This soup, oh, this soup.
It’s roasted cauliflower and fragrant garlic, savory thyme and sharp white cheddar. Basically, it’s amazing. And if you top it with croutons made from these out-of-this-world pretzel rolls, you’ll probably roll over and die from pure happiness (no time for homemade pretzel rolls? no worries, you can skip the croutons altogether or use store bought).
The creaminess comes from a bit of lowfat milk and pureeing half the soup. Can I get a huge yippee for a creamy soup without heavy cream? Now, I’m not saying this soup is calorie-free (hello, white cheddar cheese), but it is a delicious, lightened up creamy soup that is probably in my top 5 favorite soups of all time. Roasting the cauliflower and garlic brings out entire levels of flavor heretofore unknown and the subtle hints of thyme and rosemary compliment the cauli-cheese combo magnificently.
With all the decadence of holiday baking staring us in the face right now, this roasted cauliflower soup is the perfect weeknight meal to refresh your taste buds and work up an appetite for more cookies.
This soup is easily doubled. Just as an FYI, these amazing pretzel rolls make the most fabulous croutons in the world.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 4 whole cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow or white onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh), finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 2 teaspoon fresh), finely chopped
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup milk
- 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Croutons for topping (optional)
- Wash and trim the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Toss with the cloves of garlic and one tablespoon of the oil. Scrape the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is crisp-tender and golden in spots (it will cook a bit longer in a later step).
- Remove the garlic cloves, let them cool slightly, and finely chop.
- In a 4- or 5-quart saucepan, heat the remaining one tablespoon olive oil and add the onion, cooking until the onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chopped garlic, thyme and rosemary. Cook for another minute.
- Stir in the cauliflower and broth; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Carefully ladle about half the soup (in batches, if needed) in a blender and puree until smooth. Stir the pureed soup back into the pot - be careful as hot soup in a blender can be a recipe for disaster if the blender is overfilled. Add the milk and the cheese,
- Stir and cook on low heat until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley and croutons, if using.