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Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

By 12:35 PM , , , ,

I had pulled this recipe from (the now not in print - so sad!!!) Everyday Food awhile back and had been holding onto it for a rainy day (literally a rainy day). Rainy days really seem to suck the life out of me and if I actually do feel like cooking, I usually want to make a soup no matter what the temperature outside.

While many people are skeptical of cauliflower, it really can be delicious if cooked properly. The Husband makes a mean mashed cauliflower that would rival most creamy mashed potatoes.  I also love roasting it with garlic, olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. And I'm holding onto a recipe for buffalo cauliflower that I can't wait to try.

Up until now, I hadn't thought to put cauliflower into a soup. This really turned out to be a wonderful, light supper. The cauliflower has nuttiness and a slight sweetness that really plays well with the cheddar and the cayenne. So for the relatively few ingredients you end up with a soup that has sweetness, saltiness, nuttiness and spice!

This was super easy to make and came together very quickly - perfect for a busy (and rainy) weeknight.

A few notes:
- I used additional cayenne because I also mixed cayenne into the soup with the salt & pepper (not just sprinkling on top).
- I used about 7 ounces of an aged white cheddar.
- Don't skimp on the salt and pepper - the salt really brings out the flavor of both the cauliflower and cheese and the pepper is a great compliment with its bite.
- If you want to make this vegetarian, just replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
- If you aren't watching calories/fat/carbs - pair this with some crusty garlic bread.

Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if desired
5 1/2 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (1 1/2 cups)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook until just beginning to brown, 12 minutes. Add broth and 1 cup water; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, 20 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

In batches, fill a blender halfway with mixture and puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return pureed soup to pot and add more broth or water for a thinner consistency, if desired. Heat over medium until warmed through; add cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with cayenne.

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