We had our first snowfall in Wisconsin yesterday. Nothing measurable in the Milwaukee area, but some western parts of the state set a record for early snowfall. Here, it's just plain cold.
Here is a simple and very satisfying cauliflower soup that was inspired by a recipe from The Pioneer Woman. I've lightened the fat content and increased the veggies. I also decided to top it with some homemade Parmesan Croutons. It was delicious!
Inspired by The Pioneer Woman
I liked the Pioneer Woman's recipe but lightened it by using less butter, fat free milk and no cream. I also added more carrots and celery and topped it with my Parmesan Croutons.
5 tablespoons of butter, divided
1/2 large onion, diced
3 Carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 huge head (or 2 small heads) of cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 quarts sodium free chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basis brand)
3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 cups skim milk
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon pepper, to taste
Parmesan Croutons (Recipe Below)
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and celery and cook an 5-10 minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine. Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and whisk until blended. When it starts to bubble, add the milk slowing while whisking constantly until thickened. Keep stirring until thickened, which should take a few minutes. Add the mixture to the simmering soup and allow to simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Ladle in bowls and top with Parmesan croutons.
French, Italian or Country-Style Bread
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Take a few slices of good French, Italian or Country Style bread and spread a little olive oil on each side using a basting brush. Sprinkle each slice with freshly ground pepper on each side. Cut the slices of bread into cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until just golden, about 10-12 minutes.
Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the croutons and return to oven until cheese is just barely melted.