Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: large pot of soup (~12 servings)
 
A rich and creamy soup, using cauliflower, roasted garlic, leeks, wine, and a little half-and-half. Decadent, but simple, and with a little bacon on top, it only gets better!Perfect on a cold winter night.
What to get:
  • 2 heads cauliflower, rinsed, trimmed & cut into florets
  • 6 oz bag of chopped leeks, pre-washed (or rinse whole leeks & slice)
  • 3 bulbs of garlic, with top bulb sliced off (!!/4 of way)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle on garlic.
  • 4 strips crisped bacon, reserve grease
  • 1 green onion, greens sliced (for topping)
  • ¾ cup Half-and-Half (I use reduced fat)
  • 32 oz carton Chicken Stock (low sodium variety)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 T shredded parmesan cheese blend
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
What to do:
Roast Cauliflower & Garlic:
  1. Clean and trim heads of cauliflower into smaller florets.
  2. In a large bowl drizzle cauliflower with olive oil, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, and thyme, toss to coat.
  3. Arrange florets in single layer on foil lined/oiled, rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Cut top ¼ of each garlic bulb and discard top (do not need to peel), place one bulb in a spot of a muffin tin, drizzle with some EVOO and salt & pepper lightly.
  5. Roast cauliflower and garlic in a preheated 425 degree oven, until cauliflower is mostly tender when tested with fork (~30 mins), and garlic cloves become soft (~20 mins).
  6. Remove and let cauliflower and garlic slightly cool, then chopping cauliflower as fine as possible.
  7. Simply 'squeeze' out roasted and softened garlic cloves from base of bulb (reserving paste, discarding bulb/waste).
Make Soup:
  1. In bottom of large Dutch oven crisp the bacon slices, remove to drain on towels, and reserve grease.
  2. To pot with bacon drippings, sauté leeks with pinch of pepper, adding ~1/4 cup white wine. on medium-low, stirring frequently, until tender (~10 mins).
  3. Once leeks are tender, add the chopped roasted cauliflower and garlic, and ½ carton of Chicken stock, letting simmer on medium for about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup/cauliflower well, until a smooth consistency, with virtually no chunks.
  5. The mix should be very thick, and you can slowly add in amounts of white wine and stock to taste and desired consistency. (I ended up using entire carton of stock and almost 1 cup of wine, but cooked my pot for a longer time, allowing moisture to cook out).
  6. Remove the heated soup pot from burner and allow to cool closer to room temp, then add the Half-and-Half and parmesan, stirring and returning to heat, and slowly increasing temp (If you want more cream, can add an additional ¼ cup, gradually).
  7. Check soup for salt/pepper levels, adding more as needed.
  8. Let soup simmer on low as long as desired to keep warm/develop flavor.
  9. Top with crumbled crisp bacon and few green onion slices, with warmed crusty bread.
Notes:
This is easy, once the cauli & garlic are roasted, its only a matter of sautéing leeks and blending ingredients together in the soup pot! This has a rich, developed flavor, due to wine, parmesan and leeks. It does not require much dairy, since the cauliflower lends a 'creamy' consistency, once we use the immersion blender to smooth out the chunks. I love this topped with bacon, but can be omitted to make this vegetarian:)
Serving size: 1 bowl or more!
Recipe by the dinnervine at http://www.dinnervine.com/2014/01/roasted-cauliflower-garlic-soup/