Cheddar and Ale Cauliflower Soup

This soup came together because I had all the ingredients on hand on a cold and rainy day. I’ve made a similar soup before with potatoes, but thought I would give it a try with cauliflower. There are a few similar recipes online, but they had much more dairy which makes a soup too heavy for me. So, here we are. Cauliflower, Sharp Cheddar and Beer. Life is indeed good.

Cheddar and Ale Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups stock (I use beef, but chicken or vegetable would work as well)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (about 6 full rotations of the grinder)
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups or 12 ounces of beer (Ale is best. I use Sam Adams, but feel free to be fancy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Melt butter in heavy bottomed soup pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes,
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add 1 cup of the stock, scraping any flour up off of the bottom pan and mixing well. Add the remaining stock, pepper, salt, sage cauliflower and beer. When you add the beer, the mixture may bubble up a bit.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until cauliflower is cooked, about 20 minutes. Cauliflower should be tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Non-immersion blender instructions below)
  6. Add cheese 1/3 cup at a time and use immersion blender to combine.
  7. Add milk, mixing well.
  8. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with hot sauce (swirl if desired, instructions below), additional cheddar cheese or both.

If you do not have an immersion blender:

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above.
  2. Puree soup in batches in food processor or blender until smooth and return to soup pan.
  3. Using a whisk, add cheddar cheese by the heaping tablespoon and stir immediately and thoroughly until each addition of cheese is combined before adding more cheese. This will keep the soup from clumping.
  4. Add milk, whisking thoroughly.
  5. Adjust seasonings.
  6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with hot sauce (swirl if desired, instructions below), additional cheddar cheese or both.

To swirl the hot sauce:

  1. Ladle soup in to bowls.
  2. Sprinkle hot sauce on top of soup in a random pattern.
  3. Using something pokey (like a toothpick, skewer or a meat thermometer), stick it in to the center of the hot sauce dot and drag outward making a thin line.
  4. Repeat with all of the dots until a light marbled pattern appears.
  5. If you like more hot sauce, make bigger dots and you can get a more defined patter, like you would with frosting on a cake.

    Step 2

    Step 3

     

    Yay! (I realize that the color of the hot sauce against the soup is a little strange. It was fine in person)

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