HOMEMADE SOUP NEVER TASTED SO GOOD
Move over chicken noodle soup I have a cauliflower cheese soup that will hit the spot and it’s topped with Italian meatballs. Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that are underrated and most people use it for veggies and dip but you can make so many gorgeous recipes with cauliflower.
Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds. Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, though they are of different cultivar groups.- Wikipedia
You can buy cauliflower that is white, orange, green or purple but you’ll pay more for the unusual coloured varieties. Cauliflower can be eaten raw, roasted, mashed, boiled, fried, steamed and baked and is low in carbohydrates which makes it perfect for low-carb diets such as the Atikins diet and is used as a substitute for potatoes and rice. I can hardly tell the difference when we make cheesy mashed cauliflower compared to mashed cheesy potatoes.
Come October my soup radar starts going off especially as the nights get colder and we start to crave meals that are comforting. I happened to buy a massive cauliflower for $0.99 and needed something to do with it. I typically love making baked cauliflower loaded pizza and baked cauliflower with cheese but came up with this creamy Cauliflower Cheese Soup recipe that I know you will love.
I made my vegetable broth for this cauliflower cheese soup with vegetable scraps and then added in chicken Knorr cubes to boost the chicken flavour. The best part is there are hidden vegetables in this cauliflower cheese soup like carrots, celery and onion so if you have any picky eaters they won’t even know it’s in there. Cheese trumps all!! I also added in lots of old cheddar cheese however if you have a favourite cheese you’d like to use you can easily substitute it.
Finally, I added fresh ginger, Worcestershire sauce and a few dashes of Franks Red Hot Sauce for flavour. Don’t worry the soup is not spicy at all as Franks is more of a vinegar based hot sauce with more tang than anything. On top of this gorgeous cauliflower cheese soup I added a few Italian Meatballs that I fried in some extra-virgin olive oil.
You can find the recipe for my Nonna’s meatballs already posted on the blog as it has been a very popular recipe over the years. When I make pasta sauce I tend to cook them from raw in the sauce but if I want to enjoy them cooked right away I simply fry them up and they are delicious. They give this cauliflower cheese soup that full meal touch. If you don’t care for the meatballs, leave them out and enjoy the cauliflower cheese soup as it is.
How to make cauliflower cheese soup
- 1 med-large cauliflower cut into florets (about 6-7 cups)
- 4 cups of water
- 4 Knorr chicken cubes (1 for each cup of water)
- 2 carrots shredded (1.5 cups) (keep the peels of all veg for stock)
- ½ cup chopped celery (keep any bits for broth)
- ½ cup chopped onion (I used peel from entire onion for stock)
- 1 garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons of Franks Red Hot Sauce or any hot sauce (optional)
- 2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
- 2 cups of old cheddar shredded
- Make the broth
- 2 bay-leafs
- carrot peel
- onion peel
- any celery bits you cut off
- In a large stock pot add the water and your vegetable peels and bay leafs. Boil for about 20 minutes. If you use the onion peel you may have a nice golden vegetable broth.
- Drain the peels and bay-leaf from the broth so you are left with a clear broth
- On medium heat add in your chicken cubes, celery, onions, carrots, cauliflower, fresh ginger, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Franks Red Hot Sauce (optional) and bring to a boil then reduce for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
- In another pot, melt the butter to make a roux for the cheese portion of the soup. Once the butter is melted add the flour, salt and pepper.
- Add in your milk a little at a time while constantly stirring over medium heat. Cook the roux until it thickens (few minutes) and coats the back of your spoon. Add in your 2 cups of cheddar cheese and stir. Taste to make sure salt balance is good for you.
- With your hand blender puree the vegetables but keep some chunks of cauliflower for texture. Add in the cheese sauce and mix.
- If you want to add Italian meatballs I put 2-3 on top of each bowl. Sprinkle with Parmigiana cheese if desired.
- This pot made 12 portions of soup.
The pot of soup made 12 portions for us but only allowed me to put cups in the above recipe. If you are feeding adults this recipe would likely only make 4-5 large bowls of soup.
This cauliflower cheese soup is fine in the refrigerator for up to 4 days but you can freeze it for later use. I portion my soups into containers so they are easy to heat up in a saucepan. Soup is the perfect go-to meal when you are on the run and when we were new parents because the last thing we wanted to do was cook every day.
I hope you enjoy this amazing soup and let me know what you think.
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