- Yield 8 servings
Often an overlooked vegetable, cauliflower is the star in this soup. Don't let the long list of ingredients intimidate you. It's not complicated, and the resulting taste is worth the effort.
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions, optional
- Place a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the cauliflower, potatoes, celery, carrot, and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered tightly, for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower and potatoes are just tender. Add the bay leaf and tarragon.
- Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and add the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently.
- Add the milk mixture to the cauliflower mixture; mix well. Stir in the cream, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. At this point, you may refrigerate the soup until serving time. Reheat the soup and add the Cheddar, just before serving, stirring until melted. Top with green onions, if using.
Recipe by Byron Klapal, Castle Rock, Colo.