Hello Gastronomical Sovereignty readers. I’m Sam! Some of you may know me as the former co-host of the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up. You can find me over at Cooking My Way Through My CSA, where I write about how to create great meals using your CSA share or other collections of seasonal vegetables to make delicious, healthy meals, particularly focusing on how to modify existing recipes to fit the produce you have on hand. Occasionally I go on tangents about knitting and other DIY projects, but mostly I blog about cooking local, ethically grown food.
One very important thing to know about me is that I love fall. Sweaters. Apple picking. Big, chunky scarves. Hot apple cider. Skirts with tights and boots. Pumpkin beer. Pumpkin everything. Soup.
Sweater/soup weather is the absolute best weather. Crisp, cool, with a slight breeze and bright sun. Here in the Northeastern US we have vibrant changes in the trees, golds, reds, and oranges. After a day of looking at fall leaves, picking apples or other fall activities, really nothing beats a nice bowl of soup, especially if that soup has an unexpected kick.
This cauliflower soup gets a kick from sharp cheddar and whole-grain mustard, and texture and crunch from multigrain mustard-butter croutons. It may look very plain—it doesn’t have those show-y fall colors like a pumpkin soup—but it’s got flavor. What’s not to love?
Yield 4 servings
- 6-oz whole grain bread cut into chunks that are roughly 1”
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 ½ T grainy mustard
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 ½ c water or vegetable broth
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 12 oz) cut into small flowerets
- 2 tsp grainy mustard
- 2/3 c shredded sharp cheddar (I used Cabot Clothbound Cheddar)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Make the croutons:Place the bread in a large bowl.Melt the butter (if you’re a good person you’ll do this on the stovetop over medium high heat, if you’re a bad person, like me, you’ll do it in your Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave). Whisk in the olive oil, mustard, and salt.
- Pour the mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Dump everything onto a baking sheet and spread the bread in a single layer.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing once or twice. Remove from the oven when the croutons are golden brown and crunchy.
- Make the soup:Once the croutons are in the oven, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook until the onion is softened (3-5 minutes).
- Once the onion has softened, add the potato and cover the pot. Cook just long enough for the potato to start to soften—about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the broth or water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, check to make sure the potatoes are tender. Once they are, add the cauliflower. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the cauliflower is completely tender (about 3-5 minutes).
- Turn off the heat and puree the soup, either in batches in the blender, or using an immersion blender. Stir in half the cheese and all of the mustard along with a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning (if you used water or homemade veg broth without a lot of salt, you’ll definitely need more at this point).
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top each with some of the remaining cheddar, some croutons, and a small drizzle of olive oil.
Adapted from Sam