Making Wednesday’s Bacon Scallion Cheddar Corn Muffins really put me in the mood for soup! Admittedly, making the two recipes together may result in an overconsumption of cheese, but hey, cheddar muffins make me think of cheddar soup!
Although, one has to wonder if there is such a thing as too much cheese…
This soup is another childhood favorite. I adapted it from the genius, Mollie Katzen. I owe a lot to Mollie. Her two cookbooks, The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest pretty much fortified my childhood. My mom cooked A LOT from these two books, which is great, because she puts a huge emphasis on vegetables and making them tasty. Cauliflower Cheese Soup was a great cold weather meal because it’s packed full of veggies, but it still has enough creaminess and cheese to taste like comfort food. The best kind of comfort food is secret healthy for you, right?
I actually used white cheddar, but the carrot I used was so bright orange, it tinted the whole soup!
Even though my whole family loved almost all the dishes my mom made from these books, there was one recipe that I found detestable…
My mom loved it, and made it all the time.
Now, I’m sure if I ate this recipe today, I would love it, too. But to a 9 year old, a meal with slimy eggplant as the main ingredients was a little hard to swallow (literally). Not only was it difficult to eat, but my mom made it nearly every week for what seemed like years. It got to be a joke in my family about how sad I would get on Eggplant Marsala night. I was a little girl who loved food, and when the menu wasn’t to my liking, it really made me sad.
I’m sorry to say it, because I know a lot of people enjoy eggplant, but that experience as a kid ruined the veggie for me.
Taylor finds my eggplant aversion quite amusing, and will take advantage of every opportunity to exploit it. If I leave him alone for a minute at the grocery store, I’ll come back to find a huge eggplant sitting on top of our cart. If he goes to the shopping alone, he’ll send pictures of eggplant and say “this is the main thing you wanted, right?” When we go to a restaurant with eggplant anything on the menu, Taylor suggests that I would love it in front of the waiter. Once, he even asked a produce manager to approach me and show me where the eggplant was!
Other than that one difficult choice, I enjoyed all the Moosewood recipes: cornbread, minestrone soup, cauliflower cheese soup, different salads, broccoli rice dishes, casseroles, and so much more.
Although you don’t have to have one at all to make this recipe successfully, an immersion blender does make the process easy. I love being able to just cook my soup ingredients and puree them all in the same pot!
My mom always transferred the ingredients to a blender, and that worked just fine.
One more thing, in case you didn’t know: Cheddar and Fresh Dill are gastronomical soul mates.
- FOR THE SOUP:
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 1 large cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 4 cups chicken broth (sub veggie broth for vegetarian)
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese + optional ½ cup for garnish
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped fine + optional 2 tbl for garnish
- 1 tbl vegetable oil
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- FOR THE CROUTONS:
- 1 mini sourdough baguette, sliced very thin
- 1-2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
- FOR THE SOUP:
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, add vegetable oil and sauté onion until transluscent, about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
- Add the potato, cauliflower, and carrot, and allow them to sauté for about 5 minutes, or until potatoes are just starting to soften.
- Slowly add broth stirring, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom as you do. Add salt and pepper. Cover with lid.
- Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat back down to medium and simmer until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Puree in blender or food processor or with immersion blender.
- If you removed the soup to puree it, transfer it back to pot.
- Add the the cheddar, and heat gently until cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Add the rest of the ingrdients and serve.
- *Optional* garnish with fresh dill and extra grated cheese and croutons.
- FOR THE CROUTONS:
- Add the butter or bacon grease to a medium frying pan, over medium/high heat.
- Allow fat to become hot, about 2 minutes, and carefully add sliced baguette.
- Only add as many as you can fit without having them touch each other.
- Allow sliced to fry on one side until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes, and flip. Let fry on opposite side, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
*Nutrition Information is for 1/8 of the recipe*