Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

5 T. butter
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 t. dried tarragon
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 c. flour
1 cup dry white wine*
3 14.5 oz cans chicken stock (a bit less for a thicker soup)
salt to taste
1/4 t. white pepper
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 c. half & half (or milk for a lower fat version)
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese

1. Melt butter in a stockpot over medium high heat. Add leek, onion, garlic and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 
2. Stir in tarragon and thyme and cook 1 minute longer. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and gradually stir in the wine and chicken stock. Season soup with salt and white pepper. Add cauliflower. Simmer the soup, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Let cool slightly
2.  Puree the soup in batches in a blender. Return to pot. Stir in half & half. Gently reheat and stir in swiss cheese until melted. Serves 6

(For an alternate version: replace the wine with chicken stock, omit the thyme, tarragon and white pepper. After stirring in half & half add black pepper to taste, 1/8 t. nutmeg, and 1 T. dry sherry. I made both soups at the same time and was pleased with how each turned out. )

*I'm not exactly a wine expert. The way I usually choose wine is by price and by how pretty the label is. Here is a list of a few dry/medium dry wines:  Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewurtztraminer, and Riesling (good thing the chardonnay we had on hand just happened to be on sale and look attractive when I went shopping last week!)

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