Today over at Boomama's, a soupfest is going on. Soup-tacular recipes of every kind. Perfect for a simple but substantial meal for these busy, cold (well, in some parts of the world) days. Head over to add your favorite and to find new tummy warming recipes. (You might have to scroll down the page a bit.)
My contribution is one of the favorites around here. My kids even ask for it in the summer. I posted it in August 2006 so here's the link for Cheeseburger soup.
And one of our new favorites is this Silky Cauliflower Soup that I saw on Dave Lieberman's show on the Food Network. It's so easy and so good.
-1 head cauliflower
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-1 small onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
-1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper
-Crisps: 1 cup shredded Parmesan
Chopped chives, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a *blender* and return it to the pot. Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, make the Parmesan crisps: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the shredded cheese over the foil in 1 even thin layer. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown and crisps. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Break sheet of crisp cheese into large pieces and garnish each soup bowl with a couple shards and a pinch of fresh chives.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
**My note: If this soup is not "he-man" enough for the guys in your family, you can always add a nice mild, cooked and sliced sausage into the soup after it is done. I found a mild Italian is good as is a mild garlic sausage. It goes well with the parmesan. But any mild sausage will do.