Fran’s Cauliflower Cheddar Soup with Broccoli & Carrots

Recently, Roger and I stopped at a local family-owned coffee shop and were enticed into having a bowl of their homemade cauliflower cheddar soup.  It was so delicious that I contemplated offering to wash their dishes if they would give me the recipe!  Alas, I was left to deconstruct the soup on my own—but I rose to the challenge.  :-)

I was able to determine that there was no cream in the soup, and I surmised that they puréed some of the vegetables in order to achieve the creamy consistency.  The soup was creamy but not totally puréed; it had small pieces of cauliflower and a token green bean or two.  I decided to add some broccoli and carrots for flavor and some visual interest.  They were a great addition.

The soup had a tangy cheese flavor that I knew wasn’t due to the cheddar but to a more strongly flavored cheese such as Asiago, Romano, or Parmesan.  It was an easy decision to try adding Romano because I adore it.  I sprinkle Romano cheese over many of the soups that I make, but I had never added it to a soup in the pot to blend it in.  It worked beautifully, and Roger and I both thought it was as good as—if not better than—what we had tasted at the coffee shop.

Score one for me!

One year ago:  Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Fran’s Cauliflower Cheddar Soup with Broccoli & Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 large stalk broccoli
  • 2 carrots, sliced into pennies
  • 3 tbl. butter
  • 2 leeks, white only – thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium potato, cut in half (will be removed and puréed to thicken soup so don’t cut smaller)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 tbl. grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese*
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

*I prefer to shred my own block of cheddar cheese.  Most of the packages of pre-shredded cheeses have anti-caking agents in them which I feel affects the flavor of the cheddar.

Directions

In a small pan, steam the broccoli and carrots together.  I purposely did not cut the broccoli prior to cooking because I thought it would cook more uniformly with the carrots.  I also thought it would be easier to cut the broccoli into small bite-sized pieces after it was cooked.  That worked out well on both counts.  As mentioned, cut the broccoli into small bite-sized pieces.  The carrots are ready as is since you have cut them into penny-sized pieces.  Set aside broccoli and carrots after cooking.

Melt the butter in a large stock pot (I used my 8-quart stock pot).  Sauté the leeks and onion until softened and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté another couple of minutes.  Add the potato, cauliflower, and chicken broth and bring to a boil and then lower to a lively simmer.

When the potato and cauliflower are tender, remove the two potato pieces but leave the cauliflower in the pot.  Now remove two cups of the cauliflower/vegetable mixture including some of the liquid from the pot, place it in a blender along with the reserved potato pieces, and purée it in a blender, being careful to vent it so that the top doesn’t blow off.  If you need a little more liquid from the pot in order to purée the veggies into a smooth thick liquid, that’s OK.  Return the puréed mixture to the pot.  It should appear thick and creamy.  Stir in the broccoli and carrots.

Add the ground white pepper; then add the Romano cheese and shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Fran’s Notes

I decided to cook the broccoli and carrots separately and add them after thickening the soup with the puréed cauliflower and potato because I wanted to keep the color of the soup “white” rather than muddy the color with puréed green and orange vegetables.

Source:   A frantastic original

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