Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

This is one of those comfort foods that’s not hard to make and works up fairly quickly, especially if you get the kids involved. I always encourage having children help with cooking and baking; it’s a great way to teach them invaluable life skills, while also working together for the nourishment of the family, and that added bonus of time spent together strengthening the ties that bind. Cheesy Cauliflower Soup is a wonderful meal to do that with, and great for chilly days. Pair it with some nice homemade garlic bread and enjoy!

So, after washing the head of cauliflower, cut out the core and pull apart into smallish florets, using a knife when needed to split apart the little “tree trunks.” ;) This is something I’d give my middlish young children to do.

Dice the onion and celery, and mince the garlic (or use a garlic press at the appropriate time, which is what I usually do).

Sauté the onions and celery in the 2 Tbl of butter, in a large pot, until tender. It usually takes about 8 minutes or so; after 5 minutes add the minced garlic. You want to add the garlic a little later because it’s smaller and doesn’t need as much time, obviously, and is at risk of burning. Lord knows we don’t want our beloved garlic to burn! ;)

While the onions and celery are sautéing, dissolve the chicken bullion or base in the 3 c of water. You can use a small pan on the stove to do this; I usually just throw it in the microwave.

Peel and grate the carrot. This is a great step for younger kids to do while you’re working on other things.

You will also want to get the cheddar cheese grated. This is another step that I usually let the kids do. Believe it or not, my children argue over who gets to do these things. Well, they also argue about who gets to help, period! Sometimes they want to be the only one cooking with me, so I often schedule meals that each can help me with alone.

When the celery, onion, and garlic are tender and translucent, add the 3 c of  water with bullion or base, and the cauliflower florets. Simmer until tender, about 8-10 minutes or so. About 2 minutes before the cauliflower is done, add the grated carrot.

Now, using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower and any veggies that happen to hitch a ride on the spoon, placing them in a bowl and setting aside. Try to make sure you’re not getting the liquid too, but don’t sweat it too much.

Add the milk or half & half to the saucepan and heat to a low boil.

Make the roux by melting the ¼ c butter in a cereal bowl in the microwave. Add the flour and mix together with a whisk.

Whisk in the roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, and scraping the outer edges of the bottom of the saucepan with a rubber spatula. Don’t leave this at all; stay with it and keep whisking, with the heat high enough to keep it at a low boil. When thickened, turn the heat down a little.

Add the cauliflower/grated carrots/celery and onions back in and stir, heating thoroughly. Add the cracked peppercorn and grated cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

1 lg head cauliflower
¼ c  + 2 Tbl butter
¾ c flour
½ Vidalia onion
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
1 large carrot
3 c water
4 c milk or half & half
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp fresh cracked peppercorn
2 c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

No comments:

Post a Comment