Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup

So now that we are back in the saddle, so to speak, I have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen. Summer seems to always keep us so busy that the last thing I think about on daily basis is cooking or baking.

Faith has started her 5th year of homeschooling, and is now in 6th grade. Grace is off to high school, which means early mornings and late nights. She is so busy with various activities that I am not sure what she is doing or where she is half the time. I just drive her there.

For the longest time, I have wanted to try broccoli soups and also cauliflower soups, but I have had the huge fear of failing. That they won’t taste good or look pretty, not that looking pretty matters, but it does! Presentation is everything when it comes to food. I mean people have to want to eat it and if it looks bad then they won’t even want to try it, no mater how wonderful it tastes. Especially, when it comes to soups that you have never made before for your family, who is really picky about what they are eating. So I have learned over the years that if I make it look really pretty for my family then they will at least try it because it looks delicious.

My first attempt at these two soups was a few weeks ago. School had started back up and I had purchased my emulsion blender, and really wanted to try it! I mean really wanted to try it, so much so that I am cooking soup when it’s 99 degrees outside and the humidity is like 89%. I mean really who wants to eat soup when it’s that hot outside, but I didn’t care. At least I knew I would eat it. Long story short, I made a successful broccoli and cheddar soup that day! Sorry, all I didn’t know how well it would turn out so I didn’t do pictures that day, but I promise, soon I will post the recipe for the broccoli and cheddar soup, because I loved it. Even though it was 99 degrees outside. I sat at my bar and enjoyed every bite of my broccoli and cheddar soup that day.

Now that I felt successful in making the broccoli soup I decided to tackle the cauliflower soup. First of all, I am not a cauliflower fan. I have tried to eat it over the years and I just don’t love it! I will eat it, but I don’t love it or choose it as a side dish! So we don’t eat a lot of cauliflower around  here. When I came home with 2 heads of cauliflower everyone looked at me like I was insane and probably a bit scared and worried about what I was going to make them eat.

Anyway, yesterday was the day…the big day of making my cauliflower soup. Here it is….I hope y’all like it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves (some for the sheet pan and a few for the pot)
  • 1/4 of a chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 carton (32oz) chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (totally optional)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

I decided to roast my cauliflower along with some garlic cloves. I love garlic! I took my cauliflower florets off the stalk and threw as much of the stalks away. I’m sure I missed some! I coated a sheet pan with olive oil and spread the small pieces of cauliflower and garlic cloves all over. I broke open the garlic cloves and left them whole on the pan to infuse the cauliflower a bit and the olive oil.

Set the oven 425 degrees and throw the cauliflower and garlic into the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is roasted just a bit, browned around the edges. While the oven was roasting the cauliflower I put together everything in the pot.

Add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of the pot and throw in finely chopped garlic (about 2 cloves here) and onion. Let those sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add in thyme.  Turn the heat down to low and just let simmer. Once the cauliflower and garlic are done roasting in the oven, pull that out and simply dump into the pot on the stove with the onion, garlic, and thyme. Let it soak in all those flavors and mix it all together.

Turn the heat up, add in chicken stock; bring to a boil. Once the soup has boiled, use an emulsion blender and blend it up. I left a few chunks of cauliflower, but not much. If you don’t have an emulsion blender, simply take a few ladles at a time and add to a blend and blend. Be careful, it will be hot. Once you get a consistency that you like, add in your half and half. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for about an hour. Right before you serve this wonderful, delicious soup, add in about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar and 1/2 cup monetary jack cheese. Stir until melted and serve!!

Reserve some of your shredded cheese for the top of the soup. I like to serve mine with bacon bits, either from fresh cooked bacon or just some in a bag. I also served mine with some cooked sausage on top!

Another great variation, depending on if you like spicy, would be to add a few sliced jalapeños.

I have to be honest, the whole time I was spooning this into the bowl I was quietly saying to myself, “Please let this be good, please let this be good!” It was so yummy! Totally hit the spot yesterday. Oh, and by the way, it was only 70 degrees here yesterday. Rainy and overcast! Perfect day for Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic soup! Well obviously I thought so!

Have a great day and enjoy!!