Cream of … (you pick it) Soup!

Cream of … (you pick it) Soup!

I was in my tree stand for about 6 hours today and even though it really wasn’t all that cold for November 17, it sure was nice to get back to the house where the woodstove was still burning away, doing its job.  It also made me feel like having some soup, some nice, thick and rich creamy soup.  And… no, I didn’t get a deer.  Didn’t even see one!

I hate to pee in your Cornflakes, but most times when you order cream of broccoli soup in a coffee shop or restaurant chain it’s brought in from a supplier.  It comes in big quantities and it is mass produced.  It might be creamy, but it just doesn’t have that homemade flavour or texture.  So, why not make it yourself?  It’s easy as hell.

You could make a cream soup with various types of vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes or asparagus.  Today, I made cream of cauliflower because I had a whole head of the stuff that’s been in my refrigerator “a little longer” than it should have been.

Ingredients

  • Approximately 1 head of cauliflower
  • Approximately 1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2 litres) 2% or homogenized milk (Very loose guideline)
  • 2/3 cup butter (for the roux)
  • Flour (for roux)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, fresh mint

Get those pots out and let’s go!

In a 4 quart pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the same amount of flour to make a roux.  This will make a sticky paste that will allow you to add milk without it going lumpy on you.

After a couple minutes, begin slowly adding milk.  Only add about half of it for now.  You definitely can use “half and half” or even heavy cream if you want a very creamy soup.

Cut up the cauliflower into fairly small pieces and boil them until just tender.  Keep the water afterward in case you need to thin out the soup.   This water will have great flavour so you should keep it for soup stock anyway, even if you don’t use it in the cream soup.

Continue to slowly add milk, constantly whisking to keep it smooth.  If this is your first time working with a roux (butter and flour) you’ll be amazed at how thick this will end up being.  You can always add more roux if you need it.

Add the salt, pepper and dry parsley.

When the cauliflower is tender, strain it and then mash it up the best you can with a potato masher.  Add it to the soup.

Now you can use a hand held “stick blender” to work the cauliflower into the cream soup.  Personally, I leave some lumps… why?  ‘Cause that’s rugged!  Plus, it gives it that homemade feel…

At this point you’ll be going by feel… and taste.  Keep slowly adding milk, while blending it in.  I don’t want to give you an exact amount of milk to use because you know how thick or thin you like your soup.  If it ends up a little too thin, make some more roux in a separate pot and then add it.  Keep tasting … you might need a little more salt.

About three minutes before you serve the soup, add your finely chopped, fresh mint.  This will give you a great, cool and fresh flavour.

Garnish with fresh mint.

“Pound ‘er Down!”

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