I finally got around to using the cauliflower we got in our basket last week. I made this soup my friend Aubry posted on this great blog a couple of weeks ago. Pretty much anything Aubry makes is delicious, so I was positive this would be a winner.
We didn't have any sharp cheddar cheese in the house, just medium. Sharp cheddar definitely would have made it better but it was still good. Next time I make it, I'm also going to cut down on the amount of chicken stock...it was just too thin for my liking...but like I said, still good!
Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced, grated, or finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock (like I said, I think I will cut it down to 2 1/2 or 3 cups)
1 cup whole milk or half-and-half (I used whole milk)
2 1/2 cups aged, sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this was my addition to the recipe)
Bring a couple of inches of water to a boil, add cauliflower, salt and cook until tender. Drain, puree (I left mine with some chunks. I like chunky soup) and reserve.
Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan. Melt the butter and add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and milk, bring to a bubble, then reduce the head to medium and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the cheese into the liquid, stirring until all the cheese has melted. Stir in cauliflower puree. Add cayenne pepper and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.