Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Smokey Cauliflower Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Fall weather has hit northern New Mexico big time. The past few days have been beautiful with temperatures in the mid to high 70s during the afternoons. But...the nights. Oh, the nights. I woke up this morning to 34 degrees. So when Food Network assigned us cauliflower for this week's Fall Fest roundup, I immediately thought of soup.

I love this recipe. Creamy cauliflower blended with sauteed leeks, garlic, chipotle chiles and smoked paprika for a bit of heat & smoke, perfect for lunch or an easy dinner paired with salad and good bread. Just what I want when the nights are chilly. I keep it light with vegetable or chicken stock and nut milk (almond or coconut) instead of heavy cream. There is just a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano for flavor and richness without adding a ton of calories. Delicious, healthy, spicy... It just doesn't get better than that. Enjoy the soup!

Smokey Cauliflower Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 main dish servings

extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 chipotle chili pepper, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 cups (approx) organic vegetable or chicken stock (or homemade)
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions or chives

In a large stockpot, saute leek and celery in 2 tbsp olive oil until softened. (about 6 minutes over medium-high heat) Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add cauliflower, chipotle, paprika and small pinch each salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough stock to cover vegetables. (you may not need all 4 cups). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until very smooth. (Alternatively, you can process in batches in a processor or blender but be careful as the soup is very hot). Stir in the cheese and milk and continue cooking until cheese is melted. (about 5 minutes). Add additional stock or milk if soup is too thick. 

Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve in large bowls topped with a drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil, additional shredded cheese and a sprinkling of chives.

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Additional cauliflower recipes you may enjoy:

It is "Cauliflowerweek at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Do you have a favorite cauliflower recipe?  Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. 
The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken with Cauliflower 
Feed Me Phoebe: Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Red Curry
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Hash Brown Cauliflower and Potatoes
The Cultural Dish: Cauliflower and Leek Soup
Dishing with Divya: Gobi Manchurian
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Smokey Cauliflower Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano
Red or Green: Cauliflower and Peppers Pasta with Spicy Pesto
Swing Eats: Cauliflower T-Bone Steaks with Olive, Lemon and Parsley
Dishin & Dishes: Curried Cauliflower Chowder
Domesticate Me: Three Cheese Cauliflower Gratin
Weelicious: Vegetarian Tagine
Devour: 5 Reasons to Make Cauliflower Immediately
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Cauliflower Breadsticks
Taste With The Eyes: Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Walnut, Cilantro, Mint
FN Dish: Reasons to Reconsider Cauliflower (recipes)


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