I got a nice shiny immersion blender for Christmas (Thanks lover!) and I’ve been itching to give it a shot. I also got a great cookbook from my sister that has a whole chapter on soups – some of which would be perfect for a dreary Washington weekend. Unless you are a bit dim, I’m sure you can see where this is going.
I’ve had cauliflower soup before in a curry form, but this recipe looked really interesting. Instead of spices the soup is flavored with heavy cream and chunks of Stilton cheese. I loved it!
Homemade croutons add some much needed texture to this dish.
1) Chop the onion and celery.
2) Trim the greens off the cauliflower and slice into florets. Cut some of the florets in half.
3) In a large heavy pan, melt butter and then add onions, celery and cauliflower. Let this cook for 5-10 minutes over high heat until everything starts to soften.
4) After veggies have cooked for about 10 minutes and are soft, add the stock and milk and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and then cook, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is extremely tender.
5) Take the soup off the heat and blend it with immersion blender (or regular blender if you do not have an immersion one).
6) To make croutons, take old bread and chop up a piece or two of it. Toss the bread with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Toast at 350 degrees until they are very brown and crunchy.
Adapted from Gourmet Today.
Starting the soup
This soup is actually very easy to make. It only has a bit of work to do and start to finish I’d say it takes about an hour. First, you’ll need these things:
Chop up the onion and celery. No need to get too worried about size considering we are going to blend everything up later. On the cauliflower, trim off the greens and cut down the stalk and then slice it into florets. Some of the florets should be cut in half. Again, don’t worry about getting them perfectly even.
In a large heavy pan, melt your butter and then add your onions, celery and cauliflower. Let this cook for 5-10 minutes over high heat until everything starts to soften. It’s fine if some of the veggies start to brown a bit, but the goal is just to soften them, not caramelize them.
Besides the veggies and butter, you’ll need this stuff:
After your veggies have cooked for about 10 minutes and are soft, add the stock and milk and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and then cook, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is extremely tender.
Next, take the soup off the heat and blend it up! If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can just do it in batches in a normal one.
Making the croutons
Good croutons add a lot to this soup. The crunchy, salty bites work great with the creamy soup and cheese. I used old bread and just chopped up a piece or two of it and tossed the bread with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Toast these in a 350 degree oven until they are very brown and crunchy. You can use any bread for these really. Stale bread is just fine!
Finishing the soup
Once your soup is blended, return it to the pan and heat. Once it’s hot, whisk in your cream and Stilton cheese. Be sure to whisk well so the cheese melts nicely. The soup should get pretty creamy and then just let it simmer for another five minutes or so (still whisking). That will help it thicken more.
I also crumbled some additional cheese to add as a garnish for the soup.
Be sure to taste the soup for salt and pepper before serving. The cheese will add some saltiness to the soup, but I definitely had to hit mine with a good pinch of salt. I also served mine with additional toasts on the side. They’re awesome to dip in the soup.
The thing that shocked me about this soup is how perfect the stilton works. It’s not quite as strong as a gorganzola or traditional blue cheese so it doesn’t overpower the cauliflower flavor at all. It just adds a nice creaminess to it and the croutons are almost swoon-worthy.
I’m pretty sure that this soup reheats awesomely, but I can’t say for sure because I’m eating my first bowl of it while writing this post…