Cauliflower, Cheese, & Tomato Soup

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Soup 2

There’s something really secure and comforting about a big pot of soup steaming on the stove.  Between October and April, there’s soup on my menu just about every week, so you’ll be seeing some more soup recipes in the coming months.  Chicken noodle probably my favorite (and I’ve posted that recipe here), but this cauliflower, cheese, & tomato soup is definitely in the top ten.  It can be vegetarian if you want, but is still hearty and filling. It’s also very thick, so add more broth if you prefer a thinner consistency. I’ve almost always got a bag of cheddar biscuits in the freezer, and they pair perfectly with this soup to make a good lunch or a light dinner.

Cauliflower, Cheese, & Tomato Soup
from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special

2 tbs. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1/3 cup celery, diced
2 1/2 cups potatoes, diced
4 cups chopped cauliflower (or one big head, broken up)
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes (28 oz can()
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup (2 oz) neufchatel or cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
salt

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onions.  Cover and cook until translucent, or about 8 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5 more minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, cauliflower, oregano, and broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 5 more minutes.

3. Add the cheddar cheese, basil, pepper, neufchatel cheese, and milk.  Stir well, then, using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot.*  Add salt to taste.

* If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until the soup cools, then puree it in batches.

Soup 4