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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

cauliflower soup from the pioneer woman

a couple of weeks ago i threw out my second attempt at cauliflower soup. both times i'd read a few recipes and thought, meh, i'll just wing it. and both times, it was AWFUL. (granted, the second time was because i blended the bay leaf into the soup. again. but still. awful.) so, i did what anyone else would do in such a situation-- i turned to facebook. i asked my friends, "friends, can you send me a good cauliflower soup recipe?" and one came through in a major way. she sent me to the blog the pioneer woman. "try this one," she said. "i have never gone wrong with pioneer woman."

so i did. and now i've never gone wrong with pioneer woman! this soup was so freaking good. creamy, buttery, tangy, full of perfect, wonderful cauliflower... rob was even mentioning it a couple of days later. it was great that night, and heated easily for my lunch for most of the week. we cranked out a loaf of bread in the bread machine and there it was, a perfect fall dinner. (it's also great with crackers!)

so thanks, caitlin and pioneer woman, for my cauliflower soup success!

the pioneer woman's cauliflower soup
serves 4
(she has amazing step-by-step photos for this soup, so for sure go check out her post!)

1/2 stick butter, divided
1/4 onion, finely diced
1/2 - 1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 - 1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 whole head cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets (i tried to keep most of the florets whole and bite-sized, then chopped a few down into small bits in order to give the soup extra texture)
1 Tbps fresh parsley, chopped
1 quart chicken broth, homemade if you have it
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (PW calls for half and half. but it was raining. and i had heavy cream at home.)
sour cream

melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a heavy-bottom soup pot. add the onion and cook for a few minutes. add carrots and celery, cook a few minutes more, stirring occasionally. add cauliflower and parsley and stir well.

cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook 15 minutes. (i thought this step seemed weird, since there's no liquid in the pot, but it effectively seemed to steam the cauliflower.) add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.

in small bowl, whisk flour and milk to combine well. melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. slowly add the flour/milk mixture to the butter, whisking all the while. keep whisking! in a few minutes, it will suddenly thicken. when it does, remove from heat and stir in the cream or half and half.

add cream mixture to the soup and stir. simmer another 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. season to taste with salt and pepper.

to serve, ladle into bowl and stir in a spoonful of sour cream. garnish with fresh parsley.

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