Thursday, October 17, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Sourdough Croutons

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I have been dreaming of making a cream soup since the spring when I won a shopping spree at the Viking store for a recipe contest.  One of the items I chose was an immersion blender, which had been on my kitchen wish list for a long time, and I've had it sitting in its unopened original box in the pantry since April, just waiting for soup season.

The other night I got soup fever, not because there was a chill in the air, OH NO NOT HERE, but because I realized it was the middle of October and I haven't made much soup yet, if any.  So I put together an awesome cauliflower soup and took out my new immersion blender and the thing wouldn't even turn on.  Bummer.  So I went to get my regular blender, which I hate dragging out for hot soups, and when I picked it up, the entire bottom was cracked and I had to throw it away.  So I am basically blenderless.

Life is hard sometimes.

What I finally did was take a potato masher and break it up into tiny chunks, which we all loved.  This soup was wonderful and I really think the croutons added so much, so don't skimp on those.  My four year old grandson made a tiny pig of himself eating a bowl.  That made me happy.

Here are my notes:

-Soup is so easy.  This is super simple and you could add bacon, herbs, different cheeses, etc. to jazz it up but honestly, it was delicious like it was.

-I did measure as I went along, but the measurements are approximate.

-My soup was not watery, but you may want to decrease the water a little if your cauliflower head is small.  Mine was a nice big one.  And I didn't salt or pepper it before I roasted it, but you could.

-Almost all my soups start out with onions, garlic and celery.  I think celery gives great background flavor for soups.

-You could use milk instead of cream.  I would use whole milk though, and not fat free.

-You could use canned broth or stock, or do like I did and use chicken base which is my new favorite staple.  I discovered something about myself recently.  I hate to unwrap bouillon cubes.  I get my chicken base at Sam's club.

-You could certainly puree this is you have the proper equipment.  I don't. :(

-The sour dough croutons.  They are good.  Make them.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Sourdough Croutons

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped, or equivalent from jar of minced
6 cups water 
6 bouillon cubes or 6 teaspoons chicken base
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour dough bread cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the florets on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss using hands to cover evenly, then bake for 30-40 minutes stirring a couple of times until tender and golden brown.  

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and celery and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes, stirring several times.  Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add water and the chicken bouillon or base.  Add the cauliflower.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the heavy cream.  Toss the shredded cheese with the flour in a small bowl, then slowly add to soup while stirring until melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat.

At this point, you can do several things.  Eat soup like it is.  Or you can use a potato masher to mashed cauliflower into tiny bits which is what I did.  You can also puree with an immersion blender or regular blender.  Serve soup topped with sour dough croutons.

To make croutons, place the sourdough cubes on a large baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, placing under the broiler if necessary.

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  1. I know what I'm making this weekend - Your soup! Yes, it is soup season even though we are still running our air conditioners here in Texas! That looks so good! Thanks for sharing your interesting blog! I enjoy following along!

  2. Great recipe! We live in Portland,Or and have been using your recipes for about 3weeks now! The only things that I tweeked in this recipe were roasting the garlic in butter before adding them both their places in the recipe.

  3. I made this last night. It turned out wonderful! I am trying not to eat bread so i replaced the croutons with shredded chicken. Turned out great! Thanks for the wonderful recipe.