I consider this to be a sexy soup. That may cause you alarm; you may think that I’ve lost my marbles but wait. This soup is rich and intoxicating. Others might try to sell you on the merits of cauliflower before trying this soup; if you’re reading my blog then I’m guessing you’re already on board with the vegetable love (including broccoli and brussels, right?). Good.
In this soup, its sweet, slightly charred flavour is competing for your love with oak-smoked cheddar. Ne’er did a cheese work better in soup than this one. Normal cheddar is fine. Aged cheddar is better. But oak-smoked cheddar? Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s what I’m talking about.
Beyond roasted cauliflower and divine smoked cheddar, here are the essential accoutrements: green onions, sour cream, and bacon. The bacon’s salty crunch and the sharp green onion add a luxurious contrast to the silky smooth texture of the soup and the cool sour cream goes beautifully with the sweet puree. Make sure you get some bacon bits, green onion and sour cream in every.single.damn.spoonful. and you’ll be one happy camper.
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme, ground)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups smoked cheddar, grated
- 1/4 cup milk or cream (optional)
- 2 green onions, diced, to serve
- sour cream, to serve
- 6 rashers of bacon, cooked until crispy and well done, and diced, to serve
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Toss the cauliflower florets in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil along, season with salt and pepper, and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
- Heat more olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the broth and roasted cauliflower, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup in a blender until it’s silky smooth (or with a rougher texture, if that’s your liking).
- Return soup to the dutch oven/pan and gently heat. Stir in the grated cheese until it’s melted and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the milk/cream and remove from heat. Serve immediately with a splodge of sour cream, bacon crumbles and green onion sprinkled on top.