Thursday, May 19, 2005

Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower Soup (Adapted from EatingWell)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks
4 cups chopped cauliflower florets
2 cups milk, divided
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces (about 1 cup) chipotle cheddar cheese
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) sharp white cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in leeks and cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, 1 1/2 cups milk, vegetable broth, half-and-half, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil over, stirring often - reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower has softened, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour. When the cauliflower has softened, pull out the bay leaf and stir in milk slurry. Increase temperasture to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the soup has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cheeses and lemon juice.

Makes about 4 large main dish servings or 6 to 8 smaller appetizer-sized servings.

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