Monday, March 29, 2010

Cauliflower, Cheese and Tomato Soup

I'm sitting here on this chilly, rainy gray day waiting for the seventies and sun we've been promised by the end of the week and wondering what to have for dinner. It's typical Ohio blahness that must be overcome with warm, spicy goodness. And that, of course, suggests soup!

Today's soup is a comforting blend of carrots, cheese, cauliflower and other insanely healthy things that will leave you happily sated and a bit more content to wait for the glorious spring days , and the sneaky April snowshower that's sure to come. Add a salad and some homemade bread and dinner is served!

This goes very well with Popovers!

The recipe is adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special.

Cauliflower, Cheese and Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

2 cups diced potatoes

4 cups chopped cauliflower

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cups water

2 cups tomatoes, fresh or canned

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

2 teaspoons basil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup light cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

1 ) Heat the oil for a few minutes a in a soup pot, then add onions and cook on low for about ten minutes. Watch carefully, since they should be lightly browned and soft.

2 ) Add the garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes or so.

3 ) Add the potatoes, cauliflower, oregano and water. Cover, raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.

4 ) Add the tomatoes, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.

5 ) At this point, you must make a soup-changing choice: pureed or chunky. At our house, we prefer the bits and pieces to the smooth approach, but it's your soup! If you'd like it smooth, puree about 3 1/2 cups - or all- of the soup with the cheese, basil, cream cheese and milk. Pour the puree back into the pot. If you'd like it a bit toothier, simply add the cheeses, basil, and milk and stir well.

6 ) Add salt and pepper and taste repeatedly, but not so much that you finish your dinner before anyone else has started!