Cauliflower and cheese pair well for a great winter soup, providing plenty of richness and warmth. Often times, it’s made with cheddar, but we opted to use gouda for a nice, toasty flavor. Depending on what’s available at the market, you can use either fresh or frozen cauliflower. Serve with a salad and a slice of crusty French bread for a complete meal.
Cauliflower and Gouda Soup
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and ground white pepper to taste
- 1 bayleaf
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups grated gouda cheese
- 1 teaspoon mustard, Dijon-style or English
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped coarsley
- 2 to 3 thin slices of prosciutto, julienned
- Roughly chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and combine with the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper in a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until vegetables start to soften and onions become translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the bay leaf and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and purée the soup until smooth with a hand-held immersion blender, or a conventional blender (see tip below).
- Just prior to serving the soup, stir in the gouda, mustard, half-and-half and butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper again if needed. Continue cooking until the cheese has melted and the soup is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a small pan, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and quickly fry the rosemary and prosciutto until crispy and aromatic.
- Divide soup into bowls and garnish with the rosemary and prosciutto.