Friday, January 13, 2012

Recipe: Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

It's one of those soup kind of days. Snowing, with a cold cold wind and low temperatures. A great day for staying inside, baking bread, spoiling the pets and making soup.


Even the dogs are in today. With the temperature not even reaching 20 and the wind howling like a banshee,  these tough boys cried uncle. I don't think Jeb could get closer to the heat if he tried.


I wonder how many of you work like this: I was making bread and realized that the eggs needed to be put in the fridge. When I went to put the eggs away, I saw that there was a head of cauliflower starting to go bad. Cauliflower is dear enough these days without wasting it, so in my usual one-thing-leads-to-another style, I decided to make cheesy cauliflower soup. I've never made it before but I've eaten it and it seemed like it would be easy enough to make.

It was. I cleaned up the cauliflower and cooked it in a cup or so of water until it was soft. Then I dumped it in the blender (with the cooking liquid) and whirled it on pulse for about 15 seconds. The cauliflower was pureed, but still a little chunky, which was what I wanted. I ended up with about two cups.

To make the soup base, I melted 5 tablespoons of butter in a 2-quart saucepan, and added a chopped clove of garlic. When the butter was melted, I added a few tablespoons of corn starch (I seldom measure so giving precise amounts is really hard for me) to the butter, enough to make a smooth paste, and cooked that until it was bubbling. I added milk, a little at a time at first and stirring it in so that there were no lumps. I continued adding milk until I had added between 3 and 4 cups.

I stirred this mixture almost constantly, adding about a teaspoon each of dried parsley and celery leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and a half teaspoon of salt while it was cooking. When the soup began to bubble, I cooked and stirred for a few minutes longer, then turned off the heat and added cheese.

Now I thought I had a package of grated cheese, but I had only a quarter of a cup or so. That led to more rummaging in the fridge; I found some sliced American cheese and some sliced Jalapeno Jack cheese. So I used the grated cheese, 3 slices of the American and 2 of the Jack and stirred it all in until it was melted. The cauliflower was added last and stirred in well. And then? The soup was done! It was delicious, exactly as I remembered it tasting when I've had it in restaurants.

Of course, while rummaging in the cabinet for a pot to cook the soup, I realized that a cleanout of the pots and pans was needed because I couldn't open the cabinet without things falling out. So after lunch, I sorted out the pots and pans. A few are heading to Goodwill and several are not boxed up to be listed on eBay one day. And lids! I had so many lids that had no pots! How does that happen? The cabinet is now sorted, I found many missing things which makes me happy.

And that soup, oh, that made me happy too. And there is enough left for lunch tomorrow. Yum!

17 comments:

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Your sequence of day from butter to soup with lots inbetween is the best kind of day in cold weather. Loved your post.

Angela said...

Your soup looks so yummy Granny Sue! I wish I had some cauliflower so I could make some today too! It is a soup kind of day. I'll have to see what I can find. Love the picture of your pups keeping warm by the fire! Mine have been in and out today. I should let them back in. It's like Winter came in hard because it was 51 outside yesterday!

Granny Sue said...

I love these kinds of days, Joy. Not doing anything important, just moving about the house and doing what comes to hand.

Granny Sue said...

My dogs don't like to come in too often, Angela, but when it's this cold, they need to be inside. They're good boys in the house except the new pup Willie who is still learning his manners. I just put down some extra rugs, throw a sheet over the couch because Willie jumps up there sometimes and we're good to go.

I bet you could make the same soup with broccoli-it's pretty much the same as broccoli cheese soup.

Steve Ferendo said...

I always enjoy your blog. Your soup looks awesome!

Jenny said...

The soup sounds so good!

I made just using what I had this past week too. I do that about once a week through the winter to use up leftovers

I'm going through cupboards as well & have lots of boxes & bags to deliver to charities & friends. I really should learn how to sell on ebay.

Ronda said...

Definitely a soup day! I had made steak and potato soup, using up a piece of steak and some green beans, not a bad addition to it!
Show me your pans. My daughter-in-law was doing a rock candy experiment with my grandchildren when, all of a sudden, her pan sprung a leak! We'll need a replacement!

Granny Sue said...

Rock candy! It's been a long time since I tried that. What kind of pan was she using? I have one white enamel with aqua trim and no lid that's going on eBay, and 2 that I don't know how to describe. They're shape kind of like a pie pan but have red enamel in them, and they're black on the outside with two handles like tray handles. I think they're oriental but I'm not sure what they're for. You know me, I thought they looked cool so I bought them...5 years ago...and they've been in my cabinet since then. Then I have lids--granite ones, a club aluminum one, etc--and no matching pots. I think someone on eBay might need a lid for something they have! I hope so anyway.

lisa said...

Your soup sounds so good and I cook the same way...
I love how one thing leads to another with cleaning the pots and pans..
Your dogs are adorable...
It is cold here to...first time this winter we had snow and the wind and snow drifts..Spent the day crafting yesterday...
Have a great weekend...Lisa

Michelle a.k.a. Farmchick said...

I had to laugh at your cooking style. It sounds much like mine. I did the same today. Made a large pot of homemade vegetable beef soup and two pans of homemade cinnamon rolls. It was nice to be inside puttering/cooking/baking. My dogs hung out by the wood stove all day long.

Granny Sue said...

Ooooo, cinnamon rolls! I haven't made them in years. I think it might be time, Michelle :)

Rowan said...

The soup sounds good, I love cauliflower cheese as a vegetable dish but have never had it as a soup.

Sharon said...

I found your blog this morning through Angela (W VA Treasures).

I can't wait to try your soup recipe! I find myself working on one project and jumping to another all the time.

quinn said...

My, that soup looks and sounds delicious! I love cauliflower, but it really is a once-in-a-while luxury for me. Yum!

Granny Sue said...

Welcome, Sharon! If you came through Angela, you've got to be good people :) And that's true of all my blogger friends. Please come back anytime!

quinn, I'm with you there. Cauliflower is a real treat here and that's why I was aghast at finding the head I'd bought for the holidays still languishing in the back of the fridge! One thing I must say about he gas fridge is that veggies hold much longer than they did in the electric refrigerator. I don't know what the difference is but it's certainly noticeable.

writingdianet said...

Howdy Granny Sue:
Your soup looks GREAT! I'll have to give it a try.
I just made a pot of roasted garlic and potato soup. tghe recipe called for a whole CUP of peeled and roasted garlic cloves. A bit of a pain but man, was it worth it!!!

Janet, said...

Sounds like you had a productive day! The soup looks delicious.

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