Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
This variation on the traditional cauliflower-cheese soup is made with Huntsman or Stilchester cheese (part Stilton, part Double Gloucester) or equal parts Stilton and cheddar. It's delicious: very rich and creamy, the tang of the cheese nicely balancing the sweetness of the vegetables. Easy to prepare, too! You can vary the amount and proportions of vegetables according to your taste and what you have on hand. The soup can be made vegetarian by leaving out the chicken stock and bacon, and it’s naturally gluten-free.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 garlic cloves, slivered
- 1 small potato, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut in chunks
- 1 cup chicken stock (or use vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup cabbage, finely shredded (optional)
- 1 -2 cup milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh-ground is best)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 ounces English Stilchester cheese, shredded (Stilton and Double Gloucester, or use half Stilton and half cheddar)
- salt and fresh-ground pepper
- 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
- Combine cauliflower, garlic, potato and stock in soup pot and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender but still have a little texture. (This step can be done in a microwave if desired.) Allow to cool slightly.
- Melt butter in skillet, add onion, and sauté over low heat 5 minutes, or until onion is limp. Add cabbage, if using, and cook 2-3 minutes longer, or until onion is golden and cabbage has softened.
- Combine cauliflower and onion mixtures, 1 cup milk, the dry mustard, nutmeg and cayenne, and purée in processor or with an immersion blender, making sure all ingredients are thoroughly pulverized. (You may have to do this in a couple of batches if using food processor.) Blend in more milk until soup is the consistency of heavy whipping cream.
- Warm soup gently over low heat, stirring often, until it is hot through but not boiling. Stir in most of the cheese, a handful at a time, until it is thoroughly melted and blended into the soup. (Reserve about a Tablespoon of cheese for garnish.) Add salt and pepper to taste and thin with more milk if desired.
- Serve hot, topped with crumbled bacon (if desired) and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.