Heidi Swanson’s Cauliflower Soup with Mustard and Cheddar Cheese

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It was just over a year ago when I went to Iceland to see the Northern Lights! It was a fantastic trip that enchanted and mystified me and the stunning views have continued to visit me in my dreams. The first day we arrived was a bit rainy and windy and walking the streets of Reykjavik we found the perfect place for lunch a small cafe/bakery that was warm and inviting; we lunched on the most perfect bowl of cauliflower soup that made the rain and wind seem utterly inconsequential. And sure enough after lunch the rain had stopped and the wind, it was there but warmed from the inside by that bowl of soup was not nearly so sharp. In the year since I have been home from Iceland I have wanted that same bowl of soup, and I have searched for the perfect way to create the velvety, creamy, warming goodness at home.

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Its gray and wet here today and it felt like the perfect day to make a soup; although I think other then summer I would always find it a pretty good day to make soup. I recently found a recipe for cauliflower  soup in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday Cookbook (a trusted and well used cookbook in my house). The soup has cauliflower and a potato and then at the end you mix in mustard and cheddar cheese, the result is somewhere between a cauliflower soup and a broccoli cheddar soup. It’s topped off with home made croutons and do I really have to say anymore than that?!

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Sitting with a bowl of delicious soup between my hands and looking back at the beautiful pictures from my trip and feeling ever so grateful for soup and the amazing experiences that bring me to so many stunning places and wonderful experiences in this life.

Wherever you are wishing you warmth, good soup, happy memories, and a little cheddar and croutons to top it all off!

Love,

Ra

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Heidi Swanson’s Cauliflower  Soup with Mustard & Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients:

Croutons:

6 ounces bread torn into small pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

Soup:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil

1 big yellow onion, diced

2 shallots, chopped

Pinch Salt

1 large potato, peeled and diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

12 ounces cauliflower, cut into small florets

2/3 cup grated white sharp cheddar, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste

To prepare the croutons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack centered in the middle of the oven. In a small bowl whisk the melted butter, olive oil, mustard and salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread pieces, and toss until well coated. Scatter the torn bread over a baking sheet. Bake, tossing the croutons once or twice along the way, for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Set aside.

To make the soup, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and shallot with a big pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are soft and are starting to turn translucent. Stir in the potato, cover, and cook for about another 4 minutes, just long enough for the potato pieces to soften up. Stir in the garlic when it becomes fragrant, add  the broth. Bring to a boil. Once potatoes are tender add in the cauliflower pieces. Cook until the cauliflower is tender approximately 10 min.

Remove the pan from heat and puree the soup, adding more broth or water if the soup is too thick. Stir in the cheese, and the two teaspoons mustard, taste for salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkling each bowl with more grated cheddar and a small handful of the croutons.

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12 2015

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