Friday, March 25, 2011

My soup day

As you no doubt know, my husband has built a fabulous garden for us in the backyard.  I like to refer to it as "my garden", but the realtiy is that it is his, and he takes great pride in it.  He designed it, built it from the ground up, hauled the dirt, installed the irrigation system, and does most of the planting.  The only part that is truly mine is making yummy things from the produce that results.

Last fall, we planted broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and romaine lettuce.  While everything did pretty well, we are particularly pleased with the cauliflower.  Two weeks ago, Don picked the last 3 heads.  Don cut 2 of them into florets, blanched them, and left them for me to freeze.  We got 4 one pound packs to put in the freezer.  With the last one, I decided to make Cream of Cauliflower Cheese soup.
Katie, holding one of the "smaller" cauliflowers. 
Here is my recipe for Cream of Cauliflower-Cheese Soup:
4 cups fresh Cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1 cup milk or half-and-half
1/2 cup shredded American cheese

I cut up the last cauliflower and came up with 16 cups of florets, so I made a quadruple batch.

Step one:  In a large saucepan, cook vegetables, covered, in a large amount of boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.  Set aside 1 cup of cooked vegetables. (I skipped this part.)

Step 2:  In a food processor combine the remaining cooked vegetables with 3/4 cup of broth.  Cover and process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Set aside.  (I pureed the whole amount of vegetables.)

Step 3:  In the same saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour and seasong.  Add milk all at once.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 minute more.

Step 4:  Stir in blended vegetables, remaining broth, and cheese.  Cook and stir until heated through, adding additional milk if necessary, to reach desired consistency.  If desired, season with additional salt and pepper.  (Here, I added a little bit of fresh ground nutmeg.)

I didn't have shredded American, so I cubed a pack of slices.

Of course, being me, I packaged most of this soup in single sized portions, and put it in the freezer.

Many packages of yummy goodness!  I hope you try this recipe, it's great for rainy days!

(Up next, the recipe for Pioneer Woman Sherried Tomato soup, pictured above!)

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