This morning I cooked up a vat of my favorite soup: Cauliflower Fondue Soup. I made a vat because this is not one of those 5 ingredients – 20 minutes from pantry to table recipes. The prep/cook time is a solid two hours and that’s if you don’t let it simmer for a bit to develop nummy umami. Since I do let it simmer, it’s an all day endeavor for me. Thus the vat size yield. This let’s me enjoy the soup of my labor for a couple of days and have oodles of leftovers for the freezer. Despite the high dairy content, it reheats beautifully in the microwave, even after being frozen.
I understand it is de rigueur to take gorgeous step-by-step pictures of shared recipes and to include a description of how much the family adores it. Well folks, the truth of the matter is, my family won’t touch it with a ten foot spoon and they complain about the smell of cauliflower that permeates the house during the roasting stage. As for the photos, someday I’ll do a post that screams “Look at my flawlessly lit, impeccably chopped cauliflower! LOOK AT IT!!”. Today is not that day.
Today it was in the 90s and I spent a good portion of the day in the steamy kitchen. This even after I spent an hour last night assembling most of my mise en place to reduce my kitchen time in the heat today. That was quite enough. Spending an additional hour taking fru-fru photos? Nope. Not even maybe. It’s nearly October and it’s supposed to be cool(er) out, dammit! I strongly recommend waiting until the thermometer says Autumn before giving this a whirl.
The recipe I use is based on the Roasted Cauliflower White Cheddar Soup recipe found at Cooking Classy. I followed the original recipe to begin with, as I do with all new recipes, but I’ve made so many adjustments by this point that it’s really quite different. Still, I give credit where credit is due. Thank you Cooking Classy for the inspiration.
Among other things, I’ve added silken tofu as a thickener and protein booster. (I promise you won’t even know it’s there and it adds a heartiness to this soup which makes it a meal instead of an appetizer. Just try it. You don’t even have to tell the kids.)
CAULIFLOWER FONDUE SOUP
Yield: About 10 servings
2 heads of cauliflower properly cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 C Olive oil
1/2 C finely grated Parmesan cheese
6 T butter
1/4 C diced onion
2/3 C flour
1 T minced garlic
5 C milk
1 C chicken broth
1 C chicken stock
1 pint heavy cream
2 pounds silken tofu, drained well, scored into large cubes
2 T yellow mustard
1 tsp granulated sugar
16 oz extra sharp white cheddar, grated
8 oz smoked Gruyère, grated
Salt and pepper
(Optional: Crusty loaf of Italian bread)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower in large bowl, drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss again to coat evenly. Spread cauliflower evenly, in a single layer, on a baking sheet (use two sheets, if needed). Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake in oven until golden, about 25 minutes, flip half way through cooking time. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add flour stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add garlic during the last 30 seconds.
While whisking, slowly pour in milk followed by chicken broth, stock, cream, tofu, sugar, and mustard. Add HALF roasted cauliflower and bring to a boil.
Using an immersion blender, thoroughly purée contents of the pot. (If you do not have an immersion blender this can be done with a counter top blender. Be extremely careful when transferring contents as you will be dealing with boiling liquid.)
Gradually add cheddar and Gruyère in small amounts, pausing after each addition to be sure it has melted completely.
Add remaining half of cauliflower and heat through. Serve warm with Italian bread if desired.