24 November 2013

White Cheddar Roasted Cauliflower Soup with a Side of Humble Pie

White Cheddar Roasted Cauliflower Soup
The first time I roasted a head of cauliflower was a pivotal food moment for me. It changed my cruciferous vegetable eating life. Before that, I was unable to eat cauliflower. Not even volumes of cheese sauce could warm me to it enough. What I have learned in recent years while attending many food related events, and something I do believe wholeheartedly, is that EVERYONE will LOVE EVERYTHING if it is prepared in a way that they would enjoy. For myself, once I learned how roasting dramatically changes the flavour of cauliflower, I could eat an entire head straight up. It’s really that good.

Even after making it dozens of times, it still amazes me that something as simple as high-heat roasting can transform this vegetable from something lacklustre and abhorred into something that I cannot stop eating. High-heat roasting concentrates the sugars and gives cauliflower a depth and nuttiness that cannot be coaxed out of it any other way. I would not have thought it possible because cauliflower seems quite bland, but when you roast it, it takes it to a whole new level. It seems to caramelize on the edges and brings a light sweetness to the palate.

So, I thought to myself, I wonder what would happen if I roasted cauliflower, then turned the intensely flavourful florets into soup? Of course there were many others who had come to this conclusion before me but for me it was something new. The results? A silky, luxurious and ultimately satisfying soup that is simple to prepare and satisfies you on all levels.

It can be made even more healthy by using milk instead of half-and-half and dropping the cream. In truth I mixed a little soup with the cream to create a swirl and didn't actually add it to the soup during cooking. I found a 5-tear aged Canadian Cheddar that does not overpower the roasted cauliflower but compliments it instead. If there is a soup that you must try this winter, this is the one!


**White Cheddar Roasted Cauliflower Soup** 
from the kitchen of More Than Burnt Toast

1 large head cauliflower (2 - 2 1/2 lb), cored and chopped into small, bite size pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped leek, white part only
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2 cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or a slightly heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, plus more for serving if desired
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Serve with Cheddar Gougeres (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat, then spread into an even layer and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven 20 - 25 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add in leeks and saute until butter is melted. Add 1/4 cup wine and continue cooking on medium heat until tender, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add in garlic; stir. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly 1 1/2 minutes.

While whisking, slowly pour in chicken stock. Add in parsley, thyme, bay leaf, roasted cauliflower and season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and allow to cook until thickened slightly. Add 1/2 and 1/2 and cream and continue to heat up.

 Remove bay leaf. Puree the soup in a blender or preferably with an immersion blender. Remove from heat and stir in sharp white cheddar and parmesan cheese. Serve warm garnished with additional shredded white cheddar, parsley and serve with fresh bread or gougeres if desired.

Serves 4


You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

35 comments:

  1. What a great idea to roast the cauliflower for the soup. It would bring such incredible flavor to the cauliflower. And who would say no to the addition some sharp white cheddar cheese.
    Sam

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  2. Sounds delicious. I rarely eat cauliflower. This might change that.

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  3. Sounds delicious, wish I had a pot of this simmering on my stove for dinner tonight. I totally agree with you about roasting cauliflower, it's amazing!

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  4. Hi Val, what a good idea to roast the cauliflower for the soup. I cannot think of a vegetable that does not benefit from roasting, and I love all vegetables, any way and all the time:). Good pics, too. I want to grab the cup and drink the soup even without a spoon.

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    1. Cauliflower was the last frontier Dina. I'd have to say I like all other veggies.

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  5. Thank you..I will make this:-)

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  6. Roasted cauliflower really is a whole other beast from steamed or stir fried! It's the best. I'm so glad you found a way to prepare it that you liked and that you turned it into this cheesy soup!

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  7. I love cauliflower, but roasted definitely turns up the volume. I wish that your philosophy would work on my loathing of goat cheese. So far, I haven't had it in a way that I enjoy eating it. I'll keep trying, but I still shudder at the though. Back to the soup-- I'd eat more than one bowl of this, no problem.

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    1. Spanakopita is my favourite way with goat cheese Debby, lots of onions, spinach and delicate flaky filo. You would be in love.

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  8. A fabulous soup! What gogeous flavors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. The soup looks wonderful, but cheese and I do not get along...I too had problems with this veggie and now it's one i cannot do without...Roasting is the word...Sending you lots of love...

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    1. We will go through the realm of being new food triers together Norma.

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  10. Always enjoyed cauliflower but you are right, roasting brings it to a whole new level. We call it popcorn cauliflower at our house. Can't wait to give this soup a try!

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    1. For a snack, I'm there Suzan.

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  11. Roasted Cauliflower sounds like a turning point!

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  12. I'd eat humble pie too (well as long as it's roasted). XOGREG

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  13. That sounds sooo delicious! BTW, where do you live??

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    1. Hey Mireya, I live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

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  14. Val this look beauty and delicious!

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  15. Unlike you, Val, I've always liked cauliflower...but confess only recently have I roasted it. (and nearly ate the entire panful it was so good!)
    Brilliant idea to make a soup with all that flavorful cauliflower.

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    1. Others had done it before me but I have made it my own.

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  16. What a great idea - my cauliflower cheddar soup is amazing (if I do say so myself) but I have never considered roasting it first. HMMMMM

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    1. I only just discovered cauliflower soup myself Jerry.

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  17. Looks creamy and delicious. Nowadays, I roast every vegetable I eat.

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    1. You are right, it adds that extra depth of flavour Joan.

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  18. Oh, what a lovely soup, Val! I really like the idea of serving soup in a tea cup, also! It's the perfect amount for a first course! Your addition of the Cheddar Gougere is inspired also ... what wonderful light fluffy puffs to accompany that rich soup!

    Happy Thanksgiving, dearie !

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    1. I love serving soup in a tea cup, I have started a collection for just this purpose.

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  19. I love roasted cauliflower and would like a big bowl of this right now! Beautiful pictures, btw :)

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  20. Roasted cauliflower is a favorite if mine and how clever or you to turn it into soup. The cheese is a delicious addition to a winning combination. Thumbs up!

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  21. I had pretty much the same relationship with cauliflower before. For me it was a french vinaigrette that changed everything, but roasting does elevate it to new heights. Loving the idea of this soup!

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  22. I learned roasting doesn't just transform cauliflower, but also does wonders for asparagus.

    I have added that roasted goodness to a soup or two myself. Coconut milk works great.

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  23. I adore roasted cauliflower too, Val, and it sounds wonderful as a soup! :-) Especially with all that lovely cheddar. Yum. :-)

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  24. I'm with you - sometime sit just takes a certain preparation to get someone to love something. I think roasted cauliflower is perhaps the best example of the phenomenon. When fresh (raw) lots of people just do not go for it. In fact many will tell you they hate it. But roast it and/or put it a soup, and folks seem to think it is an entirely new vegetable! Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and thought. This soup sounds great. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  25. cauliflower with mountains of cheese is the only way hubby will eat it.
    so yes I've had to puree it into soup form.
    but if I go through all that I just use broccoli since I know broccoli has more nutrients than cauliflower (I think?).
    I myself love roasted cauliflower--so good! Even grilled is good too!

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  26. cauliflower is definitely not my favorite veggie, but this soup sounds amazing!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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