When I made my new Healthier Broccoli Cheese Soup a couple weeks ago, I didn’t realize I was starting a trend. Requests for more came fast and furious–and each new batch disappeared even faster. Then, far too soon, the broccoli was gone.
Time for something similar, but with a character all its own–Cheesy Cauliflower Confetti Soup.
In the back of my mind, when I decided to create this, was a beautiful soup I cut from a magazine years ago. White as the driven snow, it turned out lovely—but had the flavor appeal of paste. So my new goal was to do a nice white soup–that we actually wanted to eat. Accented with some nice reds and oranges from carrots and red pepper.
Eat a rainbow.
I based the recipe on my broccoli cheese soup, but changed up the spices to keep it pale colored. So, turmeric and Dijon mustard became cumin and dry mustard. Orange cheddar gave way to pale fontina. (You can also use monterey jack or another white melting cheese.) And this time I did some pureeing to make the body of the soup more opaque.
The new Cheesy Cauliflower Confetti Soup was a success and is now subbing for its mama and warming our souls. Important now, as winter alternatively freezes us and gives us us tantalizing glimpses of spring to come.
But a perfect reason to eat more soup!
- 2 T butter or oil
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 head)
- 5 c vegetable broth (or chicken)
- 1 red pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 1 cup carrot shreds (half a 10 ounce bag), chopped into shorter pieces
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 cups grated fontina cheese (or other good melting cheese)
- salt to taste (my broth was unsalted, so I added quite a bit)
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Stir in mustard, cayenne and cumin.
- Add flour and stir until completely combined. Add broth slowly, a half cup to a cup at a time, whisking to keep flour lumps from forming.
- When flour is incorporated bring back to a boil, add cauliflower and stir until slightly thickened and cauliflower is tender. Using a standard or immersion blender, puree some of the cauliflower until it is a consistency you like (I puree half to 2/3).
- Add carrots and red pepper and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in half and half, then add cheese in handfuls, stirring to melt. Taste and adjust salt.
- Serve warm.