Cauliflower Soup with Aged Cheddar and Mustard Croutons

The Sprouting Horn (above) is part of Cape Perpetua Siuslaw National Forest and is located about 2 miles South of Yachats. My husband and I go there often. Yesterday afternoon the tide was high and this is what we saw. It is kind of like a salt water fountain driven by the power of the ocean's tide. Pretty amazing!

We topped the day off with this delicious soup, the combination of the croutons and cheddar cheese totally enhances the flavor of the cauliflower as sometimes cauliflower can be pretty boring. Recipe has been slightly adapted from "Super Natural Every Day", by Heidi Swanson. I absolutely love her style of cooking. I have both of her cookbooks and have given them for gifts as well. Make extra croutons as they are perfect for most any type of simple salad.


For Croutons:

6-ounce chunk artisan bread (cut into squares)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

For Soup:

2 extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 large potato (peeled and cut into small cubes)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 medium head cauliflower (cut into small florets)
2/3 cup extra sharp cheddar (grated)
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
Salt and pepper to salt
Extra virgin olive oil (to serve)

To prepare:

Preheat heavy skillet, over medium high heat, add butter. Then whisk in the olive oil, mustard and salt. Add in bread pieces, toss well and flip them every few minutes until golden and crunchy. Remove from heat, put aside.

To start soup, heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium high heat. Stir in the shallots, onion and a big pinch of salt. Saute' until the onions soften, a couple of minutes. Stir in the potato, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, just long enough for the pieces to soften up a bit. Uncover, stir in the garlic, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, taste to make sure potatoes are tender, and if they are stir in the cauliflower. Cook, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, just until the cauliflower is tender throughout.

Remove the pan from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender. Stir in the cheddar and the mustard. Add more broth or water if soup is too thick. taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

To serve sprinkle with croutons and a light drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!


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