Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Cauliflower Cheese Soup
This soup, adapted from one of the Moosewood Cookbooks, was one of my favorites growing up.  It's probably one of the few recipes that I make regularly today that I've had almost my whole life!  The first time I made it for Mark he LOVED it, and it helped to make him a cauliflower convert.  This is a creamy and comforting soup (that's pretty healthy), with chunks of cauliflower and a few crucial spices that help to make it taste anything but boring.  By the way, if you like the Moosewood Cookbooks (or this recipe), check out Mollie Katzen's website!  She is the author of the cookbooks and her website has lots of great recipes.

I make this soup similarly to how it is written in the New Moosewood Cookbook, though I've changed the proportions of ingredients a bit and added buttermilk powder.  The original recipe suggested adding a bit of buttermilk at the end (it adds a great flavor!), but I somehow think the buttermilk powder makes the soup even creamier.  This soup is perfect on a cold winter night with a hearty bread on the side.   I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Serves: 8 (can easily be halved to serve fewer)


  • 4 cups russet potato chunks (scrub potatoes before cutting)
  • 1 large head cauliflower, stems removed
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped carrot
  •  1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 6 cups water (or stock)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1.5 cups skim milk, plus more to thin soup if desired
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder


1)  Start by prepping the cauliflower.  Cut the head of cauliflower in half.  With half of the cauliflower, chop if roughly and add it to a large pot or dutch oven.  With the other half of the cauliflower, carefully chop/tear it into small florets.  Put these cauliflower pieces in a small pot with about 1 cup of water.

2)  Add the potatoes, onion, garlic, carrot, salt, and water to the large pot/dutch oven with the roughly chopped cauliflower.  Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.

3)  Meanwhile, place the small pot with the cauliflower florets and water over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender (about 10 minutes).  Set aside.

4)  After 15 minutes, check to make sure the vegetables in the large pot are mostly tender.  If not, continue cooking a few more minutes until they are.  Then, turn the heat off and let the vegetables sit for about 5 minutes.  

5)  Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the vegetables in the large pot.  Add the cheese, milk, spices, and buttermilk powder and blend again until smooth.  Alternatively, you could puree the mixture in a blender in batches.   

6)  Add the cooked cauliflower florets to the soup and stir.  Add more milk to thin soup if desired.  Turn the heat back on the soup to low and keep the soup warm until ready to serve.  

7) Serve with a hearty bread on the side.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days.  I have not tried freezing this soup.  It would probably be fine, but I can't make any promises!

(recipe adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook)

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