A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend and I went to a Cafe Zupas restaurant that just opened near our homes. Why I have never tried Cafe Zupas, before now, is beyond me. It was wonderful! I wish I could go every week (day!) They have an amazing assortment of soups, sandwiches, salads, desserts and that fantastic coconut syrup and fresh lime you can put in your Coke, if you are in to that sort of thing. 🙂
I had the Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup, because white vegetables are my passion.
Ok, you know I’m kidding. I tasted a sample of it that was heavenly and ordered myself a bowl sprinkled with bacon. (Because bacon is actually my real passion). The soup was creamy, slightly rich, packed with cheesy flavor and had a smooth satiny texture. I came home, did a little bit of research and made some for my family for dinner. When they asked what it was called I told them it was…are you ready…
Cheesy-Bacon Soup. They had no problem with that. None at all, actually. They all loved it. After they had licked their bowls clean I told them there was an entire head of cauliflower existing inside the soup. The very soup they had just consumed.
They just smiled and said…
“All right, good one Mom. Now tell us what is really in it…”
“Just the best cauliflower you’ve ever eaten in your lives.” I responded.
And that, is the gospel truth.
I hope you make this soup. I hope you love it pieces! I hope it warms you up on a snowy winter day. 🙂
Now, grab yourself a pretty head of cauliflower and let’s make it baby!
Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6-7 (1 cup) servings
Recipe adapted from Butter with a Side of Bread
1 medium onion, chopped
3 T butter
2 pounds cauliflower
1/4 C flour
2 C half and half
3 1/4 C water
2 chicken bullion cubes, or 2 tsp bullion granules
1 1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 C pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
and let cook until the onions are translucent and have a beautiful golden brown color. Should take about 5 minutes.
3. While your onions are sauteing, wash a lovely head of cauliflower and remove the green leafy portion.
Chop it up into pieces that are roughly 1 inch in size. Don’t get out a ruler, okay. Just give them a rough chop.
4. When your onions are golden brown add 1/4 cup flour to the pot, stirring quickly to incorporate and make a roux. (A roux is the pasty substance you see above. It will act as a thickener for your soup).
5. Add 2 teaspoons chicken bullion granules to 3 1/4 cups hot water. Pour the broth into the pot about 2/3 cup at a time, whisking the mixture until it bubbles and then adding more broth.
6. Add 2 cups half and half, a little at a time whisking as you go. It may seem a bit tedious, but the soup will heat up much faster if you add just a bit of the liquid at a time.
7. When you have a nice simmer, add the chopped cauliflower. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer and let the vegetable cook until soft. Should take about 15 minutes.
8. When the cauliflower is fork tender, turn the heat off and blend the soup up. You can either stick an immersion blender into the pot and blend it until smooth. Or, you can carefully pour the hot soup into a blender.
9. When the soup is smooth, add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stirring to incorporate.
10. Add 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese. (It’s best to use freshly grated cheese here, it will melt a lot better for you).
11. Stir the cheese in, allowing it to melt.
Serve with bacon, more cheese or even a few green onions.