Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

A switch to the cousin.
My favorite soup of all time is broccoli cheddar. I especially like the really fattening versions from the bakery/cafes. When I made a stop in at Old Grist Mill Bread Company for some lunch, they had a cheddar cauliflower soup. It was a delightful switch from my favorite. I wanted to recreate it a cheddar cauliflower soup at home in order to enjoy it on the snowy days that were in the forecast.
I used a recipe that was a bit healthier than my normal cream based soups. I even used leeks for the first time. Leeks were in my Arizona CSA often, but I never took them. Why? I was intimated. They were much simpler than I thought. A few cuts, lots of water to rinse and simply chopped and ready for the soup. It is a great Meatless Monday meal for the winter.

Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
4 cups chopped cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head)
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, and carrots. Cook, stirring often until leeks are very soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, 2 cups milk, chicken broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft.

As the cauliflower is cooking, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl. When the cauliflower is soft, remove the bay leaves and stir in the milk-flour mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the soup has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese and lemon juice.

Additions from Eating Well

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