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Monday, October 31, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Havarti Croutons

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When the temperature drops and the seasons shift, I find myself craving certain foods. Foods like Guinness Beef Stew and Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage. Foods that are warm, cheesy, and heavy. Comfort food, if you will.

As much as I'm not one to turn down comfort food, I'm also still trying to fit in my skinny jeans...a task made more difficult with the constant stream of sweets emerging from my kitchen! To compensate, I try to enjoy 'lighter' comfort foods while still indulging every once in a while.

This cauliflower soup is the perfect comfort food compromise. It's thick and creamy without a hint of milk or cream actually in it. Topped with cheesy baked croutons, it feels richer and more indulgent than it actually is...meaning I can slurp down a big bowl without feeling guilty when I grab that second (okay, third) cookie!

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Granola Bars
Two Years Ago: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Havarti Croutons
soup adapted from Annie's Eats, croutons by The Sweets Life

-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-1 medium onion, chopped
-kosher salt
-1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-3 cups vegetable broth
-3/4 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
-2/3 cup shredded havarti cheese

for the croutons-
-1/4 whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces
-thin slices of havarti cheese

1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent (4-5 minutes). Season with salt and add potato pieces, garlic, and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer, keep pot covered, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add cauliflower and cook, covered, for an additional 5-6 minutes, until tender. Stir in the cheese.
3. While soup is cooking, place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, until browned and hard. Remove from oven, top with slices of cheese and return to oven for 3-5 more minutes, until cheese is melted.
4. Once soup is finished, use an immersion blender to puree soup until creamy. Add additional broth if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm topped with cheesy croutons.

This soup with cheesy croutons was done in honor of Kelly Ripa and Electrolux who are on the hunt for America's Favorite Comfort Food. Check it out, share your favorite comfort foods, and vote for your favorite here. For every entry, Kelly & Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and you'll be entered to win an Electrolux Induction Cooktop!