March brought some significant things to Gainesville. Namely, perfect weather: blue skies and warm sun. The days hovered just under 80 degrees with light breezes and skies dotted with white, puffy clouds. But recently something's happened. Our gorgeous spring weather was replaced by dim, gray skies and a constant, spitting rain. Nothing to do but stay indoors, curl up with a good book and eat comforting, roasted cauliflower soup.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 qt chicken stock (can be made with vegetable stock)
- 3/4 cups parmesan cheese (separated, 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium shallot (you can substitute an onion, but the flavor will be stronger)
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
Begin by heating the oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven heats, remove the cauliflower leaves and core and break the cauliflower into small florets. Spread the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a baking sheet or baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Place the cauliflower in the heated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. The cauliflower's ready when you can easily pierce it with a fork.
While the cauliflower roasts, you'll want to get a large soup pot. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the bottom over medium heat. As the oil's heating, mince the garlic and cut the shallot to a fine dice. Add them to the pot and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). When they become translucent, add the stock.
Once the cauliflower has finished roasting, increase the stovetop heat to high and bring the stock mixture to a boil. Add the cauliflower and remove the soup pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the cauliflower until the soup reaches a consistency you like.
Note: you can puree the soup in a regular blender. Just make sure to work in small batches and vent the lid from time to time, to avoid a cauliflower soup explosion.
After the cauliflower soup is smooth, add the remaining parmesan cheese and stir to combine, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with some additional cheese and chives, oregano or chopped parsley. A couple pieces of good, crusty bread never hurt a soup, either.
I know huge swaths of the world are still dealing with wintry weather. Stop bemoaning the snow and sleet. Cuddle up. Hunker down. Do whatever it is you do when the weather outside is frightful. This time, though, add some homemade cauliflower soup. It's really quite good.