It is fall and it is the perfect time for soup. Don’t you agree? I love soup. It is so warming. I had picked up some cauliflower intending to roast it. Actually, intending to roast it and mix it with buffalo sauce for a snack. Have you seen buffalo cauliflower? I have only recently seen it in one or twice and thought it was so cool. I thought it would make a great after dinner snack. Something flavorful, filling without being real fattening.
This soup recipe, again, is an adapt as you go recipe. It was Sunday, the cauliflower was supposed to be for Monday night. I am in the kitchen and I want to make something. The weather is turning colder. I have some cheddar cheese in the fridge that should be used and I have a whole bunch of beer in the outside fridge that has been sitting there for a long time. Beer. Cheese. Cauliflower. Those three things go together. Don’t they? Yes they do.
The mother of all invention? Throw all the ingredients in the pot and see what you come up with. It may not have been exactly like that but the concept is right on. Some of your best ideas are sitting in your fridge right now and also on your counter. That’s right. I had some crusty bread leftover from another recipe and meal from the weekend of the Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup. Croutons would be the perfect topping for this soup. Cut up the bread. Drizzle with some olive oil and salt and throw it in the oven. How resourceful.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium celery rib, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
- 1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped
- 2 12-ounce bottles dark beer
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon sweet & spicy mustard
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Once warm, add the onion, carrot, celery and some salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic in after 3 minutes of cooking the mirepoix.
- Add the cauliflower, beer, stock, bay leaf and cayenne.
- Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles only slightly.
- Cover and cook until the cauliflower is good and tender – about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Purée the soup in batches in a blender until smooth.
- Return to the pot.
- Stir in the mustard and remaining salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, toss together the cheddar cheese and cornstarch together and mix well.
- Add the cheese mixture to the soup a handful at a time, stirring all the while, until it’s well incorporated and the soup is smooth.
- Serve hot, garnished with the parsley.
The cast of characters.
The mirepoix in the pot followed by the cauliflower and the stock and spices.
After the cauliflower softens, it is put into the blender in batches and then returned to the stock pot.
More spice added, and then, the cheese.
The Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup plated.