs quality that is sure to warm you up from the inside.  I particularly loved how it had the ability to be indulgent without overdoing it.  To make mine even more of a treat I topped it with some homemade bacon I crisped in a skillet along with some chopped chives, but you could just as easily skip the bacon for a meatless meal.

Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheese Soup

Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheese Soup
Adapted from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook
Yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-2 minced garlic cloves
-3 cups diced onions
-1 cup diced celery
-2 heads cauliflower, separated into florets
-3 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
-10 cups vegetable broth (chicken stock would also work well here too though I chose vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian soup for those who enjoyed it without the bacon garnish)
-4 cups shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
-2 cups half and half
-1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1 teaspoon dry mustard
-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
-6 dashes Tabasco sauce
-Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-Cooked bacon, crumbled, for garnish, if desired

Method:

In stockpot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, celery, cauliflower and potatoes. Sauté for 10 minutes.

Add enough broth to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cheese, half and half, nutmeg, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Puree the soup in the pot using a hand blender or working in batches with a regular blender until smooth. If desired, crumble bacon over the top.

What about you? Did you make a New Years Resolution or two this year, and if so, what have you done to stay strong?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany February 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

This looks awesome — perfect remedy to that awful blizzard. I’m so glad that it’s going to be above freezing for a few days. Hopefully some of these towers of snow will melt a little!

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Chou February 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

A soup party sounds like the perfect way to weather the snowstorm! Thanks for sharing.

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Victoria (District Chocoholic) February 11, 2011 at 10:20 am

Anything with pureed cauliflower served warm is a winner. And with cheese? Incredible.

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Lauren February 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

First of all, I love the idea of a soup party! Your contribution looks fantastic: so comforting. I have resolved to eat less sugar, and have successfully made some great desserts. I made a date-sweetened coconut milk ice cream and some “truffles” with dates, peanuts, and a few grain-sweetened chocolate chips. So far, so good!

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Victoria February 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm

That looks so inviting, and I totally wish I had good friends that planned soup parties!

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Carolyn Jung February 12, 2011 at 12:15 am

I love the way pureed cauliflower ends up sooo velvety smooth. So a soup made from that, plus potato, plus cheese has got to be dynamite. And I haven’t even gotten to the bacon bits yet. Swoon….

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CaSaundra February 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

Minnesota actually missed out a snowstorm for the first time ever I think! But I saw Chicago’s crazy weather on the news..but glad you’re hanging in there! A soup party sounds like tons of fun. It would probably take forever for me to decide what soup I’d want to bring!!!

p.s. Thanks so much for you’re sweet comment on my new cupcake adventure. You’re comments always make me smile!! :-)

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sophia February 14, 2011 at 1:33 am

Any soup with 2 cups of half-and-half gets a thumbs up from me! :D And obviously I WOULD desire crumbled bacon on top…ooooh.

Happy Valentine’s, Kelly! :)

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John February 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

This looks and sounds great. I’m going to add more potato when I try it.

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Kelly February 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Thanks John – I think you could certainly add more potato and perhaps even eliminate the cauliflower all together, though I like having it in the soup as it makes it less heavy and starchy.

Sophia – Though my hips might not agree, I’m with you. Half & half plus bacon crumbs = always a good idea.

CaSaundra – Oh it did take me forever to decide. I’m quite indecisive when it comes to figuring out what to make. It’s funny that when it comes to major decisions I can reach a conclusion quickly, but ask me what I want to make for dinner and I’m at a loss.

Lauren – Ooh, those all sound fantastic. I always admire your creativity in the kitchen.

Victoria – I agree. Pureed caulflower is still relatively new to me (as in, within the last couple of years) but I adore it. It’s so tasty and I especially enjoy it when blended with potato. You get a little bit of the starchiness of potato, which I love, but not so much that it is heavy.

Chou – No, thank you. :-)

Bethany – Thankfully the melting seems to finally be happening. I was walking around a lot over the weekend and the piles were so much more manageable, but the puddles…

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5 Star Foodie February 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm

An excellent hearty and delicious soup, love the homemade bacon on top!

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Charissa - The Gifted Blog February 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

This looks awesome!

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