#SundaySupper knows that temperatures are starting to dip, which is why we have over forty recipes to fill your belly while they warm your soul. I added some more veggies and cut out some of the heavy ingredients for a healthier version of one of my favorite comfort foods and made Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup.
Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup
We have an issue with table manners in my house. And the issue so much isn’t the lack thereof as it is how The Hubby and I view and react to the kids’ table manners. The Hubby is the strict one when it comes to meals. He wants them seated and carefully picking up their food with a spoon or fork, then neatly putting it in their mouth. Food landing on their clothes, laps, and especially the floor drives him nuts. He definitely isn’t as old school as saying that children should be seen and not heard because he absolutely loves chatting with them about their days and whatever else they come up with (sometimes he is even more patient than me with the five year old storytelling that never seems to get to the point), but if they start getting too silly or interrupting when he is talking about topics that small children find oh-so-fascinating, like unproductive meetings at work, politics, or how we are going to make sure we use up out medical flex spending account this year, he gets a little agitated.
You guys, I have five and two year old boys.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t encourage or allow them to act like barbarians, running around like maniacs and shoveling their food into their mouths while it flies in all directions. But there’s two things.
First, I’m realistic. Again, five and two. Boys. They’re gonna be messy. Even when they try their hardest. They’re also gonna be antsy. They have already had a long day (let’s not get into the fact that they have a bad habit of waking up at 5:30 am for no particular reason), been in and out of the car, the bus, school. It’s highly unlikely that they are going to want to sit for a nice family meal and dinnertime conversation for any longer than it takes them to devour their dinners. Sometimes they don’t even want to really sit while they are eating. I get it. If we are at a restaurant, it’s a different story because that’s a safety concern. But if a little wiggling or a random stroll around the kitchen makes them happy, so be it.
Second, I’m kind of a touchy-feely eater myself. Maybe it’s the foodie in me that sees eating as an experience for all of the senses. Maybe I’m still a child myself on the inside. Maybe I just recognize that my children are still discovering the world, and part of that is experiencing textures, in addition to flavors and smells and sight. And that since they are still children, messes are a part of eating, a part of learning, a part of life. Plus I’m also known to use my fingers to pop green beans in my mouth. I’d rather get my hands in there to carve the meat off of a chicken, versus getting all cumbersome with tongs and forks and knives. You’ll never catch me using a knife and fork to eat pizza.
And you guys, this soup, let me tell you, I did use my finger to swipe out the last little bit from the bottom of the bowl…
I have been craving the Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera, but since it is thickened with wheat flour, I can’t have it. I knew it was time to make it myself, but I figured I’d put my own healthier spin on it. So you know what that means in my kitchen – cauliflower!!! I don’t call this Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup for nothing. It is so velvety and smooth (though I’m sure my Blendtec helps with that), but there’s no cream, no butter, and no flour for thickening, making this a naturally gluten free and low carb soup. But there is plenty of cheese to make it rich and super flavorful, and I always feel that with cheddar cheese, the sharper the better. Since the soup is made from cauliflower, plus all of the broccoli and carrots swimming in that sea of golden goodness, it is full of good vegetable nutrition.
And did I mention the cheese?
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Are you very strict with table manners or are you OK with a bit of “exploration”?
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 head of cauliflower, core removed and chopped into small florets
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- pinch cayenne
- 4 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2-3 cups broccoli fresh florets (you can also use frozen)
- ⅓ cup julienned carrot
- 6 ounces (about 1½ cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp. Do not use the pre-shredded kind in a bag, as it will not melt as well), plus an addition 2 ounces (about half a cup) for sprinkling on top, if desired
- salt and pepper to taste
- crumbled bacon for sprinkling on top, if desired
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, nutmeg, dry mustard, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and peper and saute for a minute or two.
- Add the chicken broth, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for least 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender, such that it can be mashed easily with a fork. You can break it up a little while it's cooking to help speed the process along.
- Use an immersion blender, or transfer the mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot over medium heat and add the broccoli and carrot. Bring to simmer and cook 25-30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender (if you are using frozen broccoli, you only need to cook until the broccoli is thawed and heated through)
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese a little at a time. If you want a thnner soup, add additional broth or water to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in bowls and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, if desired.
Here are a few more of my favorite soul-warming soups…
- Soul-Warming Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme
- Turkey Pot Pie Soup
- Vegetable Flu-Buster Soup
Plus the entire #SundaySupper menu…
- Drunken Pumpkin Spice Latte by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Hot Mulled Caramel Apple Sangria by The Crumby Cupcake
- Mexican Atole by Curious Cuisiniere
- Gluten Free Hot Spiked Apple Cider by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Apple Pear Crisp by The Freshman Cook
- Bananas Foster by Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Hazelnut Lava Cake by Brunch with Joy
- Fudge Pudding Cake by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Honeycrisp Apple Tart by The Redhead Baker
- Pumpkin Cheesecake in Pumpkins by Desserts Required
- Warm Cardamom and Coconut Rice Pudding by Fearless Dining
Main Dishes and Soups
- Beef Brats and Beans Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Beef Pot Pie with Herbed Biscuits by From Gate to Plate
- Best Ever White Bean and Mushroom Soup by Pancake Warriors
- Braised Venison with Plums by Food Lust People Love
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- Butternut Squash Risotto with Pears and Sage by The Wimpy Vegetarian
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- Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Hearty Chickpea Soup by The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
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- Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Noodles by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Curry Debal by Palatable Pastime
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- Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
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- Slow Cooker English Roast by Wholistic Woman
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