Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Collisions & Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Thankfully, on tonight's menu we are having soup.  I love soup because it is comforting, fulfilling, and something you can make ahead and gets better after the flavors marry together over time.  I was in a car accident this morning on my way to work.  Literally, a block away from work.  I was at a stop light with several other cars in front of me and was rear-ended by a younger driver.  She claims she was not on her cell phone, but she must have been preoccupied with something to not see that we were all clearly stopped at a red light.  I have some whiplash and a sprained neck, but no other major injuries.  Thankfully, I am okay and have two different sets of prescribed pain killers.  Thankfully, I have excellent friends and an excellent husband who came to my aid.  And, thankfully, I have soup for dinner tonight.

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this particular soup recipe for I am not really a fan of cauliflower.  Justin picked out this soup.  I think he saw the word cheese and saw the croutons in the picture and thought it sounded good.  Well, he was right.  It is good!  If you are looking for a way to add some additional veg to your diet and are craving comfort foods, I suggest this soup.  We found the recipe in the winter addition of Seasons magazine published by our grocery store, Hy-Vee.  I made a few additions and tweaks to the recipe to boost the flavor and nixed the pumpernickel croutons.  I think it is a winner.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup
(inspired by Seasons)

Non-stick cooking spray
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bag frozen cauliflower
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. chopped 2% Velveeta cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Spray a large stockpot with non-stick cooking spray and saute the garlic and onion until soft and translucent over medium-low heat (about 4-6 minutes).  Add your carrots and celery and cook until softened (another 4-6 minutes).  Next, add you cauliflower and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and cook the cauliflower until softened.  Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

After your veggies have cooled, add the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You may have to work in batches so you do not overload your processor or blender.  Place the puree back into your stockpot and reheat over medium-low. While the puree is reheating, whisk together the milk and corn starch, then add the milk and cornstarch mixture to your puree.  Stirring constantly, begin adding your cheeses.  Continue stirring until the soup begins to thicken and the cheeses are melted.  This should make 6 one cup servings of soup.  I garnished my soup with a sprinkle of 2% cheddar and chives.

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