Although the winter has been pretty mild so far I have still been enjoying some hearty soups with the most recent one being this roasted cauliflower and aged white cheddar soup. It never ceases to amaze me how simple vegetable soups like this one can be so good with so few ingredients and that might be why I keep coming back to them. The main vegetable in this soup is of course the cauliflower and it is roasted before being added to the soup to concentrate its flavour and to get a bit of caramelization going. Up next is the basics with the onions and garlic followed by the herb of choice, thyme and finally the cheese. For the cheese I went with a white cheddar and one trick to keep in mind when adding cheese to soup like this is that if you use a stronger flavoured cheese like an aged cheddar then you will not need to use as much of it to get the same flavour. This soup can be amazingly creamy if you use heavy cream for some of the liquid but you can keep it on the lighter side by using milk.
If you are not worried about trying to keep things on the lighter side then cook some double smoked bacon for garnish and use the grease to saute the onions and garlic. This will add even more flavour and a really nice smokiness.
Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup
A creamy white cheddar cauliflower soup with a hint of thyme.
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth or chicken stock *
- 1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup milk or cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper, arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the broth, 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.
- Mix in the cheese, let it melt without bringing it to boil again.
- Mix in the milk, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Note: The amount of broth that you are going to need will depend on how large your head of cauliflower is and how thick or thin you prefer the soup to be.
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