We’re entering my favorite time of the year, fall. Time for football, cider, cooler temps and field hockey. Time for falling leaves, cross country, pumpkins and hearty soups. I can’t believe the cooler weather that we’ve already been having. It’s nice to leave the windows open and feel the cool breeze.
I love soup and it’s an easy solution to dinner. I have a lot of favorites in rotation, but I couldn’t resist trying this roasted cauliflower soup. I have come to love roasted cauliflower. My 18 year old self, would be shocked to know this about me. When I roast a pan of cauliflower, I have to restrain myself from eating the entire pan when it comes out of the oven. Roasting it with olive oil and salt and pepper is simple and truly delicious. So, the thought of tossing this delicious treat into a soup…..I knew it had to be good.
This soup is creamy, salty and delicious. It actually tastes very similar to broccoli cheese soup. Feel free to substitute with your favorite type of cheese. I used what I had on had, a white cooper sharp cheese.
Also, I must explain my purple nails. I painted them purple to support the West Chester Field Hockey Team, the Golden Rams. My daughter is a freshman on the team this year, soooooo Go Rams!!
Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup
- 1 small head fresh cauliflower, cut into florets or 4 cups frozen cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pieces of bacon, reserve drippings (chop bacon and use as garnish)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- a sprinkle of ground thyme (or a teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme)
- 3 cups chicken stock (I mixed the chicken stock base with water)
- 1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded or cheddar cheese
- 1 cup half and half (or milk for a lighter version)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets in the olive oil along with the salt and pepper, arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven until slightly browned, about 25 minutes.
- Brown the bacon. Reserve the drippings and heat in a large saucepan on medium heat. Use the bacon drippings to saute the onion until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and a sprinkle of ground thyme to the onions and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the broth or stock, deglaze the pan, add the cauliflower, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender. If you don’t have a stick or immersion blender, you can puree in a blender or food processor in small amounts. Just be careful, the liquid will obviously be hot!
- Mix in the cheese, let it melt without bringing it to boil again.
- Mix in the half and half, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Garnish the soup with the diced bacon and fresh thyme……and homemade croutons, if you have them.