Sunday, January 13, 2013

Soup #2/ Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

You will need:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
½ spoon caraway seeds
3 cloves ofo garlic, minced
2 heads of cauliflower (cut the hard stems and separate into small florets)
10 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Salt and ground pepper
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

In a soup pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil and add onions, sauteing until soft and light in color. Add in the caraway seeds and garlic. Stir and continue to saute about 1 minute longer, be sure not to burn the garlic.
Add in the cauliflower florets and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat, allowing to simmer until the cauliflower is soft (about 20-25 minutes). At this time, remove the soup from heat.  Use and immersion blender to carefully blend the cauliflower until you get to the desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can ladle the soup into a blender and blend in parts, returning each to the soup bowl until you've blended the entire soup to the consistency you’d like.
Now whisk in the Cheddar cheese until it’s completely melted. Return the soup to heat and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until the soup is hot throughout.  When you’re ready to serve, ladle soup into the bowls and sprinkle some blue cheese and a bit of parsley into each bowl for a bit of extra flavor and garnish.
Now, enjoy!
The verdict: Success! When I first told E that I’d be making Cauliflower and cheese soup I got a half-smile-half-grimace and a half-hearted “yum.”  I knew it sounded weird, but I told him we’d have to keep an open mind, and an open palate, in order to be successful with this project. He agreed and soup #2 was chosen.
I am particularly proud of this soup because not only did I make something I have never made, or thought to make before, but because I made it completely from scratch. Due to a missing wallet  (thankfully now a found wallet) I wasn’t able to get to the store to buy veggie stock, so I was left to my own devices: my stove and the vegetables in my fridge.  And so I made my own stock from scratch (perhaps I’ll share more in a different blog post).
E said that he would definitely have this soup again, and that he was happy he down-played it because he was pleasantly surprised with the first bite. I really enjoyed the creamy-ness that the pureed cauliflower and melted cheddar cheese gave it. I would definitely make it again, and highly recommend it for a cold and chilly night, paired with some pita bread on the side!
What we would do differently: In an attempt to make the caraway seeds a bit more flavorful, I heated them on the stove to “pop” them a bit. This made a sort of ashy smell, and added a smokey flavor to the soup. It wasn’t a bad flavor, just different, and not one I was expecting. If we make this one again, I’d just add the caraway seeds in without heating them up to pop. Also, E thinks that it might be good just a little bit thicker, maybe by adding more cheese, pureed potato, or a little bit of flour or wondra (a flour product).
Hard to believe we’re 2 soups down and half way through January. E says this project is going to make the year fly by! I say he’s right, but at least it will taste good!
I hope you enjoy this soup. If you’re participating in the 52 Soup Project with us, share your site or your recipe, we’d love to hear it. If you decide to make this one, share it here and let us know how it turns out!