Thursday, November 12, 2009

Golden Winter Soup

I know. We don't really have winter here. There is just something about Fall that makes me start to get crazy to cook. More specifically crazy to cook cozy warm soup and cookies. I want to have my Gingerbread Coffee and sit at the table making out my shopping list. I want to pick out beautiful Butternut Squash, and leeks and baking potatoes and make some of this soup.

I am so surprised I have written about this soup yet! This is a HUGE favorite around here. It is even on Mr. Smith's List of Acceptable Meals I Have Promised to Eat Any Time. Take it from me, this is a VERY short list. Making it onto the list involves testing, ingredient clearance and a whole long ceremony. It is not easy process, but this one is one there, so take heed.

Make this ahead of time and warm it up. Make it ahead of time and freeze it. Leave out the milk, it won't make a damn bit of difference. This is another soup that is absurdly healthy, but feels so creamy and decadent, you will swoon.

Add the little cheese toasts and you will feel more pampered than you have felt in a long time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My favorite veteran and Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Papa Doty, in uniform with Patty D, my mother

Today is Veteran's Day. It was originally designated as a day to honor the veterans of World War I. My great-grandfather, Charles Doty served in that war. Later on, it was extended to include all veterans. My dear sweet Papa Doty (his son) served in World War II.

Baby B, Papa Doty and Katie

Papa left us a little over a year ago. It has been a tough year for a variety of reasons. He is sorely missed by us all. He still deserves our thanks for leaving his young wife and his baby daughters, for risking his life, for surviving.

Thank you, Papa. Thank you for making it home. Thank you for having more daughters. Thank you for being such a sweet soul. We love you and miss you terribly. I would give anything for one more bear hug!

Papa Doty with Baby C, September 2008

I have been cooking and I know you will all love this recipe. Even if you hate cauliflower, you will love this soup. Trust me, would I ever steer you wrong?

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

1 large or 2 small (3 pounds) heads cauliflower, cut into florets (about 10 cups)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, each halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth or you can use Better Than Buillion (they even have vegetarian buillion available)

1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (I used dry and it was just fine)
1 cup half-and-half (I left this out and we did not miss it at all)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 400°. In a large roasting pan, toss cauliflower, onion slices and garlic with olive oil. I also threw in the salt (coarse sea salt) and some pepper.

Roast at 400° for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

In a large saucepan, combine roasted cauliflower mixture, chicken broth, 1 cup water, bay leaf and thyme. Cover; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Discard bay leaf. In blender or food processor, puree soup in batches. Return soup to saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, if desired; add salt and pepper; cook over medium heat until heated through.

Per cup: 98 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat fat); 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 741 mg sodium; 13 mg cholesterol

Honestly, leaving the half-and-half out makes the soup so much healthier and you will not miss it!