Friday, January 9, 2015

Cauliflower Soup

For my cousin's New Year's Eve party, I brought a huge bowl of vegetables with dips - the healthy option for us! I was going to buy a pre-packaged veggie platter but found out that was actually going to be more expensive and have less variety to buy individually. Sure I spent more overall, but the pre-packaged option only had carrots, tomatoes and celery in it. How boring!

So I walked around the produce section of Woodman's and picked up all my favorites to bring along - carrot slices, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, yellow and green peppers and cucumbers. I picked up a light ranch dill dip and Woodman's had a new brand for free with coupon. I bought a spinach variety of that dip. Both dips and the veggies were well received and almost gone by the end of the night.

I did have some leftovers of the veggies and started looking at some recipes to create a soup using the veggies. I found The Pioneer Woman's Cauliflower Soup and decided to modify it slightly to fit my tastes and use what I had in my condo.

I started with dicing some celery, onion and carrots. I added the onion to a dutch oven with some margarine (recipe calls for butter) and sauteed it for a bit. 
I then added the carrots and celery to get the veggies soft.
 Then I threw in the cauliflower and parsley, covered the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Next, I poured in the stock and let it simmer some more.
In a separate pan, I mixed together margarine (recipe calls for butter) and 1% milk (recipe calls for whole milk, but I don't buy that kind). And then I added this mixture to the veggie and stock mixture.
The half and half is added to the pot when it's removed from the heat. A little stirring to get all the flavors melded and it was looking great. I seasoned lightly with salt and pepper and decided to throw in some more carrots and broccoli to give more flavor and some color.

I did not add the sour cream to the recipe because I already felt the soup was rich enough. I wanted to keep it a little healthier as well.

I made a half recipe of The Pioneer Woman recipe and it came out to be 4 servings. I have been eating it all week and it's very flavorful. I love that the cauliflower absorbed the flavors during the initial simmering.

This week was exceptionally cold in Wisconsin with noon temperatures hovering below zero. Add in the wind chill and it was quite bitter - can you say "return of the polar vortex?" Soup was the perfect thing to bring to work to help me stay warm!

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