Alright, I felt a little bad posting an ice cream recipe as the weather turned chilly on us. Not so bad that I didn’t just churn up another batch last night but….at least I’m not posting about it (yet).
So this soup is actually something I just whipped up while I was out visiting The BF’s brother and SIL and I was making some freezer meals for them. Then last week they asked for the recipe again so I jotted down what I remembered and thought – Hey that actually sounds really tasty right now. I think I’ll make it for dinner. And so I did.
Except there is one step missing from this story. Our hunt for a head of cauliflower. I kid you not.
On Friday as I was walking around our old neighborhood (which is like 5 blocks away, but whatever) the produce stands had these GIANT wooden bins filled with MASSIVE heads of cauliflower from Long Island for $2 each. I totally should have grabbed one but we were headed out of town for the weekend and my weekly CSA share is already stressing me out (so many lettuces, what do you do with all the lettuces?) so I thought I’d save myself the headache and not stock up.
Fast forward to Sunday when I propose this soup to The BF. He agrees and I tell him the only caveat is that he has to come grocery shopping with me. I know, I’m such a meanie. We walk the 65 steps over to the grocery store and after throwing a few things in the basket suddenly realize there is no cauliflower. Jiggawah? Yeah, nothing.
I briefly contemplate whether I could roast frozen cauliflower when we decide we would drive over to the other grocery store a few blocks away. Guys. We live in NYC and we DROVE to a grocery store to find cauliflower. Dedication? I vote yes. I only wish the brewery next to the store had been opened cuz I would have totes picked up a growler while we were at it.
So we roll up to Best Market! (I dunno if it’s the best, but they sure think they are) and begin hunting for cauliflower. Except we can’t find it there either. I was trying to convince The BF that we could drive to our old neighborhood where I knew for a fact we could them cheap when he asks a clerk where the cauliflower is. I felt like a failure as a cook when that happened. I mean who can’t find cauliflower in the produce section? Us apparently.
We found 8 pitiful heads of cauliflower in a bin in the corner and I grabbed two. Contemplated buying them all and jacking up the price over at the other market but that felt mean. Also, can someone explain how a difference of 5 blocks means no cauliflower for you? Seriously.
*Just a Note: I make huge batches of soup and freeze half for later in the winter when I’m lazy and depressed about lack of sun. If you’d rather make a normal batch of soup feel free to halve the recipe. Obviously you can swap out the chicken stock for vegetable broth if you want a real vegetarian version of this.
- 2 large heads of cauliflower, diced in 1inch cubes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1-2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp roasted red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 shallots
- 1tsp olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth for a full veg version)
- 8 oz sharp cheddar, grated (I prefer to buy a block and grate it myself as it melts better that way)
- Heat oven to 400ºF.
- Toss cubed cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and other spices. Roast for 1 hr to 1 hr 20 minutes, until fragrant and starting to brown.
- In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed sauce pot heat 1 tsp olive oil and saute shallots until translucent and beginning to brown.
- Deglaze bottom of pot with 1 cup of chicken stock.
- Dump all the roasted cauliflower into a large heat proof bowl. Add shallots and warmed stock.
- Puree with a stick blender, or alternately blend in batches in a blender.
- Gradually add another 2½ cups of stock until you have a smooth puree.
- Return puree to sauce pot or dutch oven over low heat.
- Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
- Add remaining stock and heat through.
- If soup is still thick, blend with stick blender until smooth or in batch in a blender.
- Add more salt or pepper to taste. Serve with crisp bacon or pancetta.