Hat Tip on this recipe to J, my friend from the law firm of Forman, Adcock and Stir (NOT their real name of course) as well as to the Pioneer Woman.
Cauliflower has a lot of health benefits. It is high in fiber, and as a cruciferous vegetable (like broccoli), it is thought to have many good health benefits for the intestinal system and the bod in general. Feed the Temple, peoples! Feed the Temple! 🙂
As a non-starchy veggie, it has a Glycemic Index load of 1. Which means you get a lot of bang for your buck with this stuff. An entire head of cauliflower contains about 145 calories and has 14 grams of fiber.
But the main thing about this soup, aside from the health benefits, is that it ROCKS! Cooler weather is on its way, and this is just the kind of thing we begin to crave as we eat ourselves slim into the Fall season.
This soup calls for a white sauce, and I have given you a recipe which is modified to be low-fat, not non-fat, and low-cal. You can tweak this sauce to use corn starch if you are a non-gluten person. I use a little butter in this recipe; as always, feel free to leave it out if you wish–just please, if you’re tempted to Paula Deen it (no disrespect here, she’s totally awesome!), try to control yourself.
What you will need for the soup:
- 1 to 1 and 1/2 heads of cauliflower, cored and cut into florets or relatively uniform pieces
- 1-2 carrots, diced fine
- 1 yellow onion, diced fine
- 1-2 medium stalks of celery, diced
- 1 bunch of flat leaf (aka Italian) parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp grape seed or canola oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 32 oz. reduced sodium or no sodium chicken stock
- 1-2 large bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter and the oil over medium heat until the butter begins to just turn brown. Toss in the onions and stir for about 3-4 minutes, or until they just gain a bit of color. Add in the carrots and celery and toss with the onions to mix. Add in the cauliflower and the parsley, stir together, then reduce heat and cover. Allow vegetables to simmer together, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. Then add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and keep pot covered.
Meanwhile, prepare your white sauce.
What you will need:
- 1/2 cup of white flour
- 3/4 cup of non-fat milk
- 1/2 cup of non-fat sour cream (optional)
- 2 cups of non-fat half and half
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese (you can also use mozzarella if you prefer, just use an easy hand, yes? 😛 )
- 1 tsp butter
In a medium saucepan, add the flour and whisk to remove any lumps or bumps. Slowly add in the 3/4 cup of non-fat milk, and whisk together well until smooth. Turn on heat to medium and slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup of sour cream, then add the 2 cups of half and half, still whisking. Add in the nutmeg and whisk thoroughly. Increase heat slightly, and, stirring or whisking continuously, allow mixture to thicken. Once you see it begin to boil even slightly, remove from heat quickly. Whisk in the cheese and the small amount of butter. You may, if you wish, leave the butter out, as this soup will have a nice, rich flavor whether you add in that extra fat or not.
Slowly add the white sauce to your soup, stirring to blend. Add in the bay leaves, cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and your soup is full of soupy goodness. Add your salt and pepper sparingly–there is some salt from the white sauce already in the soup due to the cheese, remember.
Suggestion: Garnish with non-fat sour cream placed in the bottom of the bowl or on the side, and a bit of parmesan or mozzarella cheese for an even richer flavor.