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>> Saturday, May 05, 2007

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Cauliflower is one of my most favorite vegetables as a child. But growing up, I often regard it as bland and uninteresting. I normally buy cauliflower, not knowing exactly how to cook it well. And it will be just stir-fry, bake or steam. Sound boring, doesn’t it?

But my thought changes when I try a new recipe for a cheesy and creamy cauliflower soup. I realize the reason why my previous attempts to make cauliflower soup failed – I didn’t braise the vegetables long enough to bring out its beautiful natural sweetness. It’s better to take it slow for the full flavors to develop. The cheddar cheese, then, adds a beautiful creamy final touch. I particularly like the addition of mustard seeds since they lend an interesting contrast to the creaminess and sweetness of the soup.

This recipe is from an article in The Baker’s Companion which features different combination of bread and soup. The bread accompanied this smooth and creamy soup is swirl tomato bread (recipe coming up), which is not only easy but also very tasty. The combo is excellent and has become my new winter favorite…

Just a note to the recipe. If you don’t like cheese (remember the recipe calls for strong cheddar cheese), omit it. The soup is still creamy. But for me, who love cheese, its addition is a must for a complete taste.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, which returns to Kalyn this week. The featured vegetable is of course cauliflower.

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Creamy and Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Adapted from The Baker’s Companion

Ingredients (for 4-5 generous serves)

Butter, as needed

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

2 tbsp flour

3 cups chicken/veggie broth

1 pound fresh cauliflower florets

2 tsp small black mustard seeds

1 ½ cup light cream (or evaporated milk)

About 1 cup (or to taste) sharp cheedar cheese, shredded


Cook the onion with butter until soften- about 5 mins. Stir in flour, then the broth, cauliflower, a pinch of sea salt and mustard. Let the soup simmer for 25 mins over very low heat or until the cauliflower is very soft.

Let the mixture cool a little then process in a blender or food processor.

Return the soup to the pot. Stir in the cream/milk and cheese. Adjust seasoning. Cook very gently until the cheese just melts. Serve the soup hot. Garnish with fresh chives.


Ellie 5:10 PM  

Ahh, I adore cauliflower as well! I usually have it steamed with just a little pat of butter, but with this cold weather we're having, this might be a new way of cooking cauliflower for me to try!

kazari_lu 5:31 PM  

How funny! It must be cauliflower weather - I wrote a post last week about three different ways to cook them. My soup didn't turn out nearly as well as yours. I think I'll borrow your recipe next time.

Lydia 10:51 PM  

I am still trying to learn to love cauliflower. Several readers have sent me recipes -- "oh, you will absolutel love this" -- but I'm not quite there yet. Perhaps a soup with lots of nice Cheddar will do the trick!

Kalyn 10:59 PM  

I'm one of those cauliflower lovers. I like it every way you want to prepare it. And I also love very sharp cheese, so this recipe is perfect for me. It looks delicious in the photo!

Jaden 11:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steamy Kitchen,  11:12 PM  

I love roasted cauliflower. Do you think that if I roasted instead of cooking on stovetop that it would result in a different flavor in the soup?

Angie 12:32 AM  

Yes, Anh, more cheese please :p. Your soup looks totally creamy and comforting.

myriam 5:15 AM  

i had the same opinion about cauliflower. then i did a cauliflowersoup from donna hay. it also has a fennel bulp in it and loads of parmesan cheese. it was just divine. so i am a cauliflower-fan now! your recipe is next on the list.

Patricia Scarpin 6:20 AM  

Anh, you can be sure I'm gonna try this soup - the weather seems to have started to look like winter (Brazilian winter, but still) and what a lovely thing would be to have this delicious dish for dinner after a day at the office!

Anh 9:18 AM  

Ellie, I love cauliflower too but it makes me bored sometimes. Just have to try different techniques I think!

Kazari_lu: it must be the cold weather effects! I did read your post about cauliflowers and it helped me with some new ideas.

Lydia, I know how hard it is to learn to love something... I still can't get over bitter gourd except for in one dish for example. Hope you can find your way to appreciate cauliflowers.

Kalyn, I remember seeing some nice cauliflower recipes in your blogs. They are on my to-try-list.

Angie, thanks pal. My soup will do really well with your lovely dill bread. What do you think? ;)

Myriam, I recently discover fennel and love it! Your recipe sounds delicious... Must try it one day.

Pat, I agree! Cold weather is a perfect excuse for creamy stuff. ;)

Anh 9:22 AM  

Jaden, I just read your comment in the Taste of Yellow post. I do wish the little girl well... I agree that children sometimes have incredible strength and bravery....

About the cauliflower, I haven't tried to roast it yet... Not sure how the flavours will be. But it's a good excuse to play in the kitchen, right? :)

Sushma 10:05 AM  

Anh the soups looks divine.. I love soups and I would soon give it a try...

Also, I am hosting a monthly cooking tipology event on my blog to share cooking tips , hope you would participate. You can find more details at


Mae,  12:03 PM  

Hi Anh, i've tagged you [sorry, i published it last night but ran out of time to inform you after publishing].

Cauliflower soup... yum!

Truffle 2:48 PM  

This sounds so perfect for the cooler weather. What a lovely recipe and such beautiful photos!

Angie 4:25 PM  

Yes Anh, let's do an 'exchange' *wink*

Helen 4:27 PM  

What a great's got cheese!!! Kidding aside, I bet it was creamy good. Great shots!

sher 5:04 PM  

Leave out the cheese? Never! :):) I love this recipe and wish I had a bowl of it right now. Ah well, I will certainly make it. Cheese and cauliflower were made for each other!

Anh 7:37 AM  

Shusma, thanks. I'll see if I have enough time to participate in your lovely event.

Mae, no worry sweetie. I'll check the meme.

Truffle, thank you.

Angie, I'd love to do the exchange thing. =)

Helen, thank you. Yeap keep the cheese up!

Sher, I agree that cheese and cauliflower are perfect together... Love it!

Amy 4:54 PM  

I love cauliflower too! I actually cook it with cream of mushroom soup. It's my embarrassing secret. hehehe. ;D

Cindy 5:01 PM  

Anh, we tried your recipe last week and enjoyed it very much! (Michael also blogged our soup here.) Thanks for sharing it. :-)

Drina Murphy 7:02 AM  

I too find cauliflower quite bland and usually add it to a cheese sauce so I will definately try this soup:)

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