Roasted Cauliflower Soup

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If you’ve been paying attention, this recipe makes the third out of the last four that has come from the magazine Cooking Light. About a year ago I got myself a subscription to it, not because I felt I needed to cook more healthy but I was looking for something that would provide me with a lot of recipes. And boy did it ever. So many in fact, that I’ve canceled my subscription. While I’ve read through all the issues, it has taken me until now to really make any of them. I’ll admit it, I have recipe overload. I’m constantly finding something on the internet or Facebook or a magazine or wherever. Too many recipes, not enough meals in the week/month/year.

Well, enough about my issues with recipes, on the this one specifically. I inadvertently made half the recipe. How did I do it by accident you ask? Well, it calls for eight cups of cauliflower or one large head. So, I bought one head of cauliflower. Sadly, after cutting it up, I only had about four cups. So I just halved everything else. It was not my intent. While I’ve talked about needing to cook less at a time, soup freezes easily and I was planning on freezing some of it. But alas, I had what wound up being just enough for two decent sized bowls of the soup. In a way it worked out. I also did use the blender to purée it. I had been planning on using my stick blender (one of the best things ever) but there just wasn’t enough there.

I used heavy whipping cream in place of the half and half as I had some and it was opened already. I also used some Black Forrest ham lunch meat in place of the prosciutto which is not an even trade but it worked. I skipped the parsley. As I’ve mentioned before, while fresh herbs are great, I have a hard time buying them as I never seem to use them all and I have to throw some away. It turned out to be thicker than I expected. With all the flavors – ham, almonds and bread – it was pretty decent but one bowl was enough.

recipe from the January/February 2013 issue of Cooking Light magazine

8 cups cauliflower florets
2 TSP olive oil
1/2 TSP kosher salt
4 thin slices prosciutto or other cured ham, chopped
1 TBSP butter, divided in half
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup half and half
1 oz French baguette, torn/chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3 TBSP sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring after 30 minutes. NOTE – for my four cups it wound up being 30 minutes total, stirring after 20 minutes.

Heat large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ham. Cook for 3 minutes or until crisp (took me longer than 3 minutes. Remove ham and drain on a paper towel. Melt half the butter in the pot. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cauliflower, stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in half and half. Place half in the blender. Remove center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape. Place a towel over the opening to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth. Pour puréed soup into a bowl and repeat with the remaining soup.

It said to put the torn bread in the food processor and to pulse until finely chopped I found that I was able to cut it up just fine. Melt remaining butter in a small pan. Add bread and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and combine bread, ham, almonds and parsley. Add bread crumb mixture to the top of the soup once in the bowls.

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