Saturday, October 6, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup

Three important words.




Oh, and Tillamook.

I guess that's four. Oops.

I highly recommend Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar in this recipe (or in any other possible way you may want to use cheese)! It has long been a favorite of fact, if the truth be told, when hubby and I were engaged, he gave me a 2 lb. block of Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar (would TVWESC be a good acronym?) for our first Valentine's Day! Now before you cleverly protest that that's awfully cheesy let it be known that I was extremely pleased to find that my man already knew me so well. I was ecstatic to have a whole 2 lb. of that incredibly sharp goodness to myself and he knew it!!

So anyway, back to the soup. Were we ever talking about soup? Oh, well, we should have been. This soup is amazing.

Almost unreal. Especially since it contains a vegetable I never eat! Again, like the broccoli incident, I think that roasting worked it's magic on the cauliflower. Along with the aforementioned cheese of course.

In any case, hubby (who is not in the broccoli-lover's club by any means) loved it as much as I did- we pretty much slurped up the whole pot of it. Yes, all four servings. Hey, it's veggies, right?

Oh, and also! I got these adorable new soup mugs on our recent trip to Wallowa Lake- one of the gift shops there carried my dining set brand in a beautiful variety of colors. I fell in love with the blue soup mugs and I think they go beautifully with my cream colored plates, don't you?

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup
adapted slightly from Closet Cooking
serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 TB olive oil
salt and pepper

1 TB oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp thyme
3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth, if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar (Tillamook recommended)
1 cup milk or cream (I used a combination of both)
salt and pepper
6-8 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower florets in oil along with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast 20-30 min., stirring halfway through, or until cauliflower is browning.
Heat the 1 TB oil in a large saucepan on med. heat. Saute onion 5-7 min. or until tender. Add garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about 1 min.
Add broth and cauliflower, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 20 min. (Slow cooker option: at this point, move onion/garlic mixture to slow cooker. Stir in broth and cauliflower, cook on low 4 hours or until cauliflower is tender...continue to follow regular directions). Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp, if desired, and crumble.
Puree with a stick blender until soup reaches desired consistency. Mix in cheese and let it melt, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in milk or cream and cook until hot if necessary. Stir in about half the bacon.
Garnish with reserved bacon.

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