Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

 

I like the idea of serving soup for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a great starter to a great meal. This soup will serve about 12, but it won’t serve 12 itty bitty bowls. I’m talking 12 SUBSTANTIAL bowls of soup. If you are serving this for Thanksgiving, I would most certainly suggest keeping it to 1-2 ladles per person. You don’t want to ruin the rest of dinner now do you? I certainly don’t want this for you…or for me. So anyway, this is a very hearty and warming soup. It is perfect for a cool day like Thanksgiving Day tends to be. It makes a lot for a little amount of money. It can be made hours ahead of time and kept warm on the stove. I think it tastes best if it has a chance to sit for a while. It’s also a great soup to make ahead and freeze. Just buy yourself some soup containers (like those you find by the olive station in the grocery store — I may or may not have taken a few in the past — shh). Make sure they seal well and freeze. All you have to do is pop it in a large saucepan to reheat. This may be the way I go for Thanksgiving. I suggest you do the same! Roasted garlic and cauliflower soup is sure to please just about anyone. Give it a shot this year!

 

 

To Roast Garlic:

 

 

Cut the bottoms off of the garlic heads, exposing the garlic cloves beneath. Peel the skin as much as possible, without separating the cloves from the head. It is ok if some skin is left on.

 

 

Place the heads in a 12-count muffin tin.

 

 

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the garlic has softened and browned. Allow for it to cool substantially before handling it.

So let’s talk soup!

 

 

Weather: It’s still cold, but not as cold as it can get. All of my winter clothes are officially within arms reach in my closet. We are SUPPOSED to get some snow tomorrow/this weekend. I certainly hope so! I’m hoping for 4 feet, but it will probably be more like 2 inches if I know our luck. =)

What am I doing: Well Zach has finally gone back to work. He works for a Federal organization, so he was one of those “doesn’t have to go work” types for a couple of weeks. So it’s just me and Cilantro today. We are hunkering down and keeping warm. Well Cilantro has been sleeping…for like the past 3 hours. He’s had a rough day of trying to rip up my blankets. I know life is so rough for him.

Recipe Fun Facts:

Now I know this may not be your “traditional” cauliflower soup. Most cauliflower soups out there are raw/vegan. This is ok. I love all types of cauliflower soup. Zach and I were just craving some heaviness, so we decided to throw a whole bunch of cheese and cream into the mix. You can judge. It’s ok. It is a vegetarian dish, but you can certainly go ahead and eliminate the cream, milk, flour, butter, cheeses, etc. Pureed cauliflower is actually a great thickening agent for soups. Make any adjustments you want to meet your needs!

I also like my cauliflower soup a little bit on the chunky side. This is why I blended only some of it. You can blend the whole thing up if you wish, or not blend any of it. It’s all up to you!

I found this beer pairing tough. I had absolutely no idea what to pair it with, so this was a “process of elimination” beer pairing. A porter or a stout wouldn’t do, and I thought that a pale ale was just too light. I decided to go with an IPA for this dish. It actually worked out perfectly! The hoppiness from the beer didn’t take away from the flavor of the soup like I thought it might. I think the goal is to not go too hoppy because it will take away from the soup if you do. We went with Boulevard Brewing’s Mid-Coast IPA. The other day we found a variety pack with their tasting room favorites. I thought this was one of the best ideas ever, and it looks like more breweries are starting to do this. I think it is their best IPA to date. It’s smooth which is perfect for this beer pairing, and although it is hoppy, it’s not TOO hoppy. If you aren’t indulging in wine on Thanksgiving, try an IPA with this soup. It’s a great choice!

Have a great day everyone!

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients
3 heads Garlic
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Divided
2 whole Medium Yellow Onions, Diced
3 stalks Celery, Diced
2 whole Carrots, Peeled And Diced
1 head Large Cauliflower, Leaves And Core Removed Then Chopped
¾ cups White Wine
4-½ cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Tablespoon Herbes De Provence
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, Grated
½ cups Cream Cheese
Chopped Green Onions, For Garnish (optional)

Preparation
Preheat your oven to 400 F.

You will roast your garlic first. Cut the bottoms off of the garlic heads, exposing the cloves beneath. Peel as much of the skin off without the garlic falling apart. It is OK if there is some skin left on. Place each head in a muffin tin. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast at 400 F for 45 minutes to an hour (or until the garlic is browned and soft). Remove from oven and let it cool substantially before handling it.

Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the cloves from the head. At this point, it should be fairly easy. Just squeeze from the top of the head and most of them should just pop out. Set the cloves aside for later.

Now you will prepare your soup. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the chopped cauliflower and the roasted garlic. Toss to combine, lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflower has softened.

Uncover after 25 minutes and add the white wine. Increase the heat on the stove to medium. Scrape any brown bits that may have collected on the bottom of the pan and allow the wine to decrease by half. Add the vegetable broth and herbes de Provence. Season again with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, melt the rest of the butter (6 tablespoons) over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out all of the raw flour. Add the whole milk and heavy cream and whisk again to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes more, remove from heat and set aside.

Once your soup has simmered for 20 minutes, transfer 5-6 ladles full of your soup to the pitcher of a blender. Blend until smooth and then transfer back to the Dutch oven. Stir to combine. Add the milk/flour mixture to the soup and stir again to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the soup to thicken.

Add the cheddar cheese and cream cheese and cook for 8 minutes more until the cheeses have melted. Keep warm on the stove until you are ready to serve.

Serve hot and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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