Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Parmesan Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips

Our ridiculous little heat wave of 80 degree weather is finally over. It's time for fall, time for boots, time for SOUP!

When I was little, my mom used to make this creamy cauliflower soup that I just adored. When I mention it these days she says she doesn't remember making it, and doesn't really like cauliflower soup, so thinks I'm making things up. Um, no. I remember. I remember it being creamy, cheesy and delicious and always asking for it.

So now that fall is here and I'm starting to make soups again, cauliflower soup was one of the first that popped into my head. I picked up a head of cauliflower at the grocery store last week along with a bunch of kale to eat on the side, but didn't really have a plan for how to recreate the soup from my childhood.

Thankfully, after just throwing some things together in a pot after work last night and tweaking a bit as I went along, it came out perfectly. It was silky smooth, full of flavor and actually quite hearty. Matt and Riker both loved it and we devoured almost the whole pot. It's also low in carbs, made without cream and can be made in about 30 minutes - bonus!

So you might be wondering about the addition of kale chips on top. Well, with such a smooth and creamy soup I like to have something crunchy. But since we try to eat low carb during the week (meaning no crackers to crush on top or bread to dunk) and I felt we needed a green veggie (you know my feelings on kale), crispy kale chips sounded like a great idea. And they were. They were salty, super crunchy and were great crumbled on top (where they simultaneously stayed crunchy and got chewy as they seeped into the soup), as well as eaten on the side.

These things are majorly addicting.

Parmesan Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips

Serves 3-4

Ingredients - Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut in large chunks
3 cups water
2 cubes vegetable bouillon
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Ingredients - Kale Chips
6-7 large kale leaves, washed and torn into big pieces
Olive oil
Sea salt

Directions - Soup
Put the chopped cauliflower and 1/2 cup water in a stock pot; cover and bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat until cauliflower is fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Add bouillon, salt, pepper and remaining water. Stir to combine, then puree with an immersion blender (alternatively, puree in a blender). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add milk, cheddar and parmesan, and simmer on low another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and flavors are combined. Top with kale chips and serve.

Kale Chips
Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, and lay the kale on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Massage gently until kale is completely covered with oil.

Bake for 10 minutes. Then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Remove and serve immediately.