Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

First off, I'd like to thank everyone for the well-wishes for the birth of our twin boys.  Slowly but surely, we're adjusting to being a family of six.  And of course it goes without saying that I'm basically a human milk-factory.  And sleep-deprivation is no joke.

However, I'll take it over the final weeks of pregnancy any day.  First off, I get to cuddle two babies at a time!  I pretty much always have a baby to cuddle, and Joey and I don't have to fight over who gets to hold the baby.  Secondly, the discomfort was pretty much indescribable.  And compounded by horrendous heartburn.  I thank the good lord that I've only experienced heartburn during pregnancy, because well - it really really sucks.  The cruel irony was that I craved spicy foods and chili, but those obviously made it worse.  Even water gave me heartburn.

However, this soup was a welcome respite from the heartburn.  It was one of the only things I ate during those last few weeks that actually left me feeling happy and comfortable.  With that said, you might think it must be super bland and flavorless.  But it's not at all.  The soup is made creamy and hearty by the addition of a potato and a little cheese.  The cauliflower flavor is prominent, but not over powering, and the hit of Dijon mustard adds a wonderful complexity.  And the mustard-infused croutons were a lovely garnish - just try not to eat them all before the soup's finished cooking!

If I'm being honest, cauliflower isn't my favorite vegetable, but this soup was pretty perfect.  Quick, cheesy, hearty, comforting... pretty much perfection.  I had intended to freeze half for a quick and easy dinner or lunch after the babies were born, but instead I enjoyed it for lunches throughout the week.  And that's okay because it just means I'll have to make it again.

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
adapted from Super Natural Every Day via Annie's Eats

For the croutons:
  • about 6 oz crusty bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt

For the soup:
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½-3/4 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  In a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with the butter, olive oil,  and mustard.  Arrange the bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned and crunchy, tossing halfway through the baking time.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and add the potato, garlic and vegetable broth.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer, keep covered, and let cook for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Add the cauliflower and cook an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.  Stir in the cheese and mustard.

Use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to puree the soup to your desired consistency (I like a few chunks rather than it being totally smooth).  If the soup is too thick, stir in additional water or broth.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  To serve, ladle into individual bowls and top with the croutons and additional cheese as desired. 


Unknown said...

I've loved seeing your photos of the babies on Instagram, they're so cute! This soup looks amazing. We have a week of really cold weather ahead, and this would be the perfect remedy!

Made in Sonoma said...

Mmm...this soup looks so good.

So sorry you had such discomfort! I can't imagine carry 2 babies at once! You're a rock star!

Joanne said...

Gah I can only imagine! I mean I hear of people having intense discomfort with ONE baby...two must be crazy! This soup does sound like the ultimate comfort food though and I'm glad it gave you some happiness!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This sounds awesome!

Annie said...

Yay! So glad you enjoyed this. And major YAY for no more heartburn. I get it with pregnancy too, and it was horrible.

Oh, and don't you mean, "When I was flipping through my copy of Super Natural Every Day..." ;)

Rebekah said...

That looks comforting and lovely!!

Eileen said...

Oh, man. I hope you're feeling better now! This soup looks pretty amazing for winter--creamy and hearty and full of delicious vegetables all at once. :)

Cuparoons said...

I've been searching for a cauliflower soup and this sounds delicious! Thanks for posting:) And congratulations!

Unknown said...

Your little boys are adorable. Congratulations to you and the family. It seems now days babies don't stay little as long as they did when mine were born in the sixties to the eighties.

Sandi @ My Culinary Escapades said...

This soup looks amazing!

Emily : said...

This soup was filling and delicious! Even my kids liked it :) I featured this recipe in my most recent meal plan on my blog Thank you!

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