Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup
The vegetables in this Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup are sautéed first which intensifies the flavors and brings out their natural sweetness. Not only does it taste good, but it’s one you can feel good about eating. We use a full head of cauliflower in this recipe, so there are a lot of nutritional benefits, including cancer-fighting compounds. A jalapeño pepper and a few red pepper flakes add just the right amount of heat, making it perfect for a cold winter’s day or just about any time of the year. If you prefer less heat, reduce the amount of pepper, or omit it completely. For a vegetarian option, use vegetable broth or water in place of the chicken broth. The recipe is very adaptable and easy to make. Cheddar cheese adds a rich depth of flavor, but the cauliflower still stands out as the star ingredient.
A hand-held immersion blender makes quick work of pureeing this soup. A traditional blender works well also. If you like more texture, leave some of the vegetable pieces a little larger.
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Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into a large dice
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 large jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined, and diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes – Explore The Spice House | Shop Now
- 1 head cauliflower, core removed, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (you can also use water)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus an additional 1 cup for garnish
DirectionsHeat the olive oil in a Dutch oven, or large pan, on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, until translucent, but not brown. Add the potatoes, carrots, jalapeño pepper, and garlic and cook about 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and let cool 5 to 10 minutes.
Use a hand-held immersion blender (if you have one) to puree the soup. You can leave some of the vegetable pieces a little larger if you like the added texture. Keep the blade submerged near the bottom of the pan and pulse the blender on and off in half second bursts to avoid any splattering. Tilt the pan away from you to create a deeper area for blending. Be cautious when working with hot liquids.
If using a traditional blender, cool the soup slightly and puree it in batches. Return it to your Dutch oven. Reheat until warmed through, if needed.
Over low heat, stir in 1 cup of cheddar cheese, just until the cheese melts (do not boil). Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with additional cheese on top.
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