Recipe: December: Loaded Cauliflower Soup

It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular feast holds for me.

  • The Ingredients
    • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped fine
    • 2 shallots, chopped (optional)
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
    • 6 sprigs thyme, divided (two and four)
    • 8 slices bacon, snipped into bite sized pieces
    • 1/4 cup white wine (if desired)
    • 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
    • sour cream, for garnish
  • The Way of Preparing
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
    2. Divide your cauliflower between two large baking pans and drizzle each batch with a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss well to combine. Scatter four of the thyme sprigs on top.
    3. Bake until the cauliflower is golden brown, about 17-25 minutes, turning once during cooking.
    4. In a large pot, render down your slices of bacon until crispy. Drain cooked bacon and snip or crumble into bite-sized pieces.
    5. Reserve the bacon fat in the pot!
    6. Using the bacon fat, cook down the onion and shallots until well caramelized. Add in the garlic and cook for two minutes or until fragrant.
    7. If using wine, deglaze the pot with it now, stirring well, use an extra quarter cup of broth if not using wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, about four to five minutes.
    8. Add the roasted cauliflower to the pot, stirring well to coat.
    9. Pour the chicken or vegetable broth in and add the bay leaves, garlic salt, and remaining thyme sprigs.
    10. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the cauliflower is falling apart, about 20-25 minutes.
    11. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from soup.
    12. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until completely smooth.
    13. Stir in heavy cream and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve warm and enjoy!
  • Notes
    • Tweaks
      • An optional pinch of red pepper flakes has never gone wrong
      • Add more cheese! Or different cheese!
      • Simmering a Parmesan rind in with the broth gives it a little extra salty taste that is delicious!
      • You can make this in the slow cooker, as well.
      • Add some frozen spinach before blitzing with the immersion blender
      • Add spicy sausage after blending for protein.

I’ve actually not made this before, but Stephanie has. She did a slow cooker version that was out of this world! I highly recommend.

Now that we have an immersion blender (circa Christmas 2019 when this is being written), maybe we can have some!

Happy cooking! Post pictures of what you make, because I’d love to see it!

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